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Plastics in the ocean

(11 Posts)
moutonfou Tue 05-Dec-17 10:07:25

Recently there's been a huge hoohah about this - in Blue Planet, in the news today, etc.

I get that it's a massive problem but they never seem to tell us what we personally are meant to do about it. It's the manufacturers who wrap everything in 10 tonnes of plastic. It's the government who doesn't legislate against it. As I consumer, I recycle everything I can, I don't personally stand on the seafront chucking my plastic into the sea. What more am I meant to do?

I actually tried to do a plastic-free or low plastic shop in Tesco once and it was almost impossible. Even if you get loose produce from the butchers they wrap it in plastic. They've replaced the plastic bags for loose bakery products with paper bags with a plastic panel down the middle - so they aren't any better! Every single packaged product on the shelf seems to involve plastic. You can only get a very small range of staple fruit/veg as loose produce and the rest is packaged.

AIBU to think that beyond trying to shop sensibly and recycle, the onus has to be on the govt to legislate/shops to package things differently? Consumers only consume what's available to them...

ItchySeveredFoot Tue 05-Dec-17 10:11:24

I agree. Obviously it's important to recycle personally and there are ways to reduce our own use of plastic but you're right about it being difficult to avoid.

EatTheChocolateTeapot Tue 05-Dec-17 10:26:00

Most of the plastic that ends up in the oceans comes from a few very polluted rivers in the world. In the UK it mostly gets burried in landfills I think.
Not sure about the microbeads but that's a separate issue.

EatTheChocolateTeapot Tue 05-Dec-17 10:26:51

EatTheChocolateTeapot Tue 05-Dec-17 10:32:55

Oh, if you want fruits and veg that aren't wrapped in plastic, check out if they deliver veg box near you. It is a good compromise and you can often get organic or locally grown produce for less than if you were to buy them at the supermarket.

MrsU88 Tue 05-Dec-17 10:34:44

We just have to do what we can...every little helps in the big picture. But yes the gov and higher up (un, etc) should be doing more.

Small things include: reusable sanitary products, reusable straws, reusable drinks bottles and cups...and probably lots more around but switching one area can help.

bananasaregood Tue 05-Dec-17 10:54:35

This is interesting.

BahHumbygge Tue 05-Dec-17 10:59:13

Buy a set of reusable tableware... leakproof coffee flask, camping cutlery set, water bottle, stainless steel straw, cloth napkin etc and carry them round with you when you're likely to need food on the go.

Also get reusable mesh or voile produce bags for buying loose fruit & veg at the supermarket.

Leave as much packaging behind as you can at the supermarket on the packing shelf to send a message to the retailers.

Look out for shops where you can gets refills of stuff like washing up liquid, shampoo and conditioner.

Use bar soap instead of of shower gel... some posters on the S&B board were raving about the revelation that proper soap kept them fresher and less smelly than SG.

Try using bicarb as a deodorant - put a pea sized amount on the corner of a damp washcloth. Look for cardboard packaging obv.

Get a bamboo toothbrush - available online or health food stores.

Don't buy synthetic fabrics - when you wash them they shed microfibres that end up in the water system and oceans... far too small to filter out at the treatment works. Mend and care for your existing clothes.

Try to buy as much as you can from butchers, greengrocers and farmers' markets etc and cook from scratch simple meals.

fluffyowlagain Tue 05-Dec-17 11:07:29

I agree that companies and government could, and should, do more. Most butchers (including counters in supermarkets) and restaurants offering takeaways will put items in your reusable containers, rather than use their own if you ask them. It's a bit awkward at first, and takes planning to remember to have the right size with you, but it feels like a little victory!

yasmin05 Tue 05-Dec-17 11:10:40

We can never prevent plastics getting into the ocean but if we start recycling and segregating our garbage/wastes then it may be a small contribution but nonetheless we are making a difference.

LavenderTrug Tue 05-Dec-17 11:17:42

fluffy I do this too at supermarkets. The people who work behind the butchery and fish counter object like mad but they always give in. I walk away doing a little fist pump grin

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