Have you dropped the bottle?

I propose a widespread advertising campaign with the above title and focussing particular on the plastic bottle.

Being seen in public with a single-use plastic bottle must become socially unacceptable. It needs to be seen as equivalent to wearing a fur coat, or even worse.

I suggest that everyone should be encouraged to reduce the amount of plastic they buy by at least fifty containers/bottles a year. We should be incentivised to post on social media about the bottles we did NOT buy. We will be incentivised also to complain about the poor practice/laziness of manufacturers.

Substantial prizes (mortgage paid off, for example) should be awarded annually to at least ten families who can demonstrate their commitment to reducing plastic usage, and school students nationally should also be rewarded generously (free university tuition, for example) for putting their minds constructively to this problem. All schools should be obliged to pay annual visits to their nearest landfill site.

The cosmetics industry has grown out of all proportion. New more sophisticated manufacturing processes have led to a great abundance and diversity of enticing and attractive products for everyone. But manufacturers of cosmetics will need to come absolutely clean. All those selling into the UK must be obliged to sell products in bottles and tubes that they will subsequently accept back and recycle. Each time a bottle is returned they must return to the customer a small deposit. They can outsource this system but it must be accredited and a video on their website must show the recycling process. They will also be obliged to contribute to research into biodegradable plastics and new methods of recycling.

Large portals such as Amazon and Ebay must only be allowed to sell to the UK if they are complicit with a range of new regulations and prepared to pay a stipulated amount per purchase of any plastic item towards research and recycling. The same rules should apply to supermarkets and food packagers. Moves are already being made in this direction but not enough is being done and the speed of change is far too slow.

There will be annual booby prizes and bad publicity (perhaps with a comedy angle) for the worst manufacturers and websites.

Government will appoint a high profile recycling tzar – someone effective (of course) and non-political.

Please, let’s do this.




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