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How the 4 Rs could beat our packaging problems
There is increasing concern about the amount of single use plastic that goes into our recycling and black bags each week. For long term sustainability we have to move towards a circular economy.
In a sensible world, the household products we buy would come in re-useable and/or refillable and/or returnable containers. Going for these 4 Rs – Refusing, Reusing, Reducing and Recycling - would help slow down the speed at which we’re filling our plastic recycling sacks and have a positive effect on our environment.
How we can all help
We need to think bigger than just reusing plastic water bottles, stopping using plastic drinking straws and taking reusable bags to the supermarket. We need to be making more informed choices for a healthier future, not just for our planet but for our individual health and well-being too
Take the 4Rs pledge
REFUSE disposable plastic whenever and wherever possible. Choose items that are not packaged in plastic, and carry your own bags, containers and utensils.
REUSE durable, non-toxic straws, utensils, to-go containers, bottles, bags, and other everyday items. Choose glass, paper, stainless steel, wood, ceramic and bamboo over plastic.
REDUCE your plastic footprint. Cut down on your consumption of goods that contain excessive plastic packaging and parts. If it will leave behind plastic trash, don't buy it.
RECYCLE what you can’t refuse, reduce or reuse. Pay attention to the entire life cycle of items you bring into your life, from source to manufacturing to distribution to disposal.
Plastic Pollution Coalition is a growing global alliance of individuals, organisations, businesses, and policymakers working toward a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, animals, waterways, oceans, and the environment.
Visit https://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/ for more and to bring your pledge to life.
Milton Keynes resources
We are fortunate to have lots of good local examples to help us quit consuming single-use plastic in Milton Keynes. See below for our Transition Town MK list of solutions and contact us to help us keep adding to it.
And what happens to our waste? MK Council's Waste Recovery Park locates recycled items,and food and garden waste are composted into a low grade compost-like output. The non-recyclable items then go into an advanced thermal treatment which turns them into a fuel suitable to generate steam. This in turn drives a turbine, which creates electricity to feed into the national grid. Check out this link for a more detailed process map -
MK Waste recovery map.