Coalition for the Reduction of Excessive Plastic Packaging
In the late 1990s, American oceanographer Charles Moore happened upon an area in the Pacific Ocean of what he described as a ‘plastic soup’… an enormous expanse of floating rubbish held in a vortex by the swirling currents off the coast of California, stretching almost to the islands of Japan. This floating dump has been found to be so vast that it is roughly the size of the United States. Please take just a moment to think about this… That is 1.79 MILLION square miles… of predominantly plastic rubbish.
Faced with so great an environmental disaster, what can we, as individuals, do about it? Sadly, the only option that seems to be available is to simply add to it… What’s just one more black plastic bin bag? Full of yet even more plastic carrier bags, plastic bottles, plastic food cartons, plastic containers…. all taking years to decay. Yet, we have no choice but to buy it, because that’s how things are packaged and sold to us… and so we must throw it ‘away’. (And where exactly is ‘Away’, anyhow? One has to presume that the seas and oceans of our planet- those vast and precious bodies of water that sustain all life upon this Earth; are a good ‘Away’ to a great many of us, unfortunately.)
So every week we put out another bin bag of rubbish, even when our hearts grieve over the damage that we are doing. (and a small note for those of you who innocently believe that your local council’s recycling scheme is properly disposing of all that plastic you so faithfully sort out for them every week…
Plastic is extremely costly and troublesome to recycle. For this reason, every year tonnes of our “recycled” rubbish is in fact exported to countries where there are far less stringent health and safety concerns for either the people who will be handling the waste, or for the resulting damage to the environment. Entire towns in China have been practically buried under mountains of rubbish from the West… their air choked with toxic fumes; the streams running black with poisons and acids. Over 82% of the children tested in the town of Guiyu for concentrations of lead in their blood had levels that were about that considered to be life-threatening.)
The purpose of this site is to encourage people to do something… however small, and seemingly futile that might be. It’s actually very simple- just send your plastic rubbish back from whence it came. The large supermarkets in the UK are amongst the biggest culprits when it comes to excessive plastic packaging, (starting with their carrier bags- over 17 million given away annually). The one item that appears the most often amongst their rubbish as that of the milk carton- one of CREPP’s aims is to bring about the return of the traditional-style cardboard carton; and to see cardboard trays replacing the plastic ones that fruit and veg are currently packaged in.
By simply sending back your washed and rinsed-out plastic containers, (please keep it clean! This is not the fault of the person employed to open the post) we hope to make the supermarket giants see that we will NOT be made to help them destroy this Earth in their quest for profit. It was the intention to place links leading to the customer services departments of the two leading supermarkets: however, these have proved to have been impossible to locate online. Therefore, here are the actual addresses to which you can post your plastic rubbish-
Tesco Customer Service
PO. Box 73 (or Freepost SC02298)
Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd.
It isn’t just these two who need to be made aware of our feelings on this matter- it is to be hoped that excessive plastic packaging might be returned to all retail suppliers. Yes, this unfortunately requires you to do something. Yes, you will need to find a box to put all the plastics in, and tape it up and address it, *(note… it is advised that you do not put your return address on it!)
Yes, it will cost a few £££ in postage: all of that in the photo above was about £3.50 to send. Yes, it’s a nuisance to wash and save all that plastic for a few weeks, (but actually seeing how much of it you accumulate within a short time is certainly eye-opening.) It CAN be possible for us to make a difference. Your Earth thanks you.
*(photo used by kind permission of private.benjamin)