A review by Pat Sykes.
I went to my first meeting of the STOP (Stroud Opposed to Plastic Bags), recently. It was inspiring to be in a room with people enthusiastic about working together creatively to make Stroud, 'Plastic bag-free'. There are as many ideas as there are plastic bag problems and it's clear that it's not going to be easy. Great to hear from the youngest member of the 'team', James, whose eyes shone keenly as he enthused on how he thought he would reach his peer group in school with the 'no plastic' message. He's up for designing hand-drawn 'on-message' posters, to appeal to youth. We agreed on a list of priorities: -education, supermarket liaison (a key action to get them involved), press & publicity, research and volunteers came forward to help with each task. It would be so easy to let the enormity of the project prevent any action at all and team-work will spread the work-load and keep activists on board. It would be good to see more people getting involved as it 'hots' up… watch out for details of the official launch of the campaign.
I was heartened to hear on 'Costing The Earth' – BBC4, that Belgium is leading the way with mining landfills for valuable waste material that had been 'dumped' some time ago. I recommend readers to look up this project. There are UK partners, too, which is promising.
I've pledged to stop using plastic bags in my home both for shopping and for disposing of 'smelly' waste – like cooked food, in the black bag. I think there's a great hole in the general understanding about composts. Always helpful to ask others what they do... one lady flushes fish skin and bones down the toilet!
Better, of course, to adopt some home-composting practices – like small table top wormeries for cooked waste, which shouldn't go on compost heaps, I believe. I'm taking my compostables down to the community allotment I help with (run by Fair Shares- an amazing community group and more of this anon), and the 'smelly' remainder I can't recycle, till I get some worms I'm wrapping in newspaper for the time being. Can you do one small thing, this week, to reduce your dependency on plastic?