Friday Thought – Is Plastic the Problem, or is it People?
What an incredibly busy and hectic few months it’s been! I hope everyone has stayed safe and healthy during these times. Here at Ambro it’s been our new challenge adapting to these COVID-19 measures, but we’ve managed it well. We have so far sold over 1.4 million face shields and just shy of 1000 counter and modular screens and counting. If you’re interested in these types of PPE products, they can be found here.
I like to start each day with some quiet time for myself walking around Quarry Park in Shrewsbury at around 6:30 in the morning to get some fresh air, much to my dog’s delight. Being early in the morning, the park is quiet and peaceful, it’s practically perfect. The air is crisp, nature is beautiful and it’s easy to forget there’s anything stressful going on in the world for a good 20 minutes… Until I stumble upon litter that has been left lying on the ground. And plenty of it.
Running a plastic company means that I have to make the choice to be environmentally conscious around recycling and waste management, which myself and the Ambro team take very seriously. It’s one of our biggest challenges to assure customers that we operate as responsibly. But with scenes like this I can’t help but wonder; is plastic the problem, or is it people?
It’s not just materials such as plastic that get discarded and improperly disposed of – it’s pretty much any kind of rubbish. When the fast-food restaurants opened again after lockdown measures reduced, suddenly there were food wrappers littering the street again. Even with additional larger bins installed in the quarry, there are a number of people who still refuse to use those facilities. There really is no excuse!
The difference between general rubbish and the plastics that we use, Polypropylene and PET however, is that these materials are incredibly versatile and long-lasting as one product, and when recycled in the correct manner can be turned into something completely different. Products are as far-ranging as clothing to car parts.
But how can we, as a community, tackle this problem?
Local to the business, Telford and Wrekin council set up a volunteering programme around various projects within the area – one of them being a group of “street champions”. These volunteers help maintain the environment including litter picking. If this is something that you or someone else may be interested in, more information can be found through this link – http://bitly.ws/8VMp. In the quarry in Shrewsbury, there is a small team of volunteers who appear at a similar time to me and clear this rubbish away. If you would like to get involved yourself, the Shropshire council also run a volunteering scheme which can be found here – http://bitly.ws/8Wsr
These schemes are something that I know I am very grateful for but wonder if it masks the issue and stops the proper authorities from taking real and permanent action. Personally, I feel the greater availability and information on how and why to recycle needs to be shared, in an attempt to educate people on why their selfish actions can cause so much damage to the natural environment and spoil it for others.