Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

Let’s reduce our plastic usage!!!

Let’s reduce our plastic usage!!!

Hello again!

Last week it was announced that Asda had opened their first-ever sustainability store in Leeds, offering a range of refillable stations for food, cleaning products and a whole host of recycling initiatives throughout the store. They are planning to use this store to test which elements are of most interest to their customers and roll the scheme out to more locations in 2021.

This gives Asda a competitive advantage and they have decided to launch their ‘Greener Asda Price’ scheme which promises items wrapped in plastic will never be cheaper than their unwrapped counterparts. Would you like to see this in more stores?

It is important that we reduce the demand for plastic packaged products in order to get other stores to become more sustainable. Stores will always change which products they provide in line with demand and customer needs in order to make a profit. Would you like to see this in more stores?

Assorted Plastic Bottles

Reasons to reduce plastic

David Katz delivered a TED Talk and in it, he said that the very last thing we need to do is clean the ocean. There is SO MUCH plastic entering the ocean every minute of every hour, each day. To explain why cleaning the ocean is the last thing we need to do, David uses an analogy of an overflowing sink: if your kitchen sink started overflowing with water, you wouldn’t start mopping the water off the floor…you would turn the tap off first! Therefore David is saying it doesn’t make much sense to clean the ocean from plastic until we have stopped allowing the plastic to enter the ocean at the source!

In 2018 it was estimated that there is already 150 million tonnes of plastic in the ocean. Most of this pollution comes from countries in poverty and David explains that if you’re living in poverty, your priority is not going to be recycling or considering where you get your supplies from. Therefore he created the plastic bank project!

The Plastic bank project encourages people living in poverty to collect plastic pollution and then they will be able to trade the plastic in his stores for things such as; school tuition, medical insurance, wifi, mobile phones, power, sustainable cooking fuel or high-efficiency stoves. This provides people in poverty with a steady, reliable source of income.

If we reduced our plastic usage then there wouldn’t be as much plastic pollution.

As I have spent more time trying to reduce my plastic usage, I have really noticed that plastic is NOT a necessity… we really can live without it, I think. Therefore, I really hope that more stores worldwide reduce their plastic packaging.

Consequences of plastic pollution

There are 2 main consequences of plastic pollution:

1. The marine life living in the ocean have to live amongst the plastic pollution we have created

2. The micro-plastics which are in the ocean are now in our food chain

Plastic Alternatives 

Deodorant – click here

Shampoo – click here

Toothbrush – click here

Dental floss – click here

Feminine sanitary products – click here

Shower mitt – click here

Cleaning sponges – click here

Clothing pegs – click here

The above products are just suggestions but there is most likely a plastic-free alternative for any item you can imagine. There are also cheaper versions of the above items, so just shop around!

I hope this has encouraged you to shop plastic-free!

Thanks for reading!

Charley x

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