It’s the school summer holidays, and I’m using my extra time and energy to try and catch up with some jobs around the house, and also things I have been trying to get done for the plastics campaign for some time.
I have been going round the cafes in New Mills, asking for support for a scheme where you get your coffee or tea a bit cheaper if you take your own reusable cup in. In the UK, we buy 7.5 million disposable coffee cups every day. I have tried to imagine all those in one place and failed. That is every day, almost all going to land fill. Well every cafe I went into today was agreeable that you will get your coffee cheaper if you take your own cup. I haven’t been to them all yet, some bosses were on holiday, one cafe changes hands in a few weeks, one cafe was shut, but it was a positive and heartening response. So watch this space.
Next job is to try to work out a coordinated way of dealing with the recycling problems we have here in High Peak. For instance, we have spent months trying to find catering ware that can be composted in HPBC’s systems so that our street events and festivals can be greener, only to be told that HPBC will not collect commercial composting. I think we need to try to get all the interested parties together to try to exert some pressure with a concentrated joint effort. Or come up with an alternative, like composting our own food waste.
Another bit of the campaign that is going well is to get a chance to involve our young people. This is on hold for the holidays, but hopefully in September I will be able to drive this forward.
I am going to be spending some time in the middle of nowhere in a tent before I go back to school. This should give me a chance to write some of the blogs and articles for local groups that have been waiting to be done for weeks (or months.)
Last but not least, I have been try to think more holistically about plastic, that is, how our problem with the stuff sits with all our other serious difficulties, namely pollution and that huge one, climate change.
Each 500ml plastic drink drinks bottle takes an average of 83g of carbon to be made, filled and transported to the shop. At the rate of a million a minute round the world, that’s a lot of carbon, even if it’s only 1% -2% of the total. I haven’t even looked at the figures for coffee cups. This makes me feel even more strongly how ridiculous it is for us to be making anything for single use at all, ever. Convenience has got to go. Time to shape up.

Liz Longden

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