The problem of single-use plastics
Kimberly Lloyd-Rees discusses ways you can make your practice more sustainable.
The war on single-use plastics, to protect our environment and particularly the world’s oceans, had been gathering pace until the pandemic pushed it, along with many other global issues, out of the headlines.
As part of the wider discussion about climate change, single-use plastics are a talking point because we have come to rely on them so much, using them in large quantities, every day. From food wrapping to drinks bottles, plastic is everywhere and not all of it can be recycled. There has been progress, but slow progress. We can walk around any supermarket and still see examples of excessive food wrapping, which gets discarded as soon as we get home.
It isn’t just large pieces of plastic, which end up as landfill, incinerated waste or washing up on shorelines that are the problem, though. Plastic items can break down to microscopic sizes and these microplastics get embedded in sediment on the bottom of rivers and the sea.[i] Dealing with the plastic problem means starting at the source and being a more careful consumer. This includes working with companies who recognise the need to do more and are committed to conducting their operations in a socially responsible and ethical way.