Covid – a disaster for us and the environment

A Disaster All Round

Covid is a disaster for our physical health, our mental health, our lives, the economy but also it’s a BIG disaster for the environment.

The coronavirus pandemic has stopped our efforts to reduce plastic use in its tracks. We were making progress with supermarkets stopping/reducing their distribution of carrier bags. They were introducing dispensing stations in stores so you could bring your own containers and fill them up with your choice of produce. People were getting on board with the movement and finally realising the damage that plastic wreaks on the environment.

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However, of course, now all this has changed because of the fear of coronavirus. People do not want to touch dispensing stations that may be contaminated by the person before them. They do not want to pick up loose fruit that has been handled and would prefer it to be wrapped in plastic. People are following the guidelines by disinfecting their shopping once they get home and leaving it for 72 hours after that.

Supermarkets have gone back to delivering shopping in plastic bags so that they can comply with the social distancing rules; the delivery person unloads the bags of shopping and leaves them on your doorstep, then retreats to a safe distance so you can get your shopping indoors.

You no longer get a choice and cannot currently (at time of writing) refuse bags.

Here are just a few that have contained my shopping since lockdown.

Plastic carrier bags in a plastic storage box

Guess How Many Bags?

I folded them up as I felt I was drowning in plastic, but when I take them to the recycling centre I will need to shake them all out again as they cannot recycle folded carrier bags.

Folded up plastic carrier bags

Turns out at the time I took this picture the supermarkets had used 73 plastic bags – for just a few deliveries.

Since I took this photo I have had more deliveries so the number has probably doubled.

This is too many bags for me to re-use so I will be making a trip to a place where I can recycle them. (Unfortunately they are not accepted in my weekly kerbside collection.) I really have enough bags for life!

I just hope that one day in the future the world will be able to get back on track.

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