Plastic Waste has suddenly become major UK news in the past few months or so. With Blue Planet 2 showcasing the damage plastic is causing to our oceans, China refusing to import other countries plastic to recycle leading to a backlog of waste in the UK, seeing how plastic is covering foreign beaches and discovering that our Tea Bags are made from up to 25% Plastic!
Who are GCL Products?
GCL are an environmentally concious company who manufacture and and import a great range of purely recycled and environmentally friendly building products for the groundworks, construction and landscaping sectors. We pride ourselves on being eco friendly and want to help spread awareness of the damage plastic waste is doing to our planet. If we all do our part we can save our oceans, wildlife and Earth from an early plastic polluted grave.
Blue Planet 2 & Coastal Plastic Pollution
In case you missed the fantastic Blue Planet 2, we suggest you watch it as soon as you have the chance. It offers an amazing look at the life in our oceans as well as the impact we as humans are having on them through plastic waste. Our polluting isn’t just affecting marine life, watch the below video to see how our thrown away plastic is sometimes ending up back in our bodies. Also read this BBC Article showing how plastic pollution was shown on Blue Planet 2.
Beaches and coastal areas around the world are suffering at the hands of plastic pollution. Just a week ago the Indonesian island of Bali declared a ‘rubbish emergency’ as their usually idealistic beaches where tourists flock to snorkel, surf and sunbathe are now covered in a rising tide of plastic waste. Workers have been sent in to try and remove the waste and have been taking away up to 100 tonnes of plastic each day. Indonesia is the second biggest maritime plastic polluter in the world after China, although the Indonesian government has pledged to spend up to $1 billion per year to clean up its seas and beaches. An example more countries should be following to reduce plastic waste its effect on our planet.
Chinese Foreign Plastic Waste Ban – Can The UK Cope?
British companies alone have shipped more than 2.7m tonnes of plastic to China and Hong Kong since 2012 (two-thirds of the UK’s total plastic exports). Simon Ellin, from the UK Recycling Association warned that urgent action is needed as lower grade plastics are already piling up at recycling plants. In the short term, the UK doesn’t have the market to recycle the now left over waste which will lead to more plastic being incinerated and put into landfill sites. Both of which are environmentally poor, incineration is a high-carbon non-renewable form of generating electricity which also causes toxic chemicals and heavy metals.
It looks as though there will be no action soon unfortunately. Our Environment Secretary, Michael Gove said about the Chinese Ban “I don’t know what impact it will have. It is … something to which – I will be completely honest – I have not given it sufficient thought.” Although it may seem a disaster, there is a great opportunity for the UK to reduce its waste plastic. From producing less, to creating easier to recycle plastic and making recycling a standard procedure. It can benefit the UK in the long term for all things plastic related.
Tea Bags Are Made Of Plastic
That is correct, our tea bags are made of around 25% plastic. Although the actual bags are made from paper, the sealant is made from polypropylene which does not compost. This was discovered by Mike Armitage, editor of the website Nature Matters who found small bits of plastic in his compost heap when gardening. Mike contacted as many tea companies as he could (PG, Yorkshire Tea, Tetley and Twinings etc.) to find out more and encourage them to end the use of plastic. Since then he has set up an online petition to have all plastic removed from tea bags to ensure they are 100% bio-degradable. Read a full in depth article on the matter from The Daily Post.