You’ve switched to reusable bags, ditched the shower gel in favour of soap and stopped buying bottled water; now’s the time to get retailers to do the same - metaphorically speaking. Here are some of the (subjectively) coolest campaigns that you can join to pressure companies to reduce their plastic usage.
Cutting back on cups
Disposable coffee cups contain a very thin plastic lining. This makes the cups impermeable, but it also makes themvery hard to recycle. Each year we throw out nearlyone billion disposable coffee cups the majority of which are not recycled. This soon mounts up to a mountain of a waste problem.
What can you do?
TheUK Government is coming under pressure from various campaign groups to introduce a small charge for each disposable coffee cup, similar to the 5p levy on plastic bags. It is thought that this would encourage people to take their own reusable cup with them when they go for a coffee. Sign the Friends of The Earth petition and ask the government to act to reduce the waste from coffee cupsSign the petition here Purchase a reusable coffee cup and be sure to take it with you wherever you go.
INSPIRATIONAL STORY Back in 2007, campaigner and filmmaker Rebecca Hostings put pressure on the retailers of her home town of Modbury, South Devonto stop using plastic bags. In under a month, all 47 retailers had switched to reusable cloth bags instead.
Switch the stick is a campaign that got a lot of traction over the past year and (fingers crossed) looks like it could be successful.
The campaign encouraged retailers to stop selling cotton buds with plastic sticks and switch to more environmentally friendly alternatives. By working with38 Degrees Switch the stick got 150,000 people behind the campaign and numerous major UK retailers pledged to make the change.
Supermarkets are under pressure tocreate plastic free aisles and to offer food packaged in biodegradable materials instead. The pressure on retailers to have plastic free aisles is being led by a group calledA Plastic Planet.
What can you do?
A Plastic Planet is a grassroots organisation that works with politicians, scientists, charities, NGOs, packaging manufacturers, consumer goods producers, and supermarkets themselves in order to achieve their aim of a plastic free aisle in supermarkets. To help raise awareness about their campaign A Plastic Planet encourage you to create a video stating your support for plastic free aisles, upload it to their site and share it on social media.
To reduce the amount of plastic bottles in your life you should look at buying a reusable bottle and taking it with you wherever you go! TheReFILL movement lets you connect with places in certain cities in the UK that enable you to refill your water bottle.
Of course, not everyone will stop using plastic bottles and sometimes it might even not be possible to avoid buying one.
To reduce the impact that plastic bottles have on the environment while accepting that not everyone will stop buying them organisations such as Greenpeace have suggested return schemes. These return schemes place a small deposit on a plastic bottle, which is you get back when the bottle is returned. The more bottles that are returned, the more can be re-used or recycled, this reduces the amount that ends up as litter, in our oceans, and in the landfill. Sign the Greenpeace petition to create a plastic bottle return scheme in the UK. The petition can be found here.
ReFILL is a practical tap water campaign that aims to make refilling your bottle easy, convenient and cheap. Find out more athttps://refill.org.uk/
Plastic Pollution Coalition
Jeff Bridges narrates the coalition’s promotional message. If that isn’t enough to convince you to join this campaign then perhaps nothing will. ThePlastic Pollution Coalitionaims to create a world free of single-use plastics and encourages more people and organisations to take action.
The organisation has awide variety of resources that you can access to help you with your plastic-free journey. Here’s Jeff Bridges Watch:
What can you do
Join the Plastic Pollution Coalition either as an individual or as an organisation and pledge to reduce your plastic usage. Access the resources that are available on the site and choose where you want to start. There are guides on reducing the plastic either in your home, business, or even your town or university.