Plastic Population

I’ve never been one for giving things up for lent. As soon as I try to resist chocolate, it consumes my thoughts and I’ve failed before I’ve barely begun.

But giving up plastic for lent? Yeah I could give that a go.

The problem that is plastic is ever present through the incredible tv documentaries such as Blue Planet and A Plastic Whale. We really cannot go on discarding single use plastic and not give a thought to what happens to it once we’ve put it in the bin. Even the stuff that makes it to the recycling centre can often not be recycled and it turns out the plastic we thought was biodegradable merely breaks up into micro-plastics which we are now undoubtedly consuming through the food chain.

The madwblog family have been trying to cut down on plastics for some time by taking the shopping bags to the supermarket, recycling effectively and reusing where we can but single use plastic permeates every part of our lives. Just think about the plastic in each room of your house. In your car. In your work place. It seems such an enormous beast to beat.

But as the old saying goes – how do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.

Reducing our reliance on single use plastic can be done in small progressive steps. Giving up one thing at a time leads to a change in habits which lasts. In the madwblog house we gave up buying sandwich bags first and invested in more reusable tubs to put our lunch items in. Next we stopped using bags to put fruit and veg in at the shops. Now we take canvas or string bags to carry the apples and oranges. We’re trying to remember to take a reusable cup out when we think we may make a coffee stop off and once all the liquid hand soap bottles are empty, we’re switching to bars of soap instead.

The Church of England have issued a program for lent to give up the plastics and it looks pretty doable. The madwblog household are going to give it a try and, unlike the battle with chocolate, if we can’t manage it all we will have managed some and we will have begun to defeat the plastic beast. And also unlike chocolate, we won’t be going back to using single use plastic once lent is over. It’s a win-win for us and the environment.

Lent begins on Wednesday 14 February and Madwblog will be reporting on #plasticfreeforlent throughout the 40 days. The Great British Spring Clean is on the weekend of 2-4 March when, as last year, there will be community litter picks in Clayhanger again over the weekend. Keep an eye on madwblog on Twitter (@madwblog) and Facebook for details.

Join in. Accept the challenge. Go #plasticfreeforlent.