While not a zealot by any means, I must admit I was astonished to be given a plastic straw last week in a rather smart cocktail bar in London where, frankly, given the price of the cocktails, the use of another material would not have dented their profits one iota. And then, there is Marks & Spencer, who this week announced a downturn in turnover and the closure of many dozens of stores. This is the company who appeared to catch a growing mood and concern about what we are doing to the world with their ‘There is No Plan B’ campaign, which seems to now have been forgotten, just when it has come of its time and young people are responding to it. Have you looked at the amount of black plastic trays that M&S uses in its buffet food – I was horrified. No wonder people are going elsewhere. Top marks for Waitrose who are seeking to eliminate all non-recyclable plastic and go even further. The Government should introduce a very simple ban on such things, to make the plastics industry wake up and use their imagination, scientific invention and enterprise, while indeed other industries can find ways of replacing plastics altogether.
In the hot (or is it cool) fashion world of Carnaby Street in Soho in London, a pop-up has appeared: “Pass on Plastics” with its exterior and interior décor splattered with images of tiny plastic fragments. What is most worrying are the photographs by Tim Aitken which reveal that we are probably already eating plastic which has been digested by fish in the ocean. So much for the traditional fish supper or your lobster thermidore. So, are we polluting the oceans and then gently polluting ourselves? It sounds like a great plot for a Wagnerian opera, if it was not so serious.
Ten well-known celebrities from a variety of different worlds, including Bob Geldorf, Ronnie Woods, Kate Moss and Harry Kane, have joined forces to design a range of reusable (non-plastic) bottles, mugs and bags, all for sale with 25% of the proceeds going to environmental initiatives by Project O.
Sky have obviously realised that there is a commercial edge to this support and the one slightly uncomfortable side to the campaign is the quick connection to Sky packages on the website. Not very subtle, but perhaps such commercial partnerships are what is it takes to achieve change in the absence of political leadership.