The impacts of plastics on the natural world and our health are complex. Bottles marked PET will never break down naturally, whilst your coffee shop cup takes over 50 years to break down into small particles in the soil and water.
Plastics enter waterways, kill wildlife and enter our food chain as toxins. Plastic is a major contributor of litter and blocks our drains. Plastics also have wider health concerns, polluting the soil and groundwater as well as using oil in their manufacture.
The most damage is done by single use plastics: packaging, straws, disposable coffee cups, water bottles and so on. I welcome Rushcliffe Borough Council supporting Councillor Sue Mallender’s proposal of a review of single use plastics and packaging by the Council and their contractors.
What can we do?
The most useful approach is “reduce, reuse, recycle”. So much of what we buy is disposable, costing us more money in the long term and harming the natural world.
Some simple steps include:
- Keep reusing those shopping bags including the plastic ones!
- Stop using, or use fewer, disposable coffee cups, straws and plastic water bottles. The alternatives make great presents and save money.
- Consider the packaging when buying goods.
- Don’t buy products with microbeads.
- Shop locally, as smaller retailers tend to use less plastic.
- Remember the impact of plastics when you’re on holiday.
Please do what you can, as everyone doing a little means a lot.