Three colleagues from Northumberland Wildlife Trust returned to work this week with a New Year’s resolution to live plastic-free for a month to demonstrate how reliant society has become on the material.
It is hoped that the efforts of Duncan Hutt, head of land management, Naomi Waite, conservation officer, and Aurelie Bohan, Living Seas officer, will also highlight the problem of plastic pollution and littering, and how plastics have entered the food chain by being ingested by marine life.
Ocean researchers have found microplastic particles smaller than five millimetres in size in nearly every litre of ocean water examined across the world; because they can resemble plankton, the particles are often ingested by small aquatic life and move up the food chain, accumulating in birds, sealife and humans.
Naomi said: “There is plastic in everything from clothes to travel tickets and it will prove how reliant we are on oil-based plastics, which are not sustainable.”
The goal of the three after the month end is to build on what they have learned to maintain a low plastic way of living and pass their experiences onto others.
So far they have had quite a lot of understanding from some of the smaller shops the trio have tried, but larger shops seem much less willing to comprehend why they should be interested in reducing plastic waste, which shows there is clearly a lot of work to be done and, so far, questions to packaging manufacturers have drawn a blank when questioned as to whether the product contains plastics or not – a simple enough question on the face of it.
You can read more about Naomi, Duncan and Aurelie’s experiences on their blog.