A Plastic problem

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I do most of my shopping at Aldi and I think the products are brilliant, I do worry slightly that the producers may not be getting the best deals with them, but their adverts promise otherwise and where possible a lot of their food says its from England, so that helps with the whole food miles issue.

I do however have one massive bone to pick with Aldi and in fact a lot of other supermarkets, their policy on plastic. They use way way too much!!! What’s the point in charging 5p for a bag, in an effort to reduce waste if every single item you buy is individually wrapped?

Aldi are not the only ones, in fact all supermarkets are guilty of it, Coop, Asda, Sainsburys, they all over package everything or offer those tiny little plastic bags, which are not needed, you simply put all veg in the same bag with delicate stuff at the top. Also food goes off quicker if it is left in a plastic bag, so why do it at all, it gets me angry!!

Plastic is a huge issue and one that I have recently become more passionate about after reading an article on Sky News which illustrated the extent of the problem, its huge and INSANE. (I also watched their full documentary “A Plastic Tide’ its 45 minutes long and is hard watching as you feel bad and angry that we could have created such a problem. Here are some facts:

  • Worldwide we dump a rubbish truck full of rubbish onto our oceans every minute
  • By 2050 the amount of plastic in the sea will weigh more than all the fish
  • Single use plastic (like bags and the stuff that’s wrapped around my leeks) is the worst as it never really decomposes
  • 300 million tons of plastic is produced around the world every year, but only 12% is recyclable
  • Fishermen in India and around the world are no longer catching fish, just plastic
  • Plastic is killing birds and fish, they are eating the plastic which gets stuck in their stomach, mimics them being full and so they starve
  • We are also now ingesting plastic when we eat fish, scientists are not sure what the harm will be to us, but that does not sound good at all

These are just a few things I have found out, however the other thing is there seems to be more awareness of the issues and more people are trying to do something about it. I signed a Greenpeace petition, read about Sky’s own campaign, Sky Ocean Rescue, I have also tried to change a few habits. Here are just a few of them:

  • I bought biodegradable rubbish bags and always try my hardest to take reusable shopping bags with me
  • I have actually started cleaning and re-using my sealable sandwich bags
  • If the food item I want to buy can be bought separately I do and I don’t use the small plastic bag
  • I use biodegradable nappy wipes as well as nappies
  • I have started buying cleaning products from nature shops and getting them from the large bottle and reusing the current bottle
  • I try not to use plastic cutlery and or plates
  • I am trying to stop using a straws in my drink
  • I never use a plastic cup at a water cooler, they are so not needed, use a glass!

Amazingly these are all the tips on the Sky website here, which I came up with before I had even seen this page.

However what really needs to be done though is a change in attitude from supermarkets and manufacturers, surely packaging is expensive and really… do we need that much, why do it at all? As I said a bag of carrots left in a bag actually goes off faster. Sell all fruit and veg separately and get rid of the plastic, surely biodegradable packaging isn’t that much more and it is so much better. Could they try cardboard? I’m not sure, but they should be doing more. I know it may eat into profits, but when Tesco made a net profit, after tax, of £256million in 2016, surely spending a bit of extra cash on environmentally friendly packaging would not have thats drastic effect on tier bottom line. I’m not saying sacrifice their whole profit, but surely in the long term it’s better that we stop killing the planet with plastic and are here to buy their stuff than the alternative. (slightly dramatic maybe but true!)

So come on Aldi, Sainsburys, Tescos etc. and of course the government (yes they do need to get involved) Why not do like they did with the plastic bag charge and penalise supermarkets and companies for using to much plastic, I would definitely back a plastic tax!

In the meantime, well,rant over, but I hope it has made people think!

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