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  • Join Date: Dec 2020
    Posts: 69
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    Given: 28

    War on plastic
    09-03-21

    What does recycling mean to you? Are you recycling correctly? Are you recycling at all? We all have a duty to the planet to be doing so, and I am about to make it so easy for you! Plastic pollution was discovered almost 30 years after its insurgence in the late 1960’s early 1970’s by scientists who were conducting studies in the oceans. World War 2 was the catalyst for the mass production of plastic as the need to preserve certain food became essential due to rationing. Once rationing was stopped in 1954 the need for plastic had not dwindled, but more than doubled by the popularity of the supermarket. The UK supermarket saw its birth 6 years prior and thus the plastic revolution began.

    We are seeing the big supermarkets such as Asda, Tesco and Sainsburys make big promises with Asda committing themselves to using 30% recycled content across all own brand plastic packaging by 2020. Sainsburys announced on 18th February that they are trialling a new recycling system that will allow (PP) to be recycled at 63 stores in the North-east. By far the most impressive is Tesco who have successfully and permanently removed one billion pieces of plastic by implementing the 4Rs, To remove it where it can, reduce where it can't, reuse more and recycle what is left. It is evident that supermarkets are doing what they can to turn things around, we can still be doing something ourselves and play a part in tackling the plastic crisis.

    Now it is our turn and understandably it can be difficult to know what can be recycled and what can’t, and when it comes to plastic, did you know there is more than one type? The most used recyclable plastics are Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) – water bottles and plastic trays, High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) – milk cartoons and shampoo bottles and Polypropylene (PP) – margarine tubs and ready-meal trays.

    To make recycling as easy as possible each type of plastic will have a number inside a triangle on the packaging indicating its resin ID. In simple terms: the lower the number, the more recyclable it is:

    1. Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
    2. High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
    3. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
    4. Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
    5. Polypropylene (PP)
    6. Polystyrene (PS)
    7. Other (BPA, Lexan, Polycarbonate)

    Once you know this, it is such a simple habit to adopt. As a rule of thumb 1, 2 and 3 are always recyclable and 4 upwards, check on your local authority website as every council has different processing machines and methods of recycling. If you are guilty of having an empty recycling bin and a full rubbish bin, here are just a few sobering facts highlighting the consequences of our plastic consumption:

    - It is estimated that out of the 8.3 million metric tons of plastic produced worldwide a shocking 91 percent of this is not recycled and left sitting in landfills, roadsides, and the natural environment.
    - It takes approximately 450 years for one plastic bottle to break down.
    - By 2050 there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish. 🐠
    ​​​​​​​
    The realisation of these facts should be enough for us all to exercise change in our daily lives, if not for ourselves then for the marine life that is in danger as a direct result and our children and grandchildren.

    The most endangered species are fish and any marine life that takes in water through their gills. Plastic breaks down in very small particles and these are ingested by sea life making them very ill. Many animals get tangled in our litter, it can leak harmful chemicals into their body, not to mention what having a piece of plastic inside you can do physically. This has been 60 years in the making with a long-term effect that may never go away.

    Doing your bit is not just about recycling, there are many ways you can help, and it isn’t all about plastic:

    - Switch magazines, newspapers, and books to online versions
    - Opt for different packaging in supermarkets as opposed to plastic where possible
    - Go paper free with bills
    - Use beeswax paper to wrap homemade sandwiches instead of tin foil or cellophane
    - Try your hand at upcycling an old piece of furniture or have a rummage in a charity shop, reclamation yard or market.
    - If you have young children get them doing some crafting and try turn a milk bottle into a bird feeder or sweet wrappers into a trinket dish.
    - Take a more natural approach to your everyday living and swap out some of your cleaning and bathroom products for homemade ones. Pinterest has a wealth of great articles for doing this and it could be a new hobby that you have so desperately needed during lockdown.


