ZELLA COMPTON: We don’t have time to wait for the government to take action on plastic

Zella is taking the war on plastic into her own hands
Zella is taking the war on plastic into her own hands
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A couple of years ago I started my own war on plastic, deciding – like you do – to live without it.

I didn’t last long.

Supermarkets (who aren’t that super), should employ someone to cook up their left-over bruised vegetables and serve soup to people as they come in, or deliver it to food banks

As it turned out, both myself and the family quickly realised the amount of food we could buy was seriously curtailed when plastic was removed from the equation.

So I allowed recyclable plastic into the mix, but even then it was really, really hard to shop.

I am embarrassed to say that I have lapsed further, but it’s never far from my mind.

I was super excited to hear the government introduce new plastic pledges last week, and then equally super gutted to hear the ridiculous statement that it’ll be enforced in a quarter of a century.

You’d have to be living with your head under a Styrofoam cup not to realise that 25 years is far too long.

If I had the power to change things, I’d certainly set far more ambitious targets than that.

I’d be looking at supermarkets and telling them they had three years – tops – to work out how all the small shops which they put out of business used to manage without plastic, just a couple of decades ago.

It was fine back then, so why has it all gone so wrong? Even Asda, whose ex-chief executive has warned about over-packaging dangers, is now selling tomatoes on the vine encased in plastic tombs. They were fine loose.

Supermarkets (who aren’t that super), should employ someone to cook up their left-over bruised vegetables and serve soup to people as they come in, or deliver it to food banks.

All hail Iceland, the shop not the country (though by all accounts that’s pretty awesome) and it’s pledge to get rid of plastic within five years.

Yes, it’s on it’s own products, but even so, every movement needs a leader.

All the other supermarkets need to get in line and follow suit.

And in the meantime, we can challenge the bar man who adds a straw to our drink, shop at local greengrocers and not put loose veg into plastic bags, and invest in reusable coffee cup.

Each time each of us challenges the use of plastic the closer we come to making a difference and showing the government that we’re not waiting for them to fuss and hedge around the difficulties of policy making.

If they don’t have the guts to make a difference, every one of us must do it instead.

NO MORE ‘UNIDENTIFIED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA’?

Amazon are set to open a new-style store in Seattle, one in which you go in, choose your goods, and leave.

The sensors and technology in the shop will, seemingly, automatically charge your cards for what you’ve picked up and taken.

The sensors can check what you’ve taken off a shelf, and put back, scanning you as you leave (I think).

I can imagine the milling around that will happen as people try to work out exactly what’s happening and whether they need to collect a receipt from anywhere.

It’s taken us years to become used to self service in supermarkets but I’m all for getting rid of dictatorial cash registers which tell me to bag things. Hooray!

OXFAM HIGHLIGHTS THE WORLD’S LOP-SIDED ECONOMY

If you’re a fan of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you’ll know 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything.

So it’s particularly galling that it is also the number of people who hold the same pot of wealth as the 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world’s population.

42 people are that rich. 42.

This figure has been disseminated by Oxfam, which regularly publishes figures about how lop-sided the world’s economy is. They show how it affects those of us who aren’t at the top of the chain.

Oxfam blames several factors, and laments the influence big business exerts on policy making.

Who knew that my old clothes had such sharp teeth?

Go Oxfam, hold governments and businesses to account, 3.7 billion people have your back.