Our Plastic Feedback

Plastic Free July 2019

The BBC showed a series hosted by Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall, 'War on Plastic'. 2 questions spring to mind? Why does everything need to be a war? And how would you go to war with a substance? I digress... The series was watched by millions of people. People all over the country were asked to take action at their local supermarkets, raising awareness and returning unnecessary plastic packaging.

So, all for a bit of national collaborative action, we announced a couple of Our Plastic Feedback events for Plastic Free July 2019. If they went well, we aspired to continue them around Swindon. It didn't turn out that way. Due to injury and a demanding workload with a life of its own, there has to date been only one Our Plastic Feedback event, at Sainsbury's in town.

2 people change the world!

Our stall outside Sainsbury's, covered in leaflets and props

This was not a well-attended event, there were 2 of us. However, 2 people can do a lot! 2 people can change the world! (That sounds like a line from Doctor Who!) One person can change the world; we each do every day through our actions, choices, words and deeds. So, Sue from Old Town and I talked with people outside of Sainsbury's. Sue is a Mother and Grandmother, and a Sainsbury's customer. She had never done this before so fair play to her for coming out to take part in an action with someone she hadn't met before.

Sue's note to Sainsbury's
Image credit

We had a good afternoon. We spent a couple of hours talking with Sainsbury's customers and people passing by. These events are helpful for finding out information and for passing it on. The two moments that stood out were:

  • Speaking with an old friend about his use of plastic water bottles for working out at the gym. He agreed to get a reusable bottle. Brilliant!
  • Sue spoke with a Sainsbury's representative, passed on the plastic that we had collected from customers along with a note that read 'I am a loyal Sainsbury's customer but I don't want your single-use plastic any more!! I will be looking elsewhere. Take plastic seriously!! We all have grandchildren.'

Plastic packaging in supermarkets continues to rise!

'Go plastic free now, Sainsbury's!'

Sainsbury's: Please note the concern from Sue, a Mother and Grandmother. Please note the number of exclamation marks she uses. This is a serious problem that you are not dealing with. Profit comes before people, it seems. Plastic may be cheap to transport goods but it's poisoning us.

I am not sure whether supermarkets could continue to exist as is without plastic as they would lose much of their competitive edge through price rises. Plastic packaging has recently increased in the most popular UK supermarkets according to a Greenpeace report.

Thanks so much to Sue for giving of herself to talk with the public and Sainsbury's, as well as for keeping me company. Steps towards ending plastic pollution...

We now regularly engage with the public.