Last week I spent 20 minutes in the tea section of the supermarket looking for plastic free tea bags. That’s right! Tea bags are lined with plastic. Think how many you’ve put in your green waste bin, worm farm or compost over the years, sending plastic residues to soils, ingested by plants, birds and animals all the way up the food chain to your plate.
The tea bag is a small example of the difficulty we have in living plastic free.
In the lead up to a third ABC War on Waste Series, Woolworths announced it will phase out plastic straws, shopping bags and partner with RedCycle (as Coles already does), to repurpose soft plastics into outdoor furniture. Plastic wrapped fruit and veg is on the nose with the public, so that is the next challenge.
All in all, a good response to consumer pressure.
So why aren’t NSW politicians listening in equal measure when the risks to human and environmental health are so high? Why is there no NSW ban on plastic shopping bags like other states? Where are the policy frameworks to encourage a recycling industry across Australia, as in northern Europe? Why can’t recycling drive new manufacturing and market supply chains in regions like Goulburn?
The answer is simple. Unlike supermarkets, politicians are more likely to listen to lobbyists than the electorate. As election time looms so does the opportunity for citizen power. So lend your voice and your vote for a clean Australia. Go online to Planet Ark for info on what you can recycle: https://recyclingweek.planetark.org/recycling-info/