Plastic

By Biddy Collyer - 16 April 2018
A picture of plastic rubblish
Oh the joy of opening the front door before breakfast and picking up my milk bottle from the step. Then, pushing the foil cap down before removing it. As a post war baby this brings back so many memories and makes me feel good!

During Lent, as well as stopping listening to the radio, I decided to gather all my plastic together in a black bin bag to see how much I was dumping/recycling. I had already decided to go over to glass for as much as possible, so it could have been worse. But one whole bag full in a household of two! If I had to bury it in my own garden instead of landfill or other disposal methods, I would be much more careful.

David Attenborough’s “Blue Planet” finally woke everyone up to the enormous damage plastic is doing to our environment, but unless it brings about real change on an individual level, we will just have shed crocodile tears. Apparently, some young people can’t be bothered to sort out their household rubbish. Having had several lodgers who said they were concerned about the environment, then continued to leave lights on all over the house, I can believe it.

The BBC ran a feature during the news last Wednesday evening on the fact that milk deliveries in bottles were now increasing, but one woman said she knew that she should but couldn’t justify the increased cost. We have to stop looking at everything in terms of financial cost and look along the supply line backwards to production and forwards to disposal. We can’t afford not to.

I am blessed with a really good green grocer locally who wraps my fruit and vegetables in brown paper bags. Even cucumbers come without a plastic sleeve. It does take more time and effort not to just pop out to the supermarket and load a trolley with plastic wrapped goods, but if we are called to be stewards of creation, we don’t really have a choice.

Those early chapters of Genesis were written when people lived so much closer to the land. Adam was set to farm it, to look after the animals, the birds of the air and the fish of the sea. He lived intimately with them. We are now so far away from how and where our food is produced, that we have mostly lost touch with the land.

I was shocked to hear that our water systems are full of micro-plastics, so tiny that you can’t see them, but they will be ingested and so become part of our food chain. Not everyone can go over to milk bottles, but we can still make a difference by ditching the purchase of single use plastic whenever we can.

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