ENVIRONMENT: Help reduce plastic waste

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Where are they now?

Do you ever wonder where they all go? Those countless items of plastic? A tooth brush you bought in 1993, the Optimus Prime your granny bought you for Christmas in 1985, the straw with which you drank your first cocktail, or the bottle of water you bought last Thursday?

And what about all those plastic bags?

Perhaps they have made their way to landfill where they will spend thousands of years before they finally decompose and disappear.

Or maybe some of it makes up part of an island of plastic floating around the Pacific Ocean.

You could even be drinking it — microplastic contamination has been found in tap water all over the world, including the UK.

In fact, a study from the University of Georgia in the United States says that humans have produced 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic since the 1950s, most of which now languishes in landfill or the natural environment.

The problem will only worsen as plastic production is set to double over the next 20 years, according to Greenpeace.

We don’t know the true impact of plastic on the environment or on our health, but it is time to act — if not for us, then for our children and their children.

The Green Party of England and Wales has long campaigned to protect our environment, which is so closely bound with our economic prosperity and our wellbeing, and has spoken out against plastic pollution.

Nationally the Green Party wants to introduce a bottle deposit scheme to end plastic waste.

And the Party has advocated moves to make disposable items like coffee cups recyclable and to introduce charges similar to those levied on plastic bags.

So what can we do more locally to make a difference?

We could move away from single use plastics, for example straws, and our communities could organise litter picks as the vegetation dies back to reveal the plastic in the hedgerows.

Perhaps we could also think about reducing the amount of plastic we will be using this Christmas.

There are lots of things we can do nationally, in the community and individually to protect our environment from the plastic waste that is poisoning our seas and land.

Look out for various events and give your support and together we can make a difference.

Wansbeck Green Party