We cannot afford to ignore the problem of plastic. This ‘Plastic Free July’ is all about the ways we can become more conscious of our plastic use and get back into the groove of ‘Reduce, Reuse, and Renew’. Remembering our big ‘Rs’ has never been more important. We at SSE are proud to announce our partnership with Dublin Zoo. SSE and Dublin Zoo have taken two of the important ‘R’s’ ‘reuse’ and ‘recycle’ that could as #inspo for this year’s Plastic Free July.
SSE Airtricity and Dublin Zoo are encouraging all visitors to use the Water Filing Stations they will find throughout the zoo. Already, 450,000 plastic water bottles have been saved from piling up in landfills and we hope to see that number go up by the day! Visitors to Dublin Zoo looking to for a nice spot to rest and enjoy a sandwich will also find that as part of Dublin Zoo’s sustainability journey they have bought 175 heavy-duty picnic benches. Each picnic table is made from more than 2,000 plastic milk bottles. This has altogether stopped a grand total of 350,000 plastic milk bottles from going into a landfill. It may be small in comparison to global policy change, but it is those small steps we take together in tandem with government change that make a massive difference.
This Plastic Free July let’s renew our knowledge of plastic. We all know that we should recycle our shopping bags and be mindful of using our reusable water bottles, but there are other areas in our life where plastic is prevalent that might surprise some of us. In 2019, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) submitted a proposal for ‘restricting the use of intentionally added microplastic particles to consumer or professional products of any kind’ – this comes in the wake of ‘nano-plastics’ or ‘micro-plastics’. According to Client Earth, microplastics are ‘plastic pieces that measure less than five millimeters across’. They break of from larger plastic debris and can pose a real threat to the environment and the organisms that encounter them. There are plenty of consumer products that include the use of micro plastics in their products - cosmetics, detergents, paints, medicines, nappies and pesticides for example. Renewing our knowledge on how plastics and waste affect our environment is a key step in becoming truly aware of what it is we consume and how we can combat that consumption.
More than anything, it is always important to advocate and push those in powerful positions to keep our environment in mind. How will you tackle this Plastic Free July? Dublin Zoo and SSE Airtricity welcome you take part alongside us.
To learn more about plastic with Pookie! Check out the Eco Explorers Youtube Channel by clicking HERE
Victory Luke, Climate Ambassador for SSE Airtricity