We have to be honest and admit that plastic has its place in our society, I have recently been in urgent care, had an operation and disposable plastic items were used that helped me recover without further complications. Plastic weighs less, it is durable and perfectly suitable for some applications, however, it is unreasonable to continuously use new non-renewable resources when there is so much plastic about, and it is irresponsible to remain ignorant of or encourage overconsumption of single-use items as it is still done by some of the biggest and most influential companies in the world. More research and active participation should be done by some of the governments, including the UK government, to support public services, suppliers and manufacturers to improve the standards and systematic action that would encourage and support responsible consumption habits.
England’s NHS has got through more than half a billion disposable cups over the past five years, new figures show. Dr Sue Kinsey, senior pollution policy officer at the Marine Conservation Society, said: “If it really is an impossibility to wash cups, at the very least the service should move away from using polystyrene, which is not easily recyclable, and move to a system where cups are collected and recycled.”
I firmly believe staff/consumer education by public services and businesses, as well as incentives, are necessary to create a bigger and necessary change. IMPORTANT! The figures and facts about the waste created by the major establishments, their recycling policies and success rates should be much more transparent too.
Hospitals, Planes + Airports, Coffee Shops, Supermarkets you name it, unnecessary amount of plastic is used, and a lot of this is due to a lack of incentive or education about resource conservation. Each establishment should be held responsible for clear messages and incentives to educate and motivate the public to reduce their single-use throwaway habits. This is not only important in terms of preserving our environments, but also an overall more cost-effective option for the businesses too.
People are sitting in the most popular cafe's with disposable cups, instead of choosing mugs. Hospitals staff are bringing plastic cup, after cup of water where one is sufficient for re-fills. I dread to think how much waste is created during various flights alone, that is before we even think about the waste created in airports. I will proceed by writing to all of the establishments I have come across to find out what their recycling policies are. It is necessary to delve deeper and investigate how much waste is currently produced, how it is treated and how these public practices can be improved. The sooner, the better.