10 signatures reached
To: UK retailers and supermarkets
Cut our unnecessary plastic waste
I call upon large and small retailers and supermarkets in the UK to significantly reduce the amount of disposable plastic in which they sell their goods, including but not limited to food and drink packaging, consumer electronics, household goods and cosmetics.
Why is this important?
The ever-rising tide of our plastic waste has recently been found washing up on the shores of Henderson Island, an uninhabited island in the South Pacific, where 38 million pieces of plastic are now lying.
Plastic is littering our countryside, hardly degrading, and it is floating around in the oceans where fish are mistaking tiny pieces of plastic for food. A recent analysis is now showing that we are all probably ingesting microplastics in our tap water and in the world's salt where they remain as residues. And our appetite for disposable coffee cups and bottles shows no sign of waning.
All of these are warnings that we must all cut our plastic waste, and the huge industries that create it must help consumers to recycle, and ultimately find alternative, biodegradable materials, or better still cut unnecessary packaging altogether.
Reusing plastic bottles is not enough. Consider how much plastic we get through everyday that is marked as 'not currently recycled': food packets, vegetable wrapping, 'post-consumer film' on fruit punnets and ready meals, snack bags, the reams of plastic when you buy a new gadget, not forgetting pens and carrier bags, greetings card sleeves. I ask, why is this not currently recycled?
It is very difficult to live in the modern world without such a convenient material, but it is possible to find alternatives if the will and demand is there. We already have cellulose and waste potato starch from crisp manufacturing that can replace film and polystyrene. Pens and pots can be made from tyres and plastic cups.
Not only can we stem the tide of plastic in our oceans, we can save energy and money by reducing the processing of our plastic waste. We also need to protect animals and ourselves from exposure to microplastics.