'Our world can't wait ... so let's make a start today.'
Updated: May 22, 2020
Is plastic fantastic? Well, in many ways, yes… plastic has indirectly saved many lives – just think of plastic syringes, plastic water pipes or the plastic face visors that health care workers are currently using to protect against Covid-19.
Plastic is, however, also causing many problems for our world – plastic rubbish is harming our wildlife and polluting our natural world, and the production, transportation and disposal of plastic cause high levels of carbon emissions.
‘Our world can’t wait, so let’s make a start today’ – we need to think REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE - in that order. Your challenge this week is to REDUCE your use of plastic - ‘banish the clingfilm and plastic food bags’. Can you help your parent / carer think of ingenious ways to store left-over food without clingfilm and plastic food bags. You’ll need to be inventive – can you use a saucer to cover your leftovers, could you cover them with a clean tea-towel, can you re-use an ice-cream tub or jam jar? Can you make some wax cloth wraps? Try not to be tempted just to replace plastic with tinfoil – recycling aluminium is a very energy intensive process – with high carbon emissions.
For an extra challenge, can you help your parent/ carer next time they write their grocery shopping list, to choose items with less plastic packaging?
Don’t forget to HIT THE RED BUTTON when you have completed this challenge!
Plastics are having a detrimental effect on climate change – aside from the directly related carbon emissions, recent research suggests that microplastics (tiny fragments of plastic) are contaminating the plankton in the ocean, reducing the ability of the ocean to ‘store’ carbon. It is also becoming clear that as plastics degrade at the oceans’ surface they release methane and other greenhouse gases, making climate change worse.
RECYCLING is not the ideal solution, as the recycling process itself uses lots of energy - and 90% of plastics end up as pollution. REDUCING our use of plastic is the most effective way to reduce its impact on climate change and the wider environment. You may like to watch this TED ed talk which shows what happens to 3 different plastic bottles after they have been thrown away -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6xlNyWPpB8
Have fun thinking of inventive ways of storing your food and remember to HIT THE RED BUTTON!