Sunday, 3 March 2013

Pondering on Plastic

Friday was Transition Stratford's monthly Film Friday and this month we watched the wonderful Clean Bin Project about a Canadian couple who challenged each other to live for a year without producing any waste. This funny but thoughtful film provoked much discussion and gave me plenty to think about as I plan this month's shopping list. The stand out comment for me came when Grant was questioning the validity of what they were doing but Jen pointed out that so many of the current environmental problems - The Big Things - Global Warming; Peak Oil; Air Pollution; even I suspect Famine and World Hunger - would be sorted or at least reduced if only we could cut down on over consumption and by extension waste.

Plastic- What do you do with yours?
Underlining this was a feature mid-film about the plastic island in the middle of the Pacific and the alarming rate at which Albatrosses which nest on Midway Island are bringing it ashore - plastic floating in the water looks like food to an albatross and other sea life you see - and even more alarmingly they are feeding it to their young and killing them. If you want to know more about this and see some heart wrenching photos of plastic-choked skeletons then head over to the Chris Jordan website. To be honest even if you don't want to see the photos you really should try to look at them, but be warned they aren't pretty. Chris helped produce the Journey to Midway film which sought to highlight the problems being caused by human waste in an area about as far away from human habitation as you can get and still be on the planet.

For those of us in the UK wanting to know more about reducing the waste we generate by changing the way we shop the team over at The Rubbish Diet Blog have plenty of ideas. If you are up to it they have issued the Rubbish Diet Challenge and our own Transition group will be re-issuing the Plastic Challenge later in the year.

The overriding message for this weekend is that if we use it we need to take more responsibility for it and that brings me back to the old environmentalist mantra - Reduce, Reuse, Repair & Recycle - and whilst Recycle gets all the headlines the most important of these by far has to be Reduce.

So it looks like there is no hiding place for me - time to look at that bin and revisit the shopping list. Will you do the same?


  1. Horrible photos sigh. I suppose the answer is to avoid plastic, but we eat yoghurt, we eat things as much as I try not to! that have some form sometimes of plastic packaging.
    I showed the smalls the photos and it made them very sad and angry, I said this is why people must never litter, but then have all these come from litter? or escaped from the bins as such?hard to know isnt it.
    I sometimes think the world would be a better place if choice almost vanished.... if all we had to eat was turnips and kale there wouldnt be these problems on this scale would there....
    GTM x x

  2. You're right. Even when I'mm being good it's frightening how much rubbish comes into the house - especially as try to buy organic and that all comes wrapped - need a good growing year and then the fruit/veg buying is minimal.


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