The London assembly recently released a report on the menace that plastic waste poses to London city. The report concluded that the city is choking with unprecedented levels of plastic waste, chiefly waste water bottles that have become a common sight in the shores of the Thames, in parks, and other public places. So dire is the situation that London mayor Saddiq Khan pledged to handle the issue of waste plastic in the city, in his next environmental strategy. However, ridding our beautiful city of plastic waste is a collective responsibility. It’s not for the mayor or authorities alone to tackle; we too have a role to play towards realizing a cleaner, greener city. What ways can we contribute in towards clearing plastic waste in London?
The answer can be summed up in these 4 tips;
- Use less; a huge chunk of all the plastic waste consists of plastic water bottles, and those used for soft drinks like sodas. Most of these bottles were used just once, and then thrown away as soon as the water therein got finished. In order to avoid this, it is advisable to use less of these plastics where possible. Can you carry your own water from home; do you even need a plastic water bottle in the streets just to be seen to look cool? In any case, there are many modern water bottles that aren’t made of plastic.
- Reuse; if you have to buy these plastic water bottles, then for heaven sake try and reuse them before dumping! Rather than buying a new bottle each day, you can clean the previous one and use it to carry water for several days. Water bottles are meant to be reusable. You just need to clean them thoroughly after use, preferably with hot water so as to kill germs and bacteria.
- Recycling; Londoners also ought to embrace the culture of recycling. Rather than wait till the plastic bottles have piled up and started clogging drainages, we should have ways of recycling them. This can start at a household level; put all your plastic waste in one bin as you await clearance afterwards. Ensure that the waste clearance company you hire at home or in the office, has a history of recycling; a good company ought to suggest the nearest recycling plants to take such plastics.
- Government assistance; the menace posed by plastic water bottles in London calls for urgent measures by the city’s leadership. The mayor has already announced plans to build fresh water fountains and filling stations across the city. As such, residents with their own bottles can refill them rather than buying new water bottles. This will greatly help in reusing of older bottles. The culture of throwing away old bottles and readily buying new ones is one that should be discouraged.
Plastic waste is harmful and takes long to decompose. It suffocates the environment and litters parks. In order to rid London of this menace, we have to collectively come together and purpose that we want to live in a clean city. People who carelessly throw away plastics should be fined heavily as a warning to others. Companies that wrap goods for their customers in eco friendly wrappings, compared to polythene, should also be rewarded or exempted from paying certain taxes. The point is in encouraging a culture shift, where resident are rewarded for walking away from plastics and embracing greener packaging options. Also, only pick a waste clearance company that has a high recycling rate, and one that promises to help find a plant that can recycle all the plastic waste cleared from your premises.