Most people are aware of the serious impact plastics have on our environment and ecosystem, writes Rose Battey, the youngest member of the Stamford Climate Action Group.
It starts with oil extraction through recycling and disposal; and the impact of plastic waste on our landscape, wildlife and the natural environment.
More recently, there has been an increased awareness of microplastic particles entering our food chain.
Currently, only 44% of plastic packaging waste in the UK is ‘recovered and recycled’. Furthermore, it is reported that 40% of our plastic consumption is “single-use”; and nearly half of all plastic waste comes from packaging. And, more shockingly, most of our plastics can only be recycled once – there is no endless recycling chain!
Fortunately, innovative materials, manufacturing processes, reusable packaging designs and recycling networks are being developed and required by the Environment Bill 2021. However, it will take some time to put in place effective new collection and sorting services, deposit systems, tax incentives and the infrastructure that we badly need in the UK.
Currently, the solution must be to reduce our plastic consumption on a personal level, by questioning and modifying some of our purchasing decisions.
An easy first step would be to switch to simply buying a reusable water bottle and moving away from plastic bottles and disposable cups. It’s something the Climate Action Group, formed by Stamford City Council, has strongly encouraged, along with setting up water filling stations across the city.
The Climate Action Group will continue to investigate and come up with plastic reduction ideas. In the meantime, why not kick off 2022 by popping into town and visiting our awesome local shops for colorful, reusable water bottles and mugs.
Finally, a ‘cry’ to the pride of Stamford waste pickers who regularly remove a huge amount of plastic waste locally; thus protecting our local environment.
The next meeting of the Climate Action Group will take place on Wednesday February 9 at 6 p.m. This virtual meeting can be joined by emailing [email protected] for the link.
Please let us know your plastic reduction suggestions – in writing or at our monthly meeting. Everyone is welcome!