Yesterday i went to a talk about plastic and how we can get there in the city of Leeds. It was very informative and it was a bit of an ultimatum. I have been on my eco journey now for just over 7 months and at this point i was feeling confused about how to go about reducing my waste and seeing what alternatives are out there, without spending an insane amount of money.
There are many conflicting facts and advice so i wanted to hear from the people that are making the difference and meet like minded people. We had great talks from Plastic free roundhay, REAP, Waste not, refill, my plastic free year, plastic is rubbish, the Jar tree and ecobricks.
There were many facts and statistics that showed the amount of plastic that is being used and what had been ultimately dumped everywhere and anywhere. That was pretty disappointing! In the 110 years or so of having plastic in our lives its made a huge impact on us and our planet. I didn’t really know much about microplastics but even that shocked me to my core. The fact that i probably have those lil things in my body already fills me with dread.
It is great to see however that people are starting to open their eyes to the problem. I love that plastic free Roundhay are spreading the word about it and love that they are educating the younger generation to think very carefully about how we should be looking after our planet. Education about plastic and zero waste should be made a compulsory thing to learn and talk about and take action.
From the plastic is rubbish blog, We had the lovely Kate who has been on her zero waste journey since 2006. What an amazing lady! She stressed that you need to do it by steps and not all at once (that would be ridiculously expensive and also wasteful with the stuff you have currently that is plastic) She also stressed that plastic in some circumstances are beneficial, especially those that do not just have a single use. Plastic is everywhere so we might as well use them as much as we can. These include our mobiles, laptop, kitchen appliances etc. Some things i did not even consider had plastic in!
From The Jar tree, a zero waste shop that has opened in kirkgate market in Leeds only a few months ago, talked about the impact of plastic and how we can combat it. He also talked about peoples preconceptions when he started to change to better alternatives. (This i have already had to deal with, as i am sure a lot of you have!)
This woman from REFILL came and talked about the inspiring work that is going on across the whole country, encouraging shops, cafes, stations etc to be refill stations for tap water. Which is a massive achievement already! They have an app to show you where these refill stations are.
Lastly from Ecobricks, a recent thing that i have heard about that involves putting your plastics that cant be recycled; sweet wrappers, films on packaging for meet and ready meals , into plastic bottles and used to build numerous things such as benches, tables and other projects. This is something i feel is a wonderful idea! At least this way you know where your plastic is going.
It was stressed that this isn’t a long term solution and the idea behind it was to get people thinking about how much plastic you use each week and how many bottles you go through. In the past 2 weeks i have filled nearly three bottles, which sent dread into me! You can fit quite a lot of the plastic into the bottles and once filled they do feel nearly as heavy as a brick!
I could carry on talking about the wonderful speakers at the talk and the amount of things i found out (TEABAGS have plastic in them??) but i will save that for another time. The different organisations and people deserve their own blog piece. For now, here are the links to each one.
http://www.thejartree.co.uk -The jar tree is located in leeds
Find Roundhay environmental action plan (REAP) on facebook 🙂 (Leeds based)
The same goes for plastic free Roundhay (Leeds based)
Happy blogging everyone 🙂