Ban unnecessary plastic packaging of produce
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Plastic waste in the ocean is a growing concern, it is estimated that in 2010 4 to 12 million metric tons (Mt) of plastic waste was in the ocean. Marine birds are highly impacted upon by plastic pollution, it has been recorded that 44% of marine birds are known to ingest plastic, turtles are known to swallow plastic sheets mixed in with seaweed and floating plastic bags. Further to this is the risk of plastic breaking down into microplastics. Plastic pollution has now been identified in some of the most remote areas, with plastic fibres found in the stomachs of animals 11km below sea level. Further to this plastic has been found in fish, and tap water.
Unnecessary plastic packaging of produce has been highlighted as a growing concern, including the packaging of fruit and veg in plastic, and the availability of plastic bags to put loose produce in. Simple changes can help to alleviate the impact we are having on the environment:
- Replacing plastic bags with paper bags, although not sustainable will provide and alternative which will biodegrade.
- Providing incentives for people to use reusable fruit and veg bags/containers much like the introduction of the 5p carrier bag.
- Working with supermarkets marketing, in many supermarkets it is cheaper to buy more produce which is wrapped in plastic than loose, a common example of this is peppers.
It is our responsibility to ensure wildlife is protected from the waste which humans produce. The small changes outlined will make a large impact on the plastic waste we are producing.
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