Take the challenge: Cut out single use plastic this month. Single use plastics are a major problem for recycling, cause global heating and support the oil extraction industries.
Taking the PlasticPledge from Tearfund might help kick start your efforts.
Single use plastics are found in packaging, hygiene items and are especially common and unnecessary in film form on fresh food. – The Eco Tip for the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity from part of our Eco Church commitment.
Don’t feel despondent. Recognise the source of the crisis
It’s easy to feel despondent about ridding society of single use plastics. The mass of applications from straws, to nappies, through mechanical applications, to wraps on publications and food, and adult hygiene or incontinence products is so great that attacking them one at a time looks and feels overwhelming.
The trick is not to think about each individual use. Wherever single use plastics end up, more than 99% of them begin their life in the same place: drawn as coal or crude oil out of the depths of the earth. So all the acts you can take to cut fossil fuel will also make single use plastic production less economic. Win: Win. Arocha UK Climate Stewards programme can help you get started.
If we are going to rid the world of single use plastic which isn’t genuinely recyclable or biodegradable, our societies are going to be different. There is no hiding from that as the trade organisations explanation for what plastic ‘does’ in our supply chain shows.
We should recognise this feeling of being overwhelmed
As followers of God we should know this problem of feeling overwhelmed and distracted by ‘many things’. It’s the same problem which distracts us from prayer, which tells us that ‘just today’ we can neglect the daily life patterns of study and action which keep us centred as disciples of Jesus of Christ.
Ethics and a single use lifestyle
The good of God – which should be our compass in ethics – is to aid not injure our neighbours in their need. Indeed our responsibility extended beyond resuscitating them at the roadside – but with hard silver coin to pay for their recuperation. (The Bible, The Gospel of Luke 10.35). That obligation to aid not injure means we have to change our our single use lifestyle. Even single use plastics which are made from plants and biodegrade peacefully still need heat to make. That heats up the world, yet we throw what we have made away without a moments thought, and in doing so we we inflict even more suffering and pain on our global neighbours and siblings.
We are all made of the dust of the same earth.
We are all made of the dust of the earth. Yet it is our northern societies who stole heat, carbon and the march on the whole world to create a life entirely isolated from the earth. We are the ones who wounded the world by heating it to the point of crime. We have set the Garden ablaze. Global heating will rip fecundity from the middle latitudes of the earth. The Climate crisis will affect our islands too, but even those who are poorest in our society have so much more resilience than a subsistence farmer on the banks of the Nile or a pastoralist in the Sahel.