Leave a footprint with the Fight against Plastic
Portefeulje: Openbare Sake
Beriggewer: Carol Scott
Datum: Julie 2019
UIT DIE PEN VAN STILBAAI, VLV
Leave a Footprint with the Fight against Plastic –
“Do your bit to conserve the earth and its inhabitants”
At our first meeting of the year – 12 February 2019, we enjoyed a presentation on “Plastic our Enemy”. Thereafter, the groups had a brainstorming session as to how we can make a difference to this pandemic. The following is the information that was shared:
The use of plastic is leaving a devastating effect on planet earth. Plastic is used in all different forms ranging from drinking straws, to plastic packets that are known as the flowers of South Africa and plastic coated take away coffee cups.
The ocean has more than 18 000 pieces of plastic in every square kilometre which is caused from plastic items not being properly disposed of. Research has also revealed that a half a million tonnes of plastic microfibers contribute to the pollution of the ocean which is more than 16 times more than the plastic cosmetic microbeads.
Large International Corporate Companies contribute to plastic pollution. Coca Cola being the forerunner contributing 9,26% to the pollution, with Pepsico and Nestlè as the followers contributing 5.72% and 2,9% respectively. It is rumoured that these Companies will be required to provide finance for recycling and clearing pollution or pay a levy.
The South African Retailers are feeling the pressure of ridding their plastic footprint and have begun phasing out single-use plastic items such as bags and plastic straws. Plastic packaging is however necessary in providing a prolonged shelf-life of certain food items as food waste can contribute to larger financial and environmental losses.
Food Lovers Market – “Withdraw the Straw Campaign” providing paper straws instead of plastic straws and will only provide straws if asked. They will also be replacing plastic bags with paper bags.
Pick n Pay – Introduce bags that can be used as compost at some of the outlets.
Woolworths – Aiming at no longer providing plastic bags and use packaging materials that are re-usable and recyclable.
Ocean Basket – Are supporting the #strawsuck campaign of the Two Oceans Aquarium by starting to phase out the use of plastic straws and take away bags. The #strawsuck campaign is making people aware of the permanent devastating effect plastic straws have on the world and the oceon.
The environmentalists have suggested that the following be banned, Balloon sticks, plastic cutlery and straws and cotton buds with plastic stems. The use of drinking cups and plastic food containers should be reduced and more awareness and clean-up efforts must be made towards cigarette buds, plastic bags, snack and chocolate papers, wet wipes and sanitary items.
The brainstorming session and discussions revealed some very interesting ideas that can be implemented to save our planet. They are as follows:
WHAT CAN WE DO?
- Purchase clothing items that are made from natural fibres, such as wool and cotton.
- Do away with plastic containers that can only be used once
- Purchase large quantities of goods that can be decanted into smaller containers for use
- Be more pro-active with recycling plastic and provide bins wherein recycled goods may be disposed of. Teach our children to recycle
IN THE HOME:
- Use re-usable plastic items, example Tupperware
- Make a cover from fabric or re-usable plastic to cover food instead of using glad wrap
- Collect plastic seals from bread bags and hard bottle plastic tops for the project to present a wheel chair to the needy.
- Re-use purchased plastic carrier bags for shopping
- Make or purchase a durable shopping bag
- Have a fun VLV day collecting plastic in our town and along the beach
- Substitute cling wrap with a beeswax infused fabrics – BWAX Bread Wrap available at Faithful-to-Nature.co.za at R75 for 6
- Re-usable, washable Lunch Wrap
- Where possible, avoid single-use plastic packaging and plastic that is currently recyclable in South Africa
The following is images of re-usable Lunch Wrap and an example of a crocheted carrier bag one can use instead of purchasing plastic bags from retailers.
Re-usuable, Washable Lunch Wrap
Example of the Crocheted carrier bag