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Blog 6th March: Lent Without Plastic at The Deanery

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Lent without Plastic at the Deanery...

A blog by the Dean & Mrs Waine (Stephen and Lizzie) who are trying to live without single-use plastic at the Deanery during Lent.

Tuesday 6th March - day 20

Plastic wrapped items
Plastic wrapped items

Well 40 days and 40 nights, so we're half way - but to go through to Easter morning we have 25 days left in our attempt to live without single-use plastic during Lent.  But it's a good point to take stock and guesstimate how much, or hopefully how little, plastic we have used and what we've achieved to improve our impact on this world.

In addition to what we have already talked about in previous blogs, the items which were wrapped in plastic over the past few days have amounted to what you see in the photo on the left.

However, out of that little pile the only ones not recyclable are the black dish and the red shortbread wrapper (one of us weakened at the freebies on offer...).  The other containers are P01 (recyclable) and the bag has already been put to good use - storing spaghetti.  We feel a little despondent over the items, but it is proving more of a challenge than we ever believed.  On the plus side, contrary to our original thoughts, it is cheaper to go plastic free!  The fridge constantly looks bare, the crisp cupboard is empty (we will not wobble) but we don't waste anything.  Our black bin this morning was only one third full after two weeks, instead of spilling over.

A few shocking facts - a million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number will jump another 20% by 2021, creating an environmental crisis some campaigners predict will be as serious as climate change.  So that demand is equivalent to about 20,000 bottles being bought every second, and apparently its driven by our insatiable desire for bottled water and the spread of an urbanised "on the go" culture.

Most plastic bottles used for soft drinks and water are made from polyethylene terephthalate (Pet), which is highly recyclable.  But as their use soars across the globe, efforts to collect and recycle the bottles to keep them from polluting the oceans, fails to keep up.

Taking the latest statistics we could find (2017) the average UK household throws away 40kg of plastic per year, or for Lent approximately 4.38kg.  We are going to have a weigh in at the end of Lent - we will include all of the plastic we shall be recycling from purchases made before Lent in addition to pieces we've bought during Lent.

Whilst the link below is a company selling bins, they have a handy recycling facts page for those who are interested in statistics (click here for link).

Nurdles
Nurdles

Nurdles are tiny plastic pellets used as raw material for almost every plastic product on earth.  An estimated 113 billion kilograms of nurdles are produced every year.  The extensive spillage of these pellets during transport on ships, trains and trucks has become a massive environmental problem.  Campaigners estimate that up to 53 billion pellets escape into the UK's environment each year.  Prompted by the recent news of record levels of these nurdles being washed up on UK beaches (127,500 were found on a 100m stretch of beach in Cornwall alone) we're off to West Wittering on our next day off to see for ourselves.  To get involved with your own beach clean, this link is good - click here.

Putting loo rolls to good use!
Putting loo rolls to good use!

On a positive note, the loo rolls are now being put to good use...

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