Plastic free campaigns you need to know about | Simply Marcia


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Plastic free campaigns you need to know about

Sometimes it can actually be quite hard to know where to start when you want to begin something new; a new habit, a new journey, a new way of doing things, a new project … For me, this year, a new thing I want to start is to become much more proactive in supporting organisations who are doing great things to help our environment, the oceans, our planet – specifically plastic free campaigns.

My motivation has come from watching Blue Planet 2 and the environmental awareness the programme has raised. Here in Devon and Cornwall, there are so many passionate campaigners, who’ve started something new themselves, doing practical things and leading by example – showing us how we can all help in practical ways and by sharing awareness of the environmental damage being inflicted on our oceans and the precious creatures who live in and rely on them.

I thought it might be helpful to share the details of some of the individuals and organisations I follow and support on social media (and who offer brilliant advice and practical tips on environmental issues including going plastic free):

Surfers Against Sewage

If you love the ocean, going to the beach, surfing, swimming, walking the dog along the coastline … this group of like-minded individuals is determined to fight the plastic pollution that blights our beautiful beaches. You can offer support by signing their petition Message in a Bottle (calling for a deposit return system on plastic bottles and other single use drinks containers), or join an organised beach clean.

Less Plastic

If you feel inspired to reduce your plastic consumption, this site is a great starting point, offering advice for both individuals and businesses alike, as well as brilliant plastic free products and informative, educational postcards and posters.

A Plastic Planet

A Plastic Planet is behind the Plastic Free Aisle campaign – its aim is for a Plastic Free Aisle in supermarkets, offering consumers the choice to buy food not wrapped in plastic and ultimately a reduction in the amount of single-use plastics in our supermarkets. You can join their campaign here.

Change.org

This current petition is calling on Michael Gove to ban retailers from using plastic and other packaging which is not biodegradable or recyclable. The petition asks that the Top 10 UK retailers switch to biodegradable packaging materials, You can sign and share this petition here.

The Final Straw

This is a campaign to rid Cornwall of single use plastic straws and raise awareness of the damage single use plastics are causing to our environment. The site offers advice, plastic-free tips and ways you can help share the campaign with friends, family and colleagues.

2 minute beach clean

The #2minutebeachclean campaign is focused on doing practical things to help clear up plastics and rubbish washed up on our beaches, via 2 minute beach cleans. The campaign is growing in momentum and quite simply, involves individuals or families helping to rid the world’s beaches of marine litter and plastic pollution, by picking up plastics and litter at their local beach, 2 minutes at a time. There’s also a fab online shop where you can buy plastic free products (cups, straws, bags), as well as beach clean up equipment.

Let’s all do our bit: ditch the plastic as much as we can and pick it up when we find it littering our beaches, waterways and countryside.


5 easy ways to go plastic free today!

The screening of Blue Planet 2 has been such an eye opener in so many ways; not only have we been introduced to beautiful, amazing creatures and their habitats, but sadly, we’ve also become blatantly aware of the devastating impact plastics are having on our seas, oceans and the creatures who call it home. Watching the show left me feeling both in awe of the natural world but equally ashamed as a human being of the devastation we inflict on it. It’s absolutely time for action.

I’ve spent the weeks since the show finished:
– finding out as much as I can about the impact plastics have had and are still having every day, on our planet
– researching how we recycle, what we recycle and what the issues with recycling are
– discovering some amazing people and campaigns working incredibly hard to help create change
– understanding that if we all made some easy and little changes to our daily lives we can have a positive impact on our environment.

You have to start somewhere. So following all the advice about going plastic free, these 5 tips are easy ways you can go plastic free today:

1. Say a big, fat NO to plastic straws, cocktail stirrers and disposable cutlery. Instead, either sip your drinks (a novel idea ha!) and use proper cutlery. If you (or the kids) like to use a straw sometimes, consider buying environmental friendly straws from a company such as ecostrawz – they have a great array of stainless steel, glass, bamboo and titanium straws – perfect to reuse time and again. These range in price from £2.49 – £5.99.

2. Plastic water, fruit juice and fizzy drink bottles are another NO. Instead, get yourself and the family reusable water bottles. When my kids were at primary school they always took a reusable water bottle to school – we’ve got out of this habit – but no excuses now. I’ve had a look around and for me, one green bottle is the perfect solution. They offer a brilliant range of durable, stainless steel and environmentally friendly products – including water bottles, lunchboxes and reusable coffee cups (see tip 3 below!). Prices for water bottles start at £10.

3. As a non-coffee drinker, the whole take-out coffee thing has kind of passed me by however, I have been known to grab the odd take-out tea at the train station so in at number 3) it’s a NO to take out coffee cups (actually, this also applies to fizzy drink take outs you get in places like McDonalds – they may look like cardboard but they’re coated with plastic). Instead, it’s back to one green bottle again – they have a brilliant range of reusable coffee/tea takeout cups. Simply take with you and ask the barista to use your reusable take out cup instead of an own-brand.

4. We all know the drill by now when it comes to plastic bags so these being on the list can come as no surprise. I thought I’d include these though, as I have many times either a) rocked up at the supermarket without my reusable bags (and cursed myself) or b) underestimated how much shopping I’d buy and therefore not have enough reusable bags. This is more about getting in to a good habit when it comes to shopping and bags. I now keep a load of cotton reusable (and washable) bags in the boot of the car and for my handbag (I’m a bit of an impulse shopper) I’ve just ordered a couple of string bags from Green Fibres. These are cheap as you like (they start from £5.00) can carry a heavy load but are lightweight and squish up teeny, tiny to fit in to your bag. Most of the supermarkets also offer reusable jute or cotton-based bags too – and absolutely preferable over the plastic bags-for-life.

5. If you’re headed to the supermarket today or local green grocers, as much as is possible, try to say NO to buying your fruit and veg in pre-wrapped plastic. Try to buy it loose if you can – but don’t then add it to one of these little plastic bags the supermarkets have on stand by for our convenience! Small, local green grocers or farm shops tend to be better at stocking paper bags so are worth a try if it works for you. If not, when you’re at the supermarket either add your fruit and veg loose (this may not work for things like brussel sprouts!) to your basket or place it in one of your reusable bags for sorting at the checkout (they’ll love you ha!). The other alternative, of course, is to join a local, farm shop vegetable box delivery service such as Riverford Organic Farmers or here, in south-east Cornwall, Tamar Grow Local Food Hubs – that way, you’ll be supporting a local business, eating fresh fruit and veg delivered directly from the farm, cutting out the middleman and the plastic.

Go forth and start your plastic free journey … and let me know if you have any other easy tips to help us all go plastic free x