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Letter to the editor: what really happens to our recycling


Dear Editor,

Between May 16-22, Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic are running the Big Plastic Count, and members of Greenpeace Stroud Group are taking part.

This will be the UK’s biggest ever investigation into household plastic waste, and what really happens to our recycling.

We need to take much faster action to clean up the plastic pollution, which spoils the canal and its surrounding areas, harms our climate, nature and health.

This year, the government is starting to decide on legal targets to reduce plastic waste. Greenpeace Stroud volunteers want them to set a target to reduce single-use plastic by 50% by 2025 and ban dumping our waste onto other countries.

I’m tired of the amount of plastic I end up with every time I do a supermarket shop, which increasingly feels near impossible to avoid.

Why do bananas, for instance, need to be wrapped in plastic?! I also see so many plastic bottles and other pieces of plastic packaging all over the high street that people have dropped, or which have blown out of bins and recycling bags. Of course, people shouldn’t drop litter, but it’d be better if we didn’t create so much single-use plastic in the first place. If we could take our drinks bottles back to the shop and receive a small refund, there certainly would be far fewer dropped in Stratford Park.

Greenpeace volunteers have been taking action on plastic pollution for years, including handing back single-use plastic to supermarkets. Last weekend Stroud volunteers carried out a litter pick around the canal, collecting an absurd amount of rubbish, the vast majority of which was plastic packaging which should have been recycled, or even better, not produced in the first place. 

We, like lots of other Stroud residents, are trying to do our bit, and the Government, supermarkets and brands need to do theirs to cut plastic too. The demand for this is clearly there as a recent poll for Greenpeace UK by YouGov, shows that over 80% of people want targets to reduce plastic production yet supermarkets are still producing around 900,000 tonnes of plastic packaging every year.

Schools, community groups, businesses, local residents sign-up to join the Big Plastic Count:  thebigplasticcount.com/join-in 



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