What an amazing number of ecobricks were sent to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford to use in their school building projects! When I started my ecobrick I thought it would be really difficult to find enough plastic to fill a bottle, because I really didn’t think I used much. But saving it day by day has made me realise just how much single use plastic I was in fact putting in the bin.
Right on cue Tearfund has a new campaign out – and yes, it’s about plastic. So how about joining us on the next step – Taking the plastic pledge. Could you give up using just one plastic item for 40 days (e.g. June 1st to July 10th)?
They suggest you could
- Use a reusable coffee cup
- Use a reusable water bottle
- Buy loose veg and fruit
- Use bars of soap instead of liquid shower gel and hand wash
- Use solid shampoo instead of bottle shampoo (Lush sell them, if you are wondering)
or think of a suggestion yourself. Could you manage without clingfilm? Or wipes? (Strangely enough they contain plastic) or something else? Tell us about your ideas on our Facebook page (or get someone else to post it for you).
And sign the petition. It’s not all about individuals taking action – the companies who use plastic bottles need to take responsibility. Ask Coca-Cola, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever to halve the number of plastic items they sell, to take responsibility for recycling the plastic and to work with waste pickers to provide employment with dignity. Look on the church Facebook page, or the Tearfund website, to sign up.
Why is an Aid Agency getting into questions about plastic use?
Clare Lyons from Tearfund writes
I’m looking at a photo of Daiane Maria Da Silva, 23, who lives in Recife in Brazil, as she holds her young son in her arms. She looks up, smiling, but her words suggest that Daiane’s smile hides a rubbish situation.
Like many people living in poorer countries, Daiane doesn’t have regular waste collection from her home. To get rid of her rubbish, she is forced to burn it, discard it in waterways or live surrounded by it. Plastic bottles and packaging are a particular problem, as they release toxic pollutants and carbon emissions when burned, and block drains when they end up in waterways. This in turn causes flooding, and Daiane’s home often floods when the local river, the Tejipió, overflows. Dirty, discarded bottles float in the water, creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes and water-borne disease.
Daiane says: ‘When the river floods, everyone gets diarrhoea and sickness. Recently, I had to help my daughter who was vomiting. Almost everyone here has had dengue fever. I get very down but there is nothing I can do about it, because I don’t have anywhere else to go.’
Daiane says: ‘What I see most are mineral water bottles, fizzy bottles, mostly Coca-Cola, the type of bottles that are not returnable. If I could send a message to the companies, it would be to tell them to stop throwing rubbish our way.’
We can help Daiane and people like her by sending that message.