The Start Of The Journey.
Written and published by me, Faith Brewin, Year 10 work experience student.
Here at PGS Training, we have done a lot of work towards protecting our environment and reducing our plastic output. We begun this adventure by thinking of ways to reduce plastic around the office, and so far we have blown our expectations out of the water.
So far, we have cut out our main use of plastic wallets, by removing them from delegate packs, and have started to replace these with recycled card. We have also purchased environmentally responsible pens made from vegetables, and stopped providing single use water bottles on our training courses.
We were approached by Helen Shaul, who helped us to turn our ideas into realities and make our office environmentally friendly, and we since received our Plastic Free Champions plaque on Monday 15 July 2019!
Pickmere Against Plastic
Pickmere Against Plastic begun 18 months ago with Helen Shaul, who read up on Aberporth gaining their plastic-free accreditation and focused on reducing household plastic locally up until March. Yet this was not enough for Helen, who wanted to go bigger.
She begun to aim for plastic-free accreditation in Pickmere only 5 months ago, and has already seen a massive local change whilst working along side businesses, and has applied for plastic free accreditation this week! So far 4 businesses have significantly reduced plastic use in Pickmere, including us at Proactive Gas Safety and 2 more companies are also striving to attain this award.
Yet it doesn’t stop there. Pickmere is one of roughly 550 communities striving to reach plastic free accreditation, with the help of charities like Surfers Against Sewage, the participation of the local council, and social groups we hope this can be achieved for everyone, not just us here in Pickmere. Surfers Against Sewage begun their campaign to reduce sewage waste in the oceans in the 1980s and have now turned their focus specifically to plastic, and begun the “plastic free” communities project, which started in the south and has worked its way all the way up to us in Pickmere!
Why We Need A Change.
By 2050, plastic producers wants to quadruple their plastic output. Already 300 million tonnes of plastic is produced globally each year, and if that figure were to even double, we could be saying goodbye to almost all of ocean residents.
As well as the impact on our wildlife, we simply do not have the infrastructure to cope with this big of a change. 50% of globally produced plastic is single use, and as plastic can only be recycled once this is a major global issue.
Only 9% of all plastic ever produced has been recycled, and only 12% has been burnt or incinerated, which leaves a total 79% of the worlds plastic lying around and polluting our planet and destroying our ecosystems. As well as this 10% of all oil is used for plastic production, and plastic is still made from fossil fuels, which are limited in resource and need to be savoured.
Every stage of plastics lifespan, from its first stages of production, to when its rotting away In a landfill, contributes to climate change.
However, plastic isn’t just effecting the planets health, its also effecting your personal health. Every single living person will have plastic particles or chemicals inside their body, as they are dispersed into the air, and absorbed into the food we eat and the drinks we drink.
One of the largest global plastic production sites is in Manchester, Texas, and for people living in surrounding areas this brings nothing but negativity. The chances of getting cancer in this area is shown to be 25% higher than the rest of the population, and that’s just one place .
When plastic is being sold to countries in the middle east, they are burning it for fuel uses, this has been shown to reduce the lifespan of the surrounding citizens. Most children don’t have grandparents due to early deaths, as well as this, they are awoken every day to the smell of burning plastic, which releases sulfur dioxide and dioxin. A toxic chemical.
It is of my personal opinion that this is no way of living, polluted oceans and health problems should not be where our standards are set and we need a change. We have litreally wrapped our planet in plastic and soon enough it will begin to efffect us in a more serious way. It is estimated that over 100 million marine life animals are killed every year due to plastic alone. Our ecosystems are dying and we can make a change, so why don’t we?
How You Can Help.
Helen says, that although seeing the movement and change around Pickmere against plastic pollution in the past 18 months, we need it everywhere, and we need more communities, businesses and residents to embark on a plastic free journey, alongside us at Proactive Gas Safety, Pickmere Against Plastic and Surfers Against Sewage.
You can do this by reducing your single use plastic usage. For example, shampoo bottles can be replaced with bars, drinks and water bottles can be reused, and plastic bags can be kept or switched to cloth! So join us, and make a change.