Zero Waste in Askew Road?

It’s Earth Day on Sunday 22 April, and the focus this year is on plastic pollution. It’s scary how long we have cheerfully ignored this issue even if it has been nagging away at the back of our brains. But the final episode of Blue Planet 2 with the pictures of young birds’ stomachs full of plastic pieces and the gross swirl of plastic in our oceans demonstrated the need to act so forcefully that I know I have to, and now. If I had thought in some miraculous way plastic was actually disposable instead of being near indestructible, I can kid myself no longer.

It was reassuring to find my neighbours around the Askew Road are thinking the same way. That we’ve not been looking after the planet our children and their children are going to live in, and we’d better make up for lost time. I was encouraged hearing science reporter Tracey Logan describe her Lenten pledge to give up plastic on Radio 4’s Easter Sunday programme, inspired. She lives in nearby Chiswick, and she has already persuaded the Waitrose supermarket there to allow customers to bring in their own containers to buy fish, cheese, or meat. And Waitrose have just announced they will stop using disposable coffee cups nationally this autumn.

And a new shop that has just opened in Chiswick, an Australian inspired dry goods store, The Source Bulk Foods  where you can bring your own containers. The owner wants to turn posh Turnham Green Terrace into the first Zero Waste street in West London. Maybe my neighbours and I wondered, could Askew Road get there too – or even first?

We’re not Chiswick and we don’t have a Waitrose. But every supermarket and cafe chain now has a national policy that pledges to reduce plastic pollution. So we can look up what they say and ask the local Tesco, Coop and Costa to deliver on those promises.

Our local small businesses may be easier to persuade than you’d think:  Kelly at Detour Cafe has been working hard to eliminate single use plastic and has even sourced straws made of recycled plastic. 
And she’ll soon be serving you in coffee cups that can really be recycled.

The greengrocer at Atlas is getting paper bags instead plastic bags for his fruit and veg.

But if we are to persuade Askew Road shops and cafes to reduce plastic pollution, we’re all going to have to think harder about how we shop and what we buy. We’ve quickly got used to taking shopping bags with us but do we pick products with the least plastic packaging? And when we get them home or to the office do we really recycle the packaging or does it go in the bin and therefore to landfill? If you need a few ideas, do try the Rubbish Diet, proven to “slim your bin” (founder Karen Cannard was on ITV last month). And buy a stainless steel bottle, preferably from one of our local shops! eg the baker October 26 stocks them downstairs.


Fiona Anderson

science reporter Tracey Logan describe her Lenten pledge to give up plastic on Radio 4’s Easter Sunday programme

Waitrose is to stop using disposable coffee cups 10 April 2018

The Source

Coop policy

Costa policy

In your home

Karen Cannard

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