The momentum for a reduction in our use of plastic came from an incredibly persuasive episode of David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II programme. It seemed that everyone who watched the episode woke up to the impact that this petrochemical based, indestructible material has on our planet. He revealed how our throw away life styles have turned our seas into vast soup bowls of pollutants and waste materials killing and maiming the very creatures that have lived there for millions of years. It is now estimated that 1 in 3 fish caught for human consumption contains plastic.
People have been inspired to make a difference. The plastic bag campaign reduced the use of single use plastic bags by 83%, it was an incredible success. But we still need to acknowledge the depressing statistic that only 9% of plastics ever made has been recycled and the other 91% is either floating in our oceans and waterways, ingested by our sealife/birds, clinging to our trees, shrubs and grasslands in our countryside, or has now become part of our atmosphere after incineration. Plastic bottles can take up to 450 years to biodegrade.
Transition Malvern Hills (TMH) would like to support those people within the Malvern Hills area that wish to make a difference by, in the first instance, reducing their use of single use plastic. TMH has created a useful leaflet that targets 8 most polluting products and offers alternatives. The main challenge is from our supermarkets that although they talk about making changes they are increasing the use of single use plastic on many of their products they sell especially fruit and vegetables. Here in Malvern we are lucky to have two shops that sell loose and local fruit and vegetables that you can take home in a paper bag or can be put straight into your non-plastic shopping bag, Greenlink and Natural Choice in Barnards Green.
The leaflet has been produced in support of the ‘Surfers against Sewage’ campaigners who are appealing to all towns, including those that are inland, to reduce the amount of plastic that is thrown away, as up to 12 million tonnes of plastic enters our seas every year. Our campaign will be officially launched on 11th, June with a display in the Tourist information window. This will be followed by a mobile information display that will be seen around Malvern at various venues.
The campaign now has an instagram account malvern_vs_plasticpollution.
We also have the following resources to help you reduce your plastic use: