Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
Plastic wrapping remains one of the things that the modern world cannot do without but while it plays an important role in the preservation of food, it is a huge problem as a waste product.
When perishable food has to travel a long way from plant to plate, it is necessary to wrap food to make sure it is still in good condition when it gets to the shop. For example, the life of a cucumber is extended from 3 to 15 days when wrapped in plastic. Always buy local produce, where possible, or grow your own!
Plastic carrier bags are great for carrying shopping but, again, cause all sorts of problems when thrown away. A dead whale was found earlier this year with its intestines blocked with plastic. There is a huge pool of marine litter in the Pacific Ocean but only 0.03% of it is made up of plastic bags. A much greater amount comes from food packaging such as the wrappers around food in supermarkets. There is a strong movement to reduce this packaging, supported in the main by the supermarkets.
At the recent Lib-Dem Party conference, Nick Clegg announced a charge for plastic bags, as there is in Wales and Northern Ireland that, hopefully, will lead to a reduction of use if it is implemented. For example, in Wales, plastic bag use has reduced by up to 96% in some retail sectors and the over £4 million of revenue has been passed on to various charities.
Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.