With autumn just around the corner, it’s almost a year since Blue Planet II came on to our screens. And what a catalyst for change that one programme was. Showing us that devastating footage of an albatross killed by a plastic toothpick, a pilot whale calf killed by man-made chemicals, and the baby sperm whale with a plastic bucket in its mouth, the programme caused shockwaves across the nation. So much so that we have finally started to see real change happen, not just in the UK but across the globe.
Following the programme, the BBC announced its plan to ban single-use plastics by 2020. And that was just the start – company after company followed suit, from supermarkets to restaurants to hotels, the Queen banned plastic straws and bottles across the Royal estates, and, in April 2018, Theresa May announced a consultation into banning single-use plastics across the UK.
But, most impressive of all, almost a year later, the Blue Planet effect is still going strong. As individuals, we’re more interested in looking after the planet. Edible chopsticks have entered the market, as have straws made from dry pasta, and there is a huge emphasis now on buying reusable items. As businesses, we want to be sustainable in what we do. People are no longer switching off when they hear the word ‘recycling’, they are keen to get involved and do their bit. This is amazing, and something hugely positive to take away from this year – and, importantly, to take with us into 2019 and beyond. We need to continue the war on plastic, but we must aim even higher to create a sustainable future across all waste streams.
Recently, the media has suggested, as a nation, we’re confused about where our waste goes, and what happens once it gets there. By bringing this issue to light, the media has shown we need greater transparency across the UK waste disposal system. And transparency is great, as we can all then ensure waste is being disposed of responsibly, with the right materials getting to the right place in a sustainable way.
From plastic bottles to coffee cups, every waste material has its own individual journey to go on. And, as with all good journeys, it needs a few friends to join along the way. At Printwaste, we’re a big part of that, but we’re not the only ones that help waste get to the right place. Without you, and your businesses, we wouldn’t have any waste to collect. So your role is paramount to the journey – you are the beginning point, the first member of the relay race. And, as with all relay champions, it’s teamwork that wins the day. We need to work together, engaging and communicating with each other, to ensure your waste gets to the best destination it can for the environment. Together, we can maximise those recycling opportunities – and there are many.
Teamwork starts with you, the customer, and us, the waste management provider, working together effectively. And if everyone makes that same small step to work better together and dispose of waste more responsibly, imagine the difference we can make. In the words of David Attenborough himself, ‘It is one world. And it’s in our care. For the first time in the history of humanity, for the first time in 500 million years, one species has the future in the palm of its hands. I just hope he realises that that is the case.’
We do – this last year has shown we do. It’s time to build on the brilliant work we’ve all done so far, and keep protecting our planet, and the animals living on it.
If, after reading this, you’d like to review your business’ recycling practices, or rethink the way you’re disposing of waste, then get in touch with us on 01242 588600 or at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help.