The amount of plastic pollution making its way into the oceans, and the ways in which we can reduce it, are some of the most hotly discussed topics of the moment. Whilst making the move to a zero waste lifestyle is one answer to the problem, through constraints such as the higher cost of alternately sourced, packaging free products, and a lack of access to places that sell them, not everyone is able to do so. In these circumstances, recycling is the next best option. This is why the amount of non-recyclable plastic packaging found in supermarkets is such a problem, and why the #notourplasticproblem campaign has been organised.
From the cellophane bags that contain vegetables, through to yoghurt pot lids, crisp packets, and the film lids on ready meals, non-recyclable plastic can be found throughout the supermarket. Often this packaging is unnecessary – such as around fruits and vegetables with protective skins – or could be replaced by an eco-friendly, biodegradable alternative. Instead we have waste that makes its way into general bins, and from there into landfill sites.
Hello fellow #plastic #Warriors – we need to get the word out for returns to the #supermarket CEO’s on April 7th! Join https://t.co/5xgZRNT5AT and the events. Either post direct or take to customer services with a letter! #bethechange don’t pretend this is #notourplasticproblem
— @notourplasticproblem (@notourplasticp1) March 6, 2018
The #notourplasticproblem is a worldwide campaign intended to show supermarkets, and other retailers and manufacturers, that we will no longer accept non-recyclable plastic packaging, and that they need to make all of their packaging recyclable and less reliant on plastic. The group targets supermarkets and their suppliers with a monthly event – the next of which falls on April 7th 2018. As the group continues to grow, it will make an impact on a single day and demonstrate people power.
To join in with the campaign is easy. All you have to do is to take the non-recyclable plastic packaging that you’ve removed from products over the month back to the store it came from, or post it to the company CEO, accompanied by a letter explaining why you’ve done so.
If you’re unsure what to say in your letter, then here’s a template provided by the group.
Dear (Supermarket) CEO,
Please find enclosed the non-recyclable packaging that came with the items I bought at your (Branch name) store within the last month.
I personally would like to see a reduction in the amount of plastic and other non-recyclable materials being used unnecessarily by yourselves and your suppliers on the products that I buy from you.
This waste is your responsibility, as you are creating, and enabling others to create, a useless byproduct.
I want to see your processes change now. You should not need a change in legislation to force your hand.
I look forward to hearing about the plans to end this waste production in a timely manner.
The next return event day is on April 7th 2018, and will recur on the first Saturday of each month. Don’t forget to take a photo and share your plastic return on social media, along with the appropriate # for the offending supermarket.