Plastic is a fossil-fuel product. We don’t actually feel the real impact of plastic debris here in Muswell Hill but we are certainly consumers of plastic and therefore very much a part of the problem. From the coffee cups (usually lined with plastic) to supermarket packaging almost everything we buy come in, we are contributing to the global problem. In 2018, we started our local campaign against plastics. Nearly 500 people took our pledge to eliminate single use plastic from their lives, and 10 local businesses signed up to the London Refill campaign. We will be running the campaign again in 2019, focussing on supermarket plastic. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to get involved!
The plastic killing fields
In one of the few places on Earth where people can rarely be found, the human race has well and truly made its mark. In the middle of the Pacific Ocean lies a floating garbage patch twice the size of France. A place where the water is filled with six times as much plastic as plankton. This plastic-plankton soup is entering the food chain and heading for your dinner table.
What you can do about plastic pollution
Here are some steps that you can take to reverse the tide of toxic, non-biodegradable pollution so that it will not overtake our planet.
Get yourself a re-usable coffee cup.
The best ones are made from renewable resources such as bamboo – check out e-Coffee cup.
Get a re-usable water bottle
There are loads around now, including ones that keep your water cool. These ones look great, and if you want to save space many sports retailers will sell collapsable bottles. Look out for Refill stickers on local restaurants – these are restaurants and cafes that welcome people wanting to fill up their water bottles – we’ve signed up many of the local Muswell Hill businesses.
Invest in a spork
Instead of taking disposable plastic cutlery when you next get a take-away lunch, buy a reusable spork such as this one.
Think twice about black plastic
While often technically recyclable pure carbon-black plastic is not picked up by the infrared sorting machines at UK recycling facilities and is rejected. Mixed coloured packaging is ok.
Screw lids back on
Screw plastic lids back on to their bottles before recycling. On their own they are too small to make it through most recycling sorting machines.
Squash bottles before you put them in recycling
Squash plastic bottles to save space (reducing their carbon footprint) and stop them rolling off the sorting machine conveyor belts.
Recycle at the supermarket
Take recyclable plastic film and leftover carrier bags back to recycling points at big supermarkets.
Buy loose fruit and veg
Those string bags are not recyclable!
Empty and rinse
If there’s residual food waste left in your recycling, empty it and give it a quick rinse, to avoid contamination of porous materials such as card and paper.
Avoid plastic use if possible
Even better than recycling is not to use plastic in the first instance. Put leftovers in an old ice cream tub or takeaway container, or use reusable wax wraps instead of clingfilm.