Wednesday 14th March 2018
The #PointlessPlastics campaign has been instrumental in raising awareness about our use of plastic, with some truly some outrageous examples brought to the fore. In the words of Barbie, plastic is fantastic, and despite the recent spate of criticism it does play a vital role in our daily lives. But #PointlessPlastics is all about demonstrating how we’ve come to abuse and overuse this material. Why is this a problem? Well as any watcher of the BBC’s Blue Planet 2 will understand, the predominance of plastic is having such negative impact of upon our planet, it is something we can’t ignore.
The #PointlessPlastics campaign was created by the Global Good Awards, in partnership with the sustainability consultancy Green Gumption. Their aim is to ‘highlight instances where plastics were completely pointless or could have easily been replaced with a more sustainable alternative’. They also wish ‘to praise where change has been made to reduce or improve plastic use’.
The campaign aims to put pressure on the whole supply chain, from manufacturer to consumer, and to reduce the use of single-use plastics. The hope is that pressure placed on actors in the supply chain will force a step change in plastic use by harnessing the power of social media. The campaign has been powerful and effective so far and we would encourage all our clients and readers to take part by snapping photos where they spot flagrant overuse of plastic packaging on their weekly shop.
Here is a roundup of our top ten pointless plastics:
1. Fruit and veg that already has a protective skin and is then turned into this:
Pro Tip – Always try to buy your fruit and veg loose, with no plastic packaging. Shops cater to consumers, so if we all stop buying fruit and veg wrapped in plastic, we can force shops to stop using it.
2. Straws, straws and more straws… oh and straws individually wrapped in plastic! This is also an example where paper could be used instead of plastic:
Pro Tip – If you must use a straw then buy a reusable one.
3. Unnecessary packaging (this was for a stainless-steel water bottle):
Pro Tip – if you receive items in unnecessary packaging call out the company you bought your item from to make a change. If we all start naming and shaming, manufacturers will have to start listening.
4. Even more unnecessary packaging, things do not need to be individually wrapped in plastic and then wrapped in plastic
5. Another example is individually wrapped products, such as sweets that are then re-wrapped.
Pro Tip – You shouldn’t be eating this many sweets anyway 😊
6. And another one. Grated cheese individually wrapped and then re-wrapped.
Pro Tip – Buy food from local markets, more often than not, food sold at markets is not wrapped and often better quality.
7. Teabags that come in a box and are then individually packaged.
Pro Tip – Buy yourself a tea strainer and start using loose tea instead. No more plastics needed for a cuppa!
8. Conjuring up as much hate as straws, the single-use water bottle.
Pro Tip - Always be prepared, take a water bottle with you and fill it up on the go. Water fountains are being introduced across London to encourage people to do this.
9. Hopefully a thing of the past but no one should be using plastic bags anymore.
Pro Tip – Always keep a reusable one in your bag/car so you are never stuck without a bag, saves you money too.
10. Along with plastic bottles, plastic bags, and straws we are hoping coffee cups will be a thing of the past in no time.
Pro Tip – PRET offer customers with their own reusable coffee mug a 50p discount on their coffee. If you buy a coffee a day you could save £182.50 a year. Ethical and economical.