I’m sure we know the story well enough by now, around 300 million tons of plastic are produced every year with a shocking eight million tons ending up in the ocean. A lowly 12% of packaging produced is recyclable and despite brave attempts from initiatives like biodegradable six-pack beer rings we are still doing a terrible job.
Environmental organisation A Plastic Planet is hoping to change that by lobbying Britain’s major supermarkets in the forthcoming weeks to urge them to offer food packaged in biodegradable materials only.
At the same time the the government is considering adding a levy to plastic bottles which can be reclaimed upon recycling, many other European countries like Denmark already offer this effective service.
Sian Sutherland, from the Plastic Oceans Foundation, is to meet with all the main supermarkets to push their agenda.
Quoted in the Telegraph she said: “There is a growing realisation that plastic is not disposable and is harming our planet, yet the maddening thing is that it’s virtually impossible to buy food without packaging.
The whole of the ecosystems of the world are built on healthy oceans and if that part of the planet becomes dysfunctional and goes wrong, the the whole of life on the planet will suffer
“We have more choice than ever for everything. There are countless gluten-free, organic or kosha aisles, and yet we have absolutely no choice about buying food that is packaged in plastic.
“The campaign ‘A Plastic-Free Aisle’, will be launched by A Plastic Planet in the next few weeks, and environmentalists say their plan is “clear, simple and doable”.
Coinciding with this is the release of A Plastic Ocean, a documentary about how much plastic is in the sea. Documentary host and all-round good bloke, David Attenborough was interviewed for the film:
“The whole of the ecosystems of the world are built on healthy oceans and if that part of the planet becomes dysfunctional and goes wrong, the the whole of life on the planet will suffer.” he said.
Surfers have long been pushing their own agendas in this direction with notable work from Tim Nunn’s Plastic Project, Martin Dorey’s #2minutebeachclean and of course veteran campaigners SAS. Maybe now finally the supermarkets will become accountable, after all it is obvious they pull a lot more stings than they like to be counted for.
We have seen great uptake in the ending of single life carrier bags, now it is time for the corporates to bring a bigger wave a change and really squeeze the life out of our destructive plastic packaging obsession.