Tesco - Let's see non-plastic water alternatives in your stores!

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Hello. We’re sisters Amy and Ella Meek and we’re 13 and 11 years old. Earlier this year, we founded our campaign Kids Against Plastic (inspired by the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development), urging UK supermarkets, like TESCO, to stock non-plastic water alternatives.

Why? Because every day, the Earth's valuable and depleting virgin non-renewable resources are used in the manufacture of single-plastic bottles that are filled with water for sale in our supermarkets.

These plastic bottles are having a catastrophic effect on the planet. Most single-use plastic bottles are probably only used for about 10 - 15 minutes before they are discarded, mainly indirectly into either landfill, incineration centres or into the environment.

Plastic bottles stay around on the planet FOREVER, and only break down into smaller pieces - 'microplastics' - instead of biodegrading (they’re fully man-made items).

These microplastics (and larger bottles as well, of course) often make their way into the oceans, where they float around absorbing harmful chemicals in the surrounding water. Then, they're mistaken for food and are eaten by sea creatures, and the toxins enter their bodies. We humans eat these fish, and… well, the toxins in the fish enter our blood streams and can mix up women’s hormones, and even cause cancer.

Alternatively, while being broken down, plastic bottle fragments and, more often, bottle tops are collected by birds that think they are food and are fed to young chicks. These poor, innocent birds then die an agonising death, starving with a full stomach. 

And yet, the bottled water companies try to cover up the effect their plastic bottles have on the planet. They like us to think that the bottles they make are made from recycled plastic, when they are not. Even the big players like Britvic (who make water such as Drench and Ballygowan) and Nestlé (Nestlé Water and Buxton Water) use zero post-consumer recycled PET plastic in their bottles. Every new bottle they make is made from new resources.

The 'Fully recyclable' logo we see on bottles is a red herring, because most bottles don't even make it to a plastic recycling centre. Those that do often don't actually get recycled into new bottles (it's too expensive), but 'down cycled' into lower grade plastic products like fleeces and carpets. 

To top all this off, plastic bottles are practically unnecessary, since we live in a country where the tap water is mostly safe to drink.

Worse still, any environmentally conscious consumers wanting to purchase packaged water from shops and supermarkets, we are not even given the option to make environmentally responsible choices. That’s right: non of the main supermarket chains currently widely stock non-plastic bottled water alternatives, despite the fact that there are a growing number of reputable sources available: Vivid Water in a Box, Aquapax, CanO Water and Ugly Water (to name a few). Instead, their shelves are full of row upon row of single-use plastic bottles. 

If the supermarkets like TESCO give us more choices to buy non-plastic bottled water alternatives (such as cartons, boxes or cans) then we will see a win-win situation -- we will benefit as consumers, and the Earth will benefit from a reduction in the use and abuse of single-use plastic bottles. 

This is why we must have the options to purchase environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic bottles. Please don’t leave us – the future generation – with a problem on our hands that it’s too late to fix. Make Tesco change now. Please sign our petition and share with other like-minded people, and together we can make a difference. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and thanks for caring.

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