SUP's - Single Use Plastics Rant
By gardnerandhill123, Feb 20 2017 02:18PM
As our customers are hopefully aware, we are an environmentally conscious business and do our best to make decisions over packaging etc that isn’t detrimental to our natural world. The feedback that we get from our customers is that they appreciate our ethics in this regard so I’m going to base this post around little things that we can all do, that collectively, could make a real difference if we spread the word…
One of my biggest bug bears is SUP’s – that’s Single Use Plastics – everything from plastic cutlery to drinking straws to balloons to cotton buds to takeaway coffee cup lids and everything in between. When you realise that it can take up to 4 years just for a ‘biodegradable’ latex balloon to break down and that it will be floating about in the natural environment until it does break down completely, it’s still rubbish and can have considerable impact on animals if they ingest it, which frequently they do – marine and land based animals. Helium balloons are another problem. Helium is running out from easy-to-access sources and it’s used for a lot more important stuff than just balloons such as MRI scanners & LCD screens and that’s before the actual balloon itself. Often the balloons break up high in the atmosphere and sends hundreds of tiny pieces of plastic and metallic balloon material back down on to the earth where they can, again, become ingested by animals. So, when you’re planning the next party or wedding, seriously stop and think about the environmental impact your decisions will have – an amusement for a couple of hours will result in hundreds of years of rubbish, literally. Perhaps you could consider alternatives? Paper streamers, homemade lanterns, paper chains, floral centrepieces etc.
Coffee cups are another major SUP that can so easily be reduced. We’ve all seen the insulated travel cups that are all the rage. Buy one – keep it in your car. Fancy a coffee, take your own cup. That means no waste at all. 25 billion cups are thrown away each year in the UK alone and they’ll still be in landfill in 500 years time. There really are so many alternatives out there now that with just a little research you can find an alternative to the plastic versions. There’s bamboo and wooden cutlery, paper plates instead of plastic. Paper tablecloths or a cheap sheet instead of plastic throw away cloths.
And if you think that you on your own can have no impact then think again. A recent campaign has had major manufacturers of cotton buds changing from plastic handles to paper handles. These are a common marine litter issue and with campaigns and petitions even the big brands have been forced to change to paper. So next time you’re throwing a party for your child, seriously think about the environmental impact that your choices are going to have; 100 – 200 years for a drinking straw to biodegrade. Could you buy paper ones instead?
If we can get more people to wake up to the SUP’s in the world around us and start to vote with their pockets and hearts then we can make this world a better place to leave for our children rather than one drowning in plastic which we’re currently heading for…rant over!
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