More than 300 million tonnes of plastic is produced worldwide each year and more than 10 per cent ends up in the sea.
Nearly 9 in every 10 of us support legislation to cut plastic waste and pollution, so what can we, as horse owners, do to help the change?
Making a start to do things differently, especially when busy can be hard. If you begin by doing just one thing your personal plastic footprint will reduce and in time you will find other ways that work for you.
So what changes can you make on your yard? The cultural shift is likely to have already begun and some ideas will not be new to you but it’s amazing how much plastic we could do away with.
Always use a re useable cup. Take away coffee from the petrol station is often a life saver, early morning starts, fitting in riding after work, especially in winter mean many of us cut corners with meal times and hot drinks on the go. Say no to throw away cups, it is an obvious one but discipline makes it work.
Ask the question. At the start of 2018 China stopped accepting UK plastic waste. As a result the traditional recycling centres that had been collecting agricultural plastic ceased, preferring to take cleaner, easier to handle domestic plastic that was no longer finding its way overseas. Farms came under new legislation around the same time so unable to store waste plastic for more than two years or to burn plastic silage wraps, baler twine and plastic feed and fertilizer sacks another problem emerged.
So how do you dispose of your yard plastic and have you thought of ways to reduce what you use? Feed and bedding all create volumes of waste. It’s become important to think about how the products you are using are impacting countryside waste. Encourage suppliers to think about it too, choose brands that are switching to more environmentally friendly ways to package their products. Good natural alternatives are available, by using suppliers who are making the effort drives the commercial argument and supports the way forward. Working together influences change.
The UK produces more waste than we can process. There is no better way to reduce the amount of waste than by reusing other peoples stuff. Anything made from manmade fibre is likely to end up on a boat or in landfill, we only manage to recycle 9% of plastic produced and whilst some materials are worth recycling, the complications that surround plastic mean we have yet to find a sensible answer.
Looking after and repairing rugs, visiting wonderful local second hand sections at local saddlers, choosing where you can to use natural based products and not having ten of one thing when one or two will do. Applying a good old fashion dose of thrifty thinking will also help your pocket.
Supporting local and thinking global really does create a winning situation. So just three changes we can think about and maybe adopt some if not all of the time. As a community we must recognise the climate emergency, it has become one of the fastest growing environmental movements in history. Practical action is required across all sectors of society and bold action will be required. And if you have a good example of the people coming together to instigate change or is there a top tip that has worked for you and your horse we would love to share it.
It gets hugely overwhelming but feels marginly better when the problem is shared with a whole.