disclosure: this is a paid partnership post
As a family of nature lovers I like to think that we are conscious of our environment and respect the world around us. My nine-year old son knows that leaving litter strewn across our pathways is wrong and often comments about people aren’t using the bins provided on our estate or taking their waste home. He’s grown up knowing that we recycle rubbish wherever possible and I thought we were doing quite a good job of that until recently. We’re taking the 1Change pledge with The Midcounties Co-operative and as part of the campaign we were asked to collect all the single-use plastics we accumulate in one week. It left us knowing that we need to do more to change our ways!
As we normally clear our waste every day into the relevant wheelie bins I don’t think we’ve really considered how much waste we’re collecting on a weekly basis. When the bins are collected it’s always our recycling bin that’s overflowing, so I think we’ve been a bit complacent on what we’re doing and we haven’t been as proactive as we could be to really reduce the amount of single-use plastics we are buying.
So every time we went to discard a bit of packaging my son and I checked the labelling together to see what could go straight in our recycling bin and what would be going in our 1Change bin for the week. My son soon realised that not all packaging even clearly shows you whether it can be recycled or not. He was amazed to see that while his apple juice bottle could be recycled everywhere, the cap might not be recycled depending on where you live (how did you know?) and that the film that covers the bottle telling us what’s inside can’t be recycled. One product, 3 issues.
For a child that drinks a lot of apple juice it was nice to hear him decide that he wanted to look at different bottle options, so that the whole thing can be recycled easily. Cling film is also something I’m guilty of using to wrap food packaging that been opened and to cover leftovers in the fridge. Friends have mention eco friendly wrap and that’s something we’re going to investigate here too.
We’ve already stopped using straws with the exception of the smoothie cartons my son has with his packed lunch once a week at school. We’re going to look at just decanting some smoothie from a standard bottle into a reusable water bottle going forward for that.
For quite some time we’ve had our fruit and vegetables supplied loose and seeing how full our 1Change bin has been, it’s made me realise how much more plastic there would have been included if we hadn’t already taken this route. My son and I both already use reusable water bottles for school and work so at least that’s one area where we know we’ve already made a difference, both to my pockets and the environment.
When we’re shopping we’re going to be making more of a conscious effort to look at the packaging of food before making our selection. Whilst we rarely ever buy ready meals, we do have a lot of fresh meat that comes in single-use plastic packaging.
Today sees the launch of the 1Change pledge campaign where 40 Co-op food stores across the Midcounties region will be providing information to help shoppers make informed purchasing decisions around single-use plastic. This can only be a good thing to help us all make better choices with clearer information. It’s a learning curve for me and one I really want my son to be actively involved with, after all, it’s his generation that will have to continue on with this challenge.
The Midcounties Co-operative wants to engage communities and schools as well as their own members to work towards sustainable cities and communities. They are focussed on protecting life on land and water by encouraging us all to reduce waste and single-use plastics.
They are aiming to work with 50 partner schools and establishments running the ‘Plastic is Not Fantastic’ campaign by 2022. They’ll also be working to ensure that their Co-operative Childcare Nurseries maintain eco school status.
As part of 1Change they will also be setting up hubs in each of their 20 regional communities to work with local community groups and authorities with the aim of ensuring single-use plastics can be used as a resource in line with circular economy practices by 2022. They have also pledged to eliminate plastic straws and cutlery from their food stores by 2020. It will be possible for us as customers to use our own containers when purchasing meat and items from delicatessen counters in their premium supermarkets from 2020.
Will you be joining us and making the 1Change pledge? Pop over to the challenge page to make your pledge of what you can do to make 1Change and join us in making a difference in the fight against single-use plastics.
disclosure: this is a paid partnership post with The Midcounties Co-operative