Supermarkets: Stop using plastic bags, reduce waste, protect our environment & wildlife.
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Collectively we use and discard over 1 TRILLION plastic bags each year, they take 1000s of years to decay and they harm our ecosystems and our planet as a whole. In each square mile of ocean there is estimated to be 40,000+ pieces of plastic, and that's just on the surface.
When I was a child in Bangladesh, the price of a bottle of Coca Cola was 14 Taka, if you returned the bottle you would receive 7 Taka back. The problem of pollution from such bottles was massively reduced, people collected them, customers returned the bottles and some companies employed people to collect the bottles in return for an income.
I'm asking all major supermarkets to stop using cheap plastic bags altogether. Supermarkets should encourage people with better incentives to reuse more environmentally friendly bags. The 5p charge for bags has had good results, but our bins are still full of bags, the land is littered with them, as are our oceans.
Though part of the solution, biodegradable plastics require certain environmental conditions to break down and some contain within them toxic chemicals.They also linger in the seas and on land for hundreds of years.
The ubiquitous problem of plastic in our rivers, canal systems and eventually in our seas will not be solved overnight, but where possible, we must lead the way and stop using plastics in order to reduce their production. As a lover of wildlife and our green spaces, I cannot stress the importance of such a campaign.
The production of plastic exceeded 300m tonnes in 2014 and this figure is expected to rise to over 2000m tonnes by 2050.
The effects are far reaching and complex, but we've all seen animal nests piled high with rubbish, beautiful sea creatures trapped in plastic, albatross and all forms of sea life dying due to consumption of plastics in one form or another. That's the clearly visible bit, far worse damage is done at a microbial level, this is not mere rhetoric, microbial epidemiology and pollution genomics show startling levels of pollution on land and in our oceans.
Ask yourself a simple question: "Do I want my children growing up in a world where pollution is the norm? Where, despite all our efforts to feed them healthy, naturally sourced foods, we expose them to unnecessary pollutants, pollutants that cause cancers and several other ailments and illnesses.
There are various alternatives to damaging plastics. The cost of such products compared to profits made by our supermarkets is negligible.
One of the safest and cheapest commercially available bags are starch based, renewable bags which are fully compostable. They do not harm or contaminate our environment. These bags will completely biodegrade at a similar rate to your home compost or within 60 days in a commercial compost system. We are also researching other viable products currently being developed in countries such as Indonesia, where once pristine forests and oceans are littered with plastic waste.
Consumers should be encouraged into using alternative reusable, biodegradable bags, not plastics which harm our planet. Where this is not possible, EN13432 certified bags should be provided at a cost to the consumer, the profits should be used to combat the ever-growing problem of plastics polluting our planet. It beggars belief that supermarkets still churn out billions of plastic bags each year.
I grew up being educated by the programmes of Sir David Attenborough. I want my children to grow up in a better, cleaner world. I want them to see a less polluted world, the world shown to us in the wildlife documentaries I've watched my entire life. I want them to see the campaigns fought and the positive results. I want them to see the wishes of Sir Attenborough and like minded people, yourselves included, come true.
This should be a common concern of all mankind.
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