To beat poverty and injustice, we need to tackle waste

Our world has a rubbish problem

Two billion people in the world’s poorest countries are living and working among piles of waste because their rubbish isn’t collected. That’s one in four people on the planet who are drinking polluted water, breathing toxic air and battling sickness. This causes up to a million deaths a year – and the waste mountains are growing.

Companies are making this worse by selling billions of single-use plastic products in countries where waste isn’t collected. They know full well that communities will have no choice but to live among this rubbish or burn it – which also contributes to climate change.

But this rubbish situation can change, if we act together.

It’s estimated that each of us in the UK throws away 4,000 pieces of plastic each year. Could you make a pledge to reduce your own plastic use? When we take action, we are valuing the world God has given us and following Jesus in loving our neighbours as ourselves.

Take the plastic pledge

Our Actions send a message

We can use our choices – as well as our voices – to urge decision-makers to make changes that will help people in poverty. Plastic waste and carbon emissions have a devastating impact on our global neighbours, contributing to pollution, disease and climate change. When we show by our actions that we want to live in a fairer and less wasteful world, we are caring for them and valuing what God has given us. And we are sending a powerful signal that we want decision-makers to act.

Could you give up using one type of single-use plastic for 40 days (or more!)?

Every time we choose not to buy a single-use plastic item (that’s items that are only intended to be used once), that’s one less thing in a landfill site, ocean or incinerator – or one less thing shipped overseas for another country to dispose of.

Plastic Free Lent Challenge (by Judith Cook)

At last month’s Mother’s Union meeting we had a talk on The 4 R’s, (that is Reducing, Reusing, Recycling and Reclaiming the energy) as they are applied to single use plastic. Here are some of our ideas to help you as you try to go plastic free for Lent.

When out shopping

  • Buy soap not liquid hand wash or shower gel
  • Don’t buy eggs in a plastic egg box
  • Buy cooking oil in a glass bottle
  • Buy mayo, tomato sauce etc in glass bottles
  • Don’t buy spready butter in plastic tubs
  • Try to buy fruit & veg loose, not packed in plastic bags
  • Don’t buy “over packaged” biscuits
  • As far as I know Weetabix is the only cereal wrapped in paper
  • Don’t buy soft drinks in plastic bottles
  • Buy powder in a cardboard box for washing your clothes
  • Buy a deodorant that’s in a glass bottle
  • Take your own container to buy meat & fish from the counter rather than buying pre-packed in plastic trays

Life Style Choices

  • Make your own yoghurt instead of buying it in plastic pots
  • Use a casserole dish with a lid instead of clingfilm, or use beeswax wraps instead to store food in the fridge
  • Use proper reusable containers to freeze food not single use plastic bags.
  • Avoid “Takeaways” most of which use lots of plastic
  • Use a refillable water bottle
  • Always keep a spare shopping bag in the car and a folding bag in your pocket or handbag
  • Don’t use WIPES!!!
  • Say no to plastic drinking straws
  • Say no to plastic red noses!
  • Get the menfolk in your family who shave to avoid using disposable razors (or grow a beard!)
  • Don’t buy gifts that have a lot of plastic packaging
  • Use PAPER gift wrap not plasticised
  • Avoid glitter on cards & gift wrap

Generally speaking, if it’s plastic think twice before buying it!

Obviously some of these suggestions are easier to implement than others, but remember, “every little helps!”