Since BBC One launched the War on Plastic campaign led by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Anita Rani, people have been returning their plastic packaging to supermarkets to take a stand and compel our major supermarkets to help stop the damage that single-use plastics are doing to our environment.
The show encouraged shoppers to unwrap any plastic items at the till and return the packaging to the supermarket with a written note that included the hashtag #ourplasticfeedback.
Although that campaign has finished, many people are still returning unwanted plastic in person and by posting it all back to the supermarket where it was acquired.
This is a proposal to extend that campaign indefinitely. Here’s how…
Returning plastic to the supermarkets by post
Here’s how we suggest to do it…
- Clean the plastic containers and mark them with the #ourplasticfeedback
- Either crush or cut up the packaging to fit it in the envelope
- Adapt this letter template by adding your postal information
- Add the correct supermarket address to your letter from these options (or use one of these templates)
- Sign and enclose your letter in the envelope with the plastic, and post it.
What else we can do to help…
There are examples across the world that show us that alternatives to single-use plastics work. France has been plastic-free for a long time, but just look at how the Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, has declared that Italy plans to be a leader in making its economy more sustainable, giving Italian shoppers discounts at the checkout on products sold without packaging under measures proposed to reduce single-use plastic.
A Greenpeace report on supermarkets’ plastic packaging last year found that UK supermarkets were not moving fast enough to remove unnecessary and non-recyclable plastic. In view of the work being done elsewhere, it’s important that we put pressure on them to improve the situation in the UK.
Here are a few things we can do to help…
In addition to posting back our plastic packaging we should also send the supermarkets an email explaining why we are not shopping with them and what we would like to see in their supermarkets.
Lobby for the change we want to see
Encourage friends and families to lobby the supermarkets as well. If enough people start voicing their opinions and the supermarkets know that they will lose their customers if they don’t change, they will be forced to make changes.
Shop local and independent
There are so many local and independent retailers that are trying to do the right thing. In Milton Keynes we have My Refill Market and Camphill shop leading the way if offering food, drinks, shampoos, liquid washes and detergents sold from dispensers or in reusable containers. These shops are actively trying to reduce plastic waste and need our support to make their businesses work and enable them to expand. This, in turn, will enable more consumers to reduce their waste and ultimately make these products cheaper, and even create more financial incentives for other shops to offer products this way.
Try “Do It Yourself” (DIY) Products
Whether you want to say goodbye to plastic or reduce the toxic chemicals in your life, making your own products can give you complete control over the products you use. There are some great natural, zero waste products to purchase but making your own can save you money as well as allowing you to choose exactly what ingredients you use. Toiletries and cleaning products are a great place to start. Here are a few tips we found:
14 Zero Waste Essentials: Toiletries to DIY – Included in here you’ll find DIY recipes for toothpaste, perfume, deodorant, face mask, hair mask, beard oil, shampoo, conditioner and bath salts among other things.
5 DIY Cleaning Products – From washing-up liquid and detergent to multi-purpose and window cleaner.
40+ Easy Zero Waste Projects for the Home – Everything from eco-friendly bird feeders and makeup pads to kitchen sponge alternatives and lunch bags.