15th Aug, 2018

Eco-minded resident protests by posting plastic back to those selling it

AN ECO-MINDED Leamington resident is protesting against plastic packaging by posting it back to those selling it.

Angela Owen – who set up the litter-picking group Friends of Black Lane in 2015 – is taking on supermarket giants by bundling up plastic wrap and other packaging marked ‘currently not recycled’, and posting them to the headquarters of the firms.

The dedicated environmentalist has so far posted off two packs of waste plastic.

She said she generally tried to avoid plastic packaging but with its excessive use around dried foods like pasta and rice, confectionery and shrink-wrapped fruit and veg, it was hard to cut out completely.

“Retailers are not doing enough to reduce the amount of plastic waste they are creating.

“Even when purposefully reducing general household consumption of plastics, it builds up and you can see how concerning the situation is. So much food is wrapped in non recyclable plastic and it’s a serious problem.

“The packaging is mostly pointless – it’s marketing psychology that knows our weaknesses.”

Angela suggested people could also help reduce their plastic consumption by using reusable bags for loose produce, ditching plastic straws, using reusable water bottle and coffee cups and taking homemade lunches to work.

The BBC’s Blue Planet II series recently highlighted the problem of plastic in the world’s oceans.

Angela added: “Anyone who watched the series will have a bite-size idea of the tide of plastic pollution and how it is having a devastating impact on the world. Most land based plastic pollution ends up in our seas and oceans. Much of this is the plastic wrappers around our food, plastic straws, plastic bottles, plastic bags, plastic cutlery – you name it, our seas are a plastic soup killing off our precious marine life.

“This has got to stop. Start by sending a clear message to retailers that we don’t want the packaging. Send it back, leave it at the till whichever floats your boat. But do something.”

Last month Prime Minister Theresa May put cutting plastic pollution at the heart of the Government’s 25-year environmental plan, which included introducing plastic-free aisles in supermarkets.

Iceland is among the first to commit to the movement, with its pledge to provide plastic-free products within five years.

But some supermarkets have defended plastic wrapping on fresh produce like cucumbers and swedes, claiming it ultimately reduced food waste.

Search Friends of Black Lane on Facebook for more information and ideas.

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