    I am very passionate about the environment and if I can instil a bit of the fire in my belly in others I will try. We need to respect where we live and stop being a throwaway society because the world is on its knees and it is a beautiful place and a beautiful home. If you get that sinking feeling when you see oceans full of plastic and sea life trapped in plastic and fishing nets, you can do something. If your heart wants to burst at the sight of animals living happily or little children picking up litter 🚮, you can do something. Be the change you want to see really does work!

    I believe more can be done about the plastic problem such as going back to basics and using glass jars, paper, card, etc. There are many people fighting for manufacturers to stop using virgin materials and use 100% recycled material, but the big problem is not only the industries producing plastic but consumers. We as consumers live in a throwaway society and it would be very hard to change that. Research shows many of us still think It is too much fuss to have a re-usable bottle/coffee cup, or to keep carrier bags with us at all times. But if you could save yourself some money at the same time it is worth it. Costa and Starbucks currently offer a 25p discount on coffee purchases using a re-usable cup, Greggs offers 20p and Café Nero offers a double stamp on your rewards card. 🥤

    It comes down to convenience and an easy life. In short as consumers we have to make small changes, and the manufacturers have to make changes but their changes will take longer to implement but possibly have a much bigger impact.

    If you are conscious about not recycling enough and want to make an informed change, then why not start today? Cleanse the environment and at the same time cleanse your soul.

    For more information visit: http://bit.ly/3kX0eHr


    The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.
    - Robert Swan OBE
  • Join Date: Nov 2020
    Posts: 316
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    Received: 185
    Given: 243

    09-03-21

    Quote Originally Posted by Tillymint View Post
    What does recycling mean to you? Are you recycling correctly? Are you recycling at all? We all have a duty to the planet to be doing so, and I am about to make it so easy for you! Plastic pollution was discovered almost 30 years after its insurgence in the late 1960’s early 1970’s by scientists who were conducting studies in the oceans. World War 2 was the catalyst for the mass production of plastic as the need to preserve certain food became essential due to rationing. Once rationing was stopped in 1954 the need for plastic had not dwindled, but more than doubled by the popularity of the supermarket. The UK supermarket saw its birth 6 years prior and thus the plastic revolution began.

    We are seeing the big supermarkets such as Asda, Tesco and Sainsburys make big promises with Asda committing themselves to using 30% recycled content across all own brand plastic packaging by 2020. Sainsburys announced on 18th February that they are trialling a new recycling system that will allow (PP) to be recycled at 63 stores in the North-east. By far the most impressive is Tesco who have successfully and permanently removed one billion pieces of plastic by implementing the 4Rs, To remove it where it can, reduce where it can't, reuse more and recycle what is left. It is evident that supermarkets are doing what they can to turn things around, we can still be doing something ourselves and play a part in tackling the plastic crisis.

    Now it is our turn and understandably it can be difficult to know what can be recycled and what can’t, and when it comes to plastic, did you know there is more than one type? The most used recyclable plastics are Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) – water bottles and plastic trays, High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) – milk cartoons and shampoo bottles and Polypropylene (PP) – margarine tubs and ready-meal trays.

    To make recycling as easy as possible each type of plastic will have a number inside a triangle on the packaging indicating its resin ID. In simple terms: the lower the number, the more recyclable it is:



    Once you know this, it is such a simple habit to adopt. As a rule of thumb 1, 2 and 3 are always recyclable and 4 upwards, check on your local authority website as every council has different processing machines and methods of recycling. If you are guilty of having an empty recycling bin and a full rubbish bin, here are just a few sobering facts highlighting the consequences of our plastic consumption:


    ​​​​​​​
    The realisation of these facts should be enough for us all to exercise change in our daily lives, if not for ourselves then for the marine life that is in danger as a direct result and our children and grandchildren.

    The most endangered species are fish and any marine life that takes in water through their gills. Plastic breaks down in very small particles and these are ingested by sea life making them very ill. Many animals get tangled in our litter, it can leak harmful chemicals into their body, not to mention what having a piece of plastic inside you can do physically. This has been 60 years in the making with a long-term effect that may never go away.

