Westminster Council Leader, Nickie Aiken, is attempting to give up single use plastic and is encouraging others to join her. She is using the current 40-day Lent period to support growing calls among the public to do more to reduce the levels of plastic waste.
So far, two weeks in and Nickie has reported that it has been more difficult than she expected. She explained: “It is amazing how much single use plastic we use every day. I have stopped buying water from shops and now have a reusable bottle I take everywhere and that has been successful. I also try to remember to put a used shopping bag in my handbag when I leave home in case I have to buy something for tea on way back from work. The couple of times I have forgotten I have had to stuff shopping in my handbag and carry the rest. I am determined not to buy anymore plastic bags!
“But single use plastic is everywhere. It covers so much food we buy every day. It is in our kitchens and bathrooms. Once you start to look closely at what you use it does focus your mind about how much plastic we all use.”
So far Nickie has also stopped buying a daily coffee on her way into City Hall -which is also saving her money. Her two children are also supporting her reduce the family’s plastic footprint by giving up straws if they eat out.
You can follow her challenge on Twitter @nickieaiken or go to the Westminster City Council website for more information on the #Green4Lent campaign and other information about giving up single use plastic and other ways to improve the environment.
Five Ways To Improve Your Plastic Footprint
- Buy a reusable coffee cup.
- Invest in a reusable water bottle
- Reuse your supermarket bags and consider investing in a reusable bag
- Say no to straws if you don’t need them to drink.
- Carry a spare fork or spoon to reuse if you eat at work