Plastic

Plastic doesn’t break down it breaks up – and remains in the environment forever.
In the centre of the Pacific ocean’s spiral current system is an area of trillions of tiny plastic pieces not immediately visible to the naked eye but ingested by fish and seabirds.

PLASTIC PACKAGING

Supermarkets: Our friends in Sustainable Pill And District (SPAD) have made a film about superfluous supermarket packaging: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CC7WBAIeDkA

Drinks: use a metal drinks container and avoid single-use disposable coffee cups – they have a layer of plastic in them that means they can’t be recycled.

There are now petitions to get McDonalds to switch to paper straws, to have deposits on plastic bottles, and to have deposits on disposable cups.

PLASTIC IN CLOTHING

The problem: Plastic microfibres are tiny pieces from all synthetic garments that are released every time we wash them – estimated 700,000 per washing machine load. www.storyofstuff.org/movies/story-of-microfibers/ – an easy to watch 2 minute video that eloquently explains the problem.

One small but easy solution: Clothing firm Patagonia are taking this seriously (see www.patagonia.com/blog/2017/02/an-update-on-microfiber-pollution/) and have invested in a German-made ‘Guppy Friend’ mesh bag to put synthetics in inside the washing machine. In tests 99% of microfibres did’t get through the bag, so are left inside and you pick them out by hand and dispose of them.
The bags are on sale at cost price of £15, and Patagonia are offering us free P&P, so we’re collaborating with SPAD in Pill to put in an order. If you’d like one get in touch.

www.citytosea.org.uk – a Bristol-based campaign group who last year were successfully in getting pledges from manufacturers to stop using plastic in cotton bud sticks – which have ended up on every beach.
They are also part of the refill campaign to stop using single use plastic water bottles.
You can find out more about their latest campaigns, and become a supporter at
www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/pft/2017/3/2/15-ways-to-stop-microfiber-pollution-now – further ideas on what we can all do.

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