THE UK produces the most plastic per person in the entire world – yet one woman’s petition seeks to address the issue, and is gaining in popularity, as the British public continue to come to terms with our problem with pollution.
“The ubiquitous use of plastics has now brought us to a crisis where it all got out of hand” Lucy Galatolo, a passionate anti-plastic activist and author of the petition told VoteWatch.
“We have to take quick action to start weaning our society off using it so casually. One of the ways we fix this is by turning off ‘the plastic tap’.
“If we can avoid using single-use plastics where possible, we should. We are drowning in the stuff! Non-edible products like charging cables, stationery, toys, hardware, homeware… any kind of object you can really imagine (excluding medical and drugs) could easily NOT use plastic in their packaging, since none of these objects need protection from contamination/spoiling. Hence this use of plastics is non-essential.
“Many have asked me why we’ve explicitly left food products out of this petition. The reality is that plastic is essential as packaging for some food products.
“Surely, fruits and veg, in my opinion, could be freed of plastics from tomorrow, but a lot of other food products need it if we’re to sustain our convenient way of shopping.
“The food industry and supermarkets should continue researching a way out for plastics and making efforts to get rid of it ad-hoc, where possible, but I realise that there’s no benefit in campaigning for both and creating a dependency, as these industries have different challenges.
“Legislating for food is tricker because the packaging is so tightly linked to the safety of the product. In a way, the packaging is part of the product.
“If packaging changes, some recipes might need retesting and maybe even reformulating. So it seems legislation in this area is a few years away at least (shocking indeed). But since we have to act quickly to remove any unnecessary plastics, then let’s start with the stuff that should be simpler to change, so we can also learn from the experience.
“If we cannot nail this first step I wonder how many chances we actually have of removing plastics from packaging overall. In all honesty, if a country like the UK cannot succeed in removing plastics from these products, which don’t go off, don’t need to be kept hygienic etc, I don’t see how we’d ever tackle food.
“I also hope that this might inspire other countries and help to show them how it’s done.
“Plastics and pollution don’t care about borders. Eventually, all these changes must happen at a global level or they’d virtually be fruitless. Especially developing countries without the know-how and resources need concrete help from other democracies to be shown a way out of plastics. But we have to figure out how we do it ourselves first.