Consider alternatives to single-use plastics - environmental campaigner’s plea

PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 September 2020

Sarah Allen with her empty black bin. Ref exe 22 18TI 4419. Picture: Terry Ife

Sarah Allen with her empty black bin. Ref exe 22 18TI 4419. Picture: Terry Ife


In her latest column, Sarah Allen writes about how single-use plastics are being used more and more during the pandemic

Since the start of this pandemic, single-use plastic has been used more.

Of course, some of this has been necessary and life-saving such as medical PPE but lots is unnecessary and actually dangerous.

Hopefully, at some point, we will get through to the other side of this pandemic and the restrictions and safety measures in place will no longer be needed.

When we do, all the extra plastic will still be here! So, I urge you to consider the alternatives.

You don’t need a disposable mask, get a reusable one instead, I got mine from Heart and Soul.

Disposable masks contain plastic and cannot be recycled. They are used once and thrown away. If they get into the environment they break down into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic that people might then breathe in!

Plastic gloves are not necessary for the general public, in fact evidence suggests that plastic is one of the surfaces the virus can live on for the longest.

Good hand hygiene is, of course, needed but just with a bar soap, no need for plastic bottles of hand wash (the bottles can only be recycled a few times and the pumps can’t) and only use hand sanitiser when washing with soap is not an option.

If you want a takeaway coffee, reusable cups are safe (more than 100 scientists have said so). The Cabin, Sundowners and Costa in Exmouth and The Gingerbread House in Budleigh all accept reusable cups (let me know of any other places via my FB page

Disposable cups are plastic lined and cannot be recycled in kerbside collections. Used for 20 minutes then thrown away. If they enter the environment they can get blown into water ways and then break down releasing microplastics into the water. This plastic then enters the food chain.

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