Single use plastics have found their way into every part of our life, they are easily disposable, pervasive and carry long term environmental consequences. It’s almost impossible to really understand how a bag, tray, straw, water bottle or toothbrush could out live us and carry on damaging the natural world, but this is the legacy we are leaving.
We produce roughly 30 million tonnes of waste each year and at our best only 50% of bottles are recycled. The Four R’s pledge helps you, the consumer, make a difference and sends a clear message to companies about what is acceptable.
REFUSE: ‘No straw, please’. When given single use plastic give it back. Try to buy items that are not packaged in plastic and carry your own bags. New habits are easy to form and make a huge difference.
REUSE: Glass, paper, wood, ceramic or bamboo are all universally recyclable or degradable. Bamboo toothbrushes, for instance, are available from health food shops and can be composted when you’ve finished with them!
RECYCLE: Visit Cardiff Council’s A – Z of recycling and be a keen recycler. Removing labels from jars and tins or separating different kinds of plastic helps recycling centres be more efficient in processing and recycling your waste.
REDUCE: Recycling can only do so much, single use plastics are made from fossil fuels and have a huge carbon footprint accounting for just under a third of global emissions.
Remember your waste has a future after you bin it!
Over 100 URC’s have now registered for the Eco Church scheme, as well as there being 29 URC congregations participating in Eco-Congregation in Scotland. These two programmes are an excellent way for churches to be supported on an intentional journey of reflecting and acting on their environmental responsibilities.
Visit the URC’s Caring for Creation page to find out more