October 5th 2015, the day the plastic bag fee came into effect in England. A great idea I thought, but am I ever going to remember to take my shopping bags with me when I go to the supermarket?
Here we are, 6 years later and my tote bags and bags for life are everywhere. They’re in the car, my bicycle basket, my handbag and even carefully folded and squeezed into my jacket pocket ‘just in case’. How quickly we adapt to these changes in our lifestyle.
Now climate change and the environment is at the forefront in the minds of campaigners, politicians and the caring public alike. Can we adapt our lifestyles with the huge changes that are required to save this planet for our children and grandchildren? Yes of course we can!
Every single thing we do, no matter how small, can make a difference. Here at New Sarum WI we have started a recycling initiative. At each monthly face-to-face meeting we bring along everyday items that can be recycled locally for charitable fundraising. These are passed on to collection volunteers within the group, who in turn drop them off as and when convenient to local community collection points. Examples of these items are crisp packets, cheese wrappers, disposable gloves, biscuit wrappers, tablet blister packs and many more. These items would otherwise just go into the landfill. Is there something your group could do along these lines? Check out social media and websites (nextdoor.co.uk, Facebook, Wiltshire Air Ambulance) for recycling/green initiatives. Perhaps your local school or scout/guide group is collecting items?
Something we have to bear in mind is that there is no point collecting crisp packets if we then have to drive our car 3 miles to the nearest drop off point! The positive action will then create a negative impact on the climate with our carbon emissions! Try and find something that suits your members and fits in with their lifestyle. Perhaps those cat food pouches can be dropped off at the local vets when your pet needs a check up, the pill blister packs could be left in the box at your local Superdrug when you collect your next prescription. Many of the big supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsburys and the Co-op now accept soft plastic food packaging for recycling (although this is not necessarily for charitable fundraising). The opportunities are out there for us. Let's get involved and make a difference!
- Submitted by Susan Luther, New Sarum WI