... and confusing labelling.
Looking at the picture above, it truly looks like a battlefield, with "dead" bodies lying all around.
According to a recent report, every single minute of every single day a truckload of plastic is finding its way to our ocean. Imagine a collection truck emptying its content on every beach of the world every single day.
Plastic waste from the UK was actually collected on the beaches of Malaysia.
The main problem with single-use plastic is that it is used only once and takes hundreds (even thousands) of years to decompose. All the while contaminating our food, cosmetics and personal care produts, and a myriad of toxic chemicals are accumulating in our bodies (and in nature), many of which are endocrine disruptors and wrecking havoc inside our bodies every single day of our lives.
The other problem with plastic is that it ends up in landfill, discarded in the streets, or blown into our rivers and polluting our oceans and killing animals the world around. There is not one place on the globe were plastic cannot be found.
I have renounced to order food online because some stores continue to distribute their produce in plastic bags. I do not understand that in our day and age, that is not punishable by law. Supermarkets are the number one source of the problem by driving the manufacture of plastic and generating million of tonnes of plastic every year and unacceptable waste.
Some stores collect plastic bags; however, since the beginning of the year and the COVID-PLANDEMIC, none of the major stores accept plastic bag returns. That is because viruses are believed to remain on plastic for over 3 days.
Thre report says people are hungry for change.
I'm afraid to say, people have never asked for plastic. Plastic-wrapped food was a creation of the supermarkets to give consumers convenience. As we have learned over the last decades, convenience always comes with a price and when it comes to plastic the cost is dear indeed, and we will continue to pay for it in many centuries to come.
Again, manufacturers are abusing our trust by applying labels that are irrelevant or not accurate. In other terms they are legally lying to us on a wide scale, like they do with many of the questionable ingredients they use in manufacturing and their safety.
For example, widely recycled does not mean widely recyclable.
"Widely recycled" means that it is collected by over 75% of local authorities. Which, in other terms, means that if you put it in your recycling bin it will be collected in over 75% of councils. Other local authorities may not offer a recycling bin and so people are advised to bring their recylcing waste to a collection point or site.
Are also included, politicians and civil servants, which can abstain from recycling. Even the minister for the environment is allowed to not separate recyclable waste from household waste, as revealed in a documentary on recycling. High-rise building and large residences often do not offer recyclable wase bins and so people bin everything with their general waste, which, more often than not, ends up in landfill.
This logo doesn't mean recyclable.
The above logo was designed to bring confusion. Actually, almost half of those surveyed thought that this symbol (a circle of two intertwined arrows) meant that the product is recyclable, when it actually means that the manufacturer has paid into a scheme that supports recyclable packaging and systems.
This is the perfect example of misleading arguments, in the like of companies claiming to be carbon-neutral, when in fact still contribute to CO2 emissions — but plant trees to feel better about themselves and pretend to be something they are not. A polluting site in the UK planting some trees in Indonesia, for example, can claim to have a neutral carbon footprint on the label of produce sold in the UK.
What the company does, in fact, is simply "offsetting their emissions," which defintely is not the same as being carbon-neutral (they should not emit CO2 as part of running their site).
Unfortunatly, every home and industries emit CO2 or participate in the emission of CO2, either by using utilities (or fossil fuels to run their site), manufactured products (paper, printers, ink cartdidges, fridges, ovens, microwaves, carrousels/conveyer belts, cardboards and all types of wrappers), and produce that has been shipped from allover the world (think kerosane-ran planes and ships, trucks and cars).
So while you see the above logo and think that the company cares about the environment, this company is actually using your money (with which you buy their products) to pay into a scheme for recyclable packaging — so that you are tricked to believe they do care.
Shame stores and supermarkets by bringing back pointless plastic to their stores. #ourplasticfeedback
So, which part of our lives is plastic not taking over?
The truth is, none!
Plastic is ubiquitous in the environment and in our lives, and in our bodies.
Plastic leaches from plastic contenants and single-use wrappers, including plastic water/drink bottles, soaps, shampoos and lotions bottles/jars, from the take away box/sandwich box/cup/lid of food/tea/coffee and the BPA-lined tins and stainless steal flasks, and tea bags (it has been known for decades that tea bags are made of platic), from our clothes and our shoes, from the plastic components of car interiors (releasing fumes generated by heat and sunlight), like dashboards/seat covers (dipped in extremely toxic scotchguard/fire retardant treatments), from the store and credit card receipts (lined with BPA) to the suppermarket platic bags, from the vinyl flooring to the PVC window/door frames and shutters (also containing titanium dioxide to prevent discolouring due to sun exposure), and for those who chew on their plastic pens (including children and teenagers, students and office workers), and every time you apply nail varnish, foundations (liquids or powders; plastic helps to fix the lotion/powder/etc. by melting on the skin) or lipstick.
As you can see, plastic is everywhere.
I am not mentioning here the billions of pastic bags used in nurseries everywhere in the world to grow food, plants and trees, plastic that is not recyclable because these single-use bags are usually soiled and shown to contain excessive levels of petrochemical derivatives (e.g. extremely toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilisers), which makes these an environmental disaster.
When it comes to plastic, one of the main problem we face is unrecyclable single-use products that we use on a regular basis.
For example, the multi-billion pounds sandwich industry is selling over 6 million (6,000,000) sadnwich a day!!!!
The industry is using clever logos to incite consumers to buy their products, while bringing confusion and pretending to be something it is not, as explained already. Which also include believed-to-be ethical stores like Waitrose, Wholefoods and Planet Organic.
Sandwich wrappers are not recylcable.