    Doing your bit is not just about recycling, there are many ways you can help, and it isn’t all about plastic:




    I am very passionate about the environment and if I can instil a bit of the fire in my belly in others I will try. We need to respect where we live and stop being a throwaway society because the world is on its knees and it is a beautiful place and a beautiful home. If you get that sinking feeling when you see oceans full of plastic and sea life trapped in plastic and fishing nets, you can do something. If your heart wants to burst at the sight of animals living happily or little children picking up litter 🚮, you can do something. Be the change you want to see really does work!

    I believe more can be done about the plastic problem such as going back to basics and using glass jars, paper, card, etc. There are many people fighting for manufacturers to stop using virgin materials and use 100% recycled material, but the big problem is not only the industries producing plastic but consumers. We as consumers live in a throwaway society and it would be very hard to change that. Research shows many of us still think It is too much fuss to have a re-usable bottle/coffee cup, or to keep carrier bags with us at all times. But if you could save yourself some money at the same time it is worth it. Costa and Starbucks currently offer a 25p discount on coffee purchases using a re-usable cup, Greggs offers 20p and Café Nero offers a double stamp on your rewards card. 🥤

    It comes down to convenience and an easy life. In short as consumers we have to make small changes, and the manufacturers have to make changes but their changes will take longer to implement but possibly have a much bigger impact.

    If you are conscious about not recycling enough and want to make an informed change, then why not start today? Cleanse the environment and at the same time cleanse your soul.

    For more information visit: http://bit.ly/3kX0eHr


    - Robert Swan OBE

    Wow @Tillymint, this is really eye opening. I have a separate bin I put all my recycling in but it can be super hard to know what is recyclable and what is not. Ironically sometimes when I check the packaging on something I think is recyclable, it turns out not to be, so it is always worth checking.

    Also, did you know a plastic bag alone can take between up to 500 years - 1000 years to biodegrade? 😲

    Women's sanitary products also take up to a whopping 800 years?!

    You can find more about how long products take to biodegrade here - SO interesting and eye opening.

    Great idea about the reusable cups. I use a Stojo, I find it SO handy as it actually folds away in your handbag/rucksack - making it ideal to just pop away instead of having to find room for it whilst you are on the go!

    Thanks for all these tips on how to recycle - it's really been thought provoking! 😍🌍

    Rebecca
  • Join Date: Jan 2021
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    09-03-21

    Agreed Rebecca, I also have a full recycling bin normally and try to be as eco friendly as possible but it definitely is confusing to understand exactly what should go in the recycling bin and what to put in your standard bins.

    I've quit buying water bottles from supermarket and just use my household tap for filling up reusable bottles when leaving my house and haven't used a 5p bag since they introduced the scheme choosing to use the same bag for life until its hardly useable and filled with holes.
  • Join Date: Nov 2020
    Posts: 316
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    Given: 243

    09-03-21

    Quote Originally Posted by NJC View Post
    Agreed Rebecca, I also have a full recycling bin normally and try to be as eco friendly as possible but it definitely is confusing to understand exactly what should go in the recycling bin and what to put in your standard bins.

    I've quit buying water bottles from supermarket and just use my household tap for filling up reusable bottles when leaving my house and haven't used a 5p bag since they introduced the scheme choosing to use the same bag for life until its hardly useable and filled with holes.
    Amazing @NJC - I think it's easy to think that the planet will never be affected by us not trying to be a little more conscious and responsible with our choices and how we treat it, but it is really scary to see the impact that has already happened and how a lot of it is totally irreversible. Because at this particular point in time we cannot physically see it or are affected by it it's so easy to dismiss but unfortunately it may get to the point where it's simply too late. It's great to see the Paris Climate Agreement and other massive world initiatives that are working hard to make change for the bigger things that are less in our control like carbon emissions etc. 😊
  • Join Date: Dec 2020
    Posts: 69
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    Given: 28

    09-03-21

    @Rebecca Thank you! Hopefully this doesn't scare anyone but just make people see that the smallest things do make the biggest difference. :D