Protecting our planet against plastic

By Katrina Tweedie (From Seeds July/August 2021)

Katrina Tweedie offers ideas for the first five days of AUC’s Plastic-Free July. Other ideas will follow in AUC mailings.

Nick Fewings on Unsplash

1 July
Plastic assessment: make a quick note of any plastic in your ordinary bin and in your plastic recycling bin. Empty your plastic recycling bin. The aim is to keep it empty! Put your note somewhere visible so you can look back on it at the end of the month

2 July
Disentangling ourselves from the web of plastic waste is very challenging so let’s help each other. If you have any ideas or questions, email me at I will put them into Not Notices and other people could respond. For example, I can’t think of a way to get round the plastic bin liner we use, especially as we have an outside bin shared with the other three flats in the stair. Any suggestions?

3 July
The obvious (but easily forgotten):

  • take your own shopping bag
  • take your own coffee cup
  • take your own refillable water bottle

Put a reminder on the inside of your door/by your purse.
Watch the short video “Plastic-Free July – It’s as easy as this!” at

4 July
Only 9% of plastics from recycling bins are recycled. The remaining 91%:

  • is sent to poorer countries without proper regulated means of recycling it (but all plastic sent by the UK is certified as ‘recycled’)
  • is put into landfill where it leaches out causing environmental degradation, releasing methane and synthetic oestrogen
  • becomes litter, which kills animals, for example by strangulation or ingestion
  • disintegrates into microplastics, which are ingested by living creatures that are part of our food chain
  • is incinerated, a process which is carbon intensive, releasing toxins

AND plastic can only be recycled a limited number of times (most plastic between once and three times). So, my virtuous fleece made from recycled plastic solves nothing! Plastic will ALWAYS end up as waste.

Recycling plastic is not sustainable.

Watch “UK plastic waste being dumped and burned in Turkey” – a BBC video at

5 July
Psalm 104: 24 – 30

How many are your works, O Lord!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number – living things both large and small.
There the ships go to and fro,
and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

By 2050, we could have more plastic than fish (by weight) in the sea.