Oval Quarter Street Champions have been focusing on the problems of plastic. We spoke to our neighbours, friends and family about things we can all do to reduce our use of plastic. We introduced 5 Rs: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, Rethink and Refuse.
Reducing the plastic we use is a quick win in the battle against plastic waste. Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade. They don’t rot down, just break into smaller and smaller toxic bits. A plastic bag takes between 400 and 1,000 years to break down.
Plastic bottles and polystyrene cups are among the top five commonest litter items on streets and beaches. We recommend a reusable mug when you’re out buying a coffee, taking a refillable bottle (or skipping bottled water altogether) – simple ways of avoiding plastic in your drinks.
Separating recyclable items from waste is something simple we can all do.
Save at least 5p every supermarket visit by refusing plastic bags and packaging. Better still, take a cloth bag. Not only are you reducing the plastic you use, you’re also sending a powerful message that we don’t want plastic packaging. We also say, say “no” to straws with drinks and milkshakes. If you do need a straw, get a reusable stainless steel or glass one.
Plastic gets in to the food chain. For instance, a plastic bottle dumped in the ocean eventually gets broken down into pieces small enough to be eaten by little fish which in turn get eaten by larger fish. The larger fish ends up in the supermarket and on your plate! In Blue Planet II, David Attenborough raised awareness of the damage plastic has on the global environment. Over 17 million viewers heard him say: ‘never before have we had such an awareness of what we’re doing to the planet. And never before have we had the power to do something about it’. We see 2018 as the year of hope that we will be able to sustain the environment for years to come.
Remember: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, Rethink and Refuse plastic. These simple solutions can make a positive contribution towards one of the environment’s biggest challenges.
For more information
- Street Champions are everywhere. They’re the Lambeth residents who check on elderly neighbours when the weather’s cold; who take parcels in for you; who care about their street and want it to be a clean, safe and neighbourly place. Become a Street Champion
- Find out more about the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) see their official pages – helping move to a sustainable, resource-efficient economy by re-inventing how we design, produce and sell products; re-thinking how we use and consume products, and re-defining what is possible.