One of the presenters of the documentary said: "The industry is very nervous about this subject [single-use sandwich wrapper]," and were against the documentary altogether. This really shows how the food industry is playing all possible cards to keep us in the dark, in the same way the tobbacco industry did for decades, and the dairy industry and the pharmaceutical empire are still doing today, by lying to us and preventing information to reach the masses. The other problem is we just don't know it all. And we probably ever will.
What do you do with the sandwich wrapped once you finish it?
Do you bin in or put it in the recyclable bin?
Well, often contaminated with food (most particularly fat. e.g. oil, sauce and dressings), sandwich wrappers have become unrecyclable. Also, the plastic-lined wrapper is made of 'superglued' plastic layers on both side of a paper sheet (including the plastic window on the outside). It is physically impossible to separate the plastic layers from the paper. (watch https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000m82c/war-on-plastic-with-hugh-and-anita-the-fight-goes-on at 7;10 minutes)
So the logo "Widely Recyclable", is not only misleading, it is not true.
So, what about the other bold claims the industry and supermarkets are making about reducing and recycling plastic and doing the right things.
Well, they're all probably lying about that too. Because legally they can get away with just about everything (thanks for lobbying government and institutions in place to protect us, consumers, and human beings), there is nothing stopping them from lying to us... But,
Tesco has anounced it will remove 1 BILLION pieces of plastic from their UK stores by the end of 2020 (that brings the estimates of BILLION of billions of single-use plastic used in all tesco stores around the world, also found in many places across Asia).
Waitrose and Morrisons have claimed they will remove all non-recyclable black plastic from their own brand of food and drink packaging.
Sainsbury's was also proud to announce that it intends to reduce its use of plastic packaging by 50% by 2025.
However, this means that amount of single-use plasic used by the food industry is truly MASSIVE!!!!
In fact, over 50% of all plastic produce each year is for single-use packaging.
So, whatever shops are promising to do, it's not enough. It's just a drop in a polluted ocean.
There are also 100 million tea bags used daily in the UK to make our warm cup of tea.
Most tea bags do not degrade over time (they are not biodegradable) because they contain plastic. They may take many centuries to decompose. Twinnings, Tetley and Yorkshire tea are the worse culprits with an entire plastic skeleton that is non-biodegradable, hidden inside the paper layer. It is estimated that these tea bags will remain in the environment for thousands of years because they all contain a plastic called polypropylene (a byprodyct from the refining of gasoline).
Worse, some companies sell their teas in individual 100% plastic teabags. These robust (often pyramid-shaped) tea bags are shown to "break" under heat (hot water), each tea bag releasing an average of 11 million microplastics and 3 million nanoplastics (able to cross cell membrane and accumulate inside cells and inside the brain). These type of plastic tea bags are used by most coffee/tea shops (including Starbucks, which by the way is fully aware of the problem as the report goes on to show, but unprepared to make changes. Starbucks is the biggest company in the world selling the most hot drinks). Because the tea bags are more resistents, it helps companies managing cost/waste.
The effect on health is yet unknown because manufacturers are allowed to produce plastic (by using extremely toxic substances) and use it as they please without informing the authorities about its composition, making it recyclable or safe for human (or nature)
The average shopping basket of around £70.00 results in about 107 single-use plastic items.
The biggest culprits: milk bottles and snacks (e.g. bar wrappers, crisps bags, and confectionary sachets), as well as pet food pouches.
But, it is virtually impossible to find plastic-free fruits and vegetables. One of the leading supermarkets has said that cucumber sold without plastic doesn't keep fresh for long and so plastic is "essential".
how to reduce single-use plastic in your home?
By being more responsible consumers, you could also save over £20 a week on your grocery, household products and cosmetics, by buying in bulk and/or making your own.
For a large family on a budget, this is not negligeable. That could be money well-spent on a family holiday on a pastic-free beach!
It is time to make a change and make a change for good and shame big stores and supermarkets for their direct implication in polluting our rivers and our oceans and damaging our health, and killing nature at a faster pace than ever in the history of mankind.
The proposed new On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) is much clearer and so less confusing.
What the changes mean:
Under the previous system, packaging was divided into three subgroups: ‘widely recycled’ (collected by 75% or more of councils at the kerbside); ‘check local recycling’; and, ‘not currently recycled’ (collected by less than 20%).
Anti-incineration campaigner and national co-ordinator of the UK Without Incineration Network (UKWIN), Schlomo Dowen, described the new system as “terrible”. Explaining: “It is not clear exactly how this is going to promote recycling. There are items which for example can be recycled by 45% of authorities which will be marked as not recyclable and will end up in the wrong bin.
He concluded: “There is a danger that local authorities will reduce rather than extend the range of material they collect based on this arbitrary system.”
As always, it seems that there is good and bad in every inititiative but it is at us — consumers — to make a difference by buying more responsibly and avoiding single-use plastic as best as possible.
But we must do more.
Phil Hadfield, environmental projects officer at Newark & Sherwood district council, raised concerns that the new OPRL labelling scheme could increase contamination. Because most households do not rinse single-use plastic or polystyrene food trays and so contaminate the entire load of recyclable materials in their recycling bin. Multiplied by thousands of collections, vast amounts of contaminated of otherwise recyclable material is either sent to landfill or incinerated, polluting the environment and a major contributor of CO2 emissions.
Phil Hadfield commented on the OPRL new labelling scheme: “We have a problem with contamination generally and if people think they can put mixed trays in then our contamination rates will go up.”
Did you know that in Switzerland you must "clean" your recyclable waste. If material is found to be contaminated, waste is not collected and you may be fined. After the third attempt, local authorities will no longer collect your waste. Period!
Do you think the UK and other countries should follow suit?
Brother and Sister, Anne and Olivier have created this blog to inspire you to care for the planet. They believe it is possible to be closer to nature and still live in a modern world.