ISWA YPG UK Blog-Writing Competition: A world without waste

Sophia Lacey, University of Brighton

16 Apr 2018 -

 

You know the scene… you get off the bus in Brighton, ready for a great Friday night on the seafront. You get to the bar, order your drink and maybe think about getting something to line your stomach for the impending night ahead...You get to the bar and order your drink. A great big plastic cup comes flying towards you. It feels flimsy in your hand. It looks and feels cheap. You know you won’t be allowed to use it again, and you can’t see a recycling bin in the surrounding area.

 

Or you decide to go for a walk along the seafront. It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon in your beloved town, and you feel like being a tourist. You start off with a coffee to walk along the beach with. You receive your plastic lined cup and wonder if the vendor uses biodegradable cups. They don’t. Now what? You go get a selection of lovely local sea food – some lovely prawns, some jellied eel and maybe some pickled whelks! Why not! It’s the weekend! Oh, but that’s in some nasty polystyrene too. And again, you can’t see any recycling bins nearby.

 

So you sit on the beach with your plastic cup full of beer, or your polystyrene container full of seafood. And as you finish up, you pop it next to you, and continue to look out to sea. A gust of wind blows your container towards the sea. You jump up, conscious not to let it go in. You wouldn’t want some poor sea creature to suffer because of your single use plastic, so you chase after it and catch it. As you straighten yourself up, you look around for a recycling bin. You can’t see any, so you resign to carrying it until you find one.

 

You don’t find one, so you prop it on top the overflowing bin you can find, and hope it gets picked up soon, before it gets blown into the sea.

You carry this plastic container with you all night, thinking about it, heavy on your mind. You wonder if the next bar will serve your drink or meal in plastic too.

“What’s the solution?” you ponder. Bring a container with you? Maybe a reusable coffee cup! Or you could keep cutlery in your handbag! And one of those modern new steel straws you saw at the Open Market the other day!

 

That’s it, you think. I’m going to change this mess, even if it’s just me.

 

You feel empowered. You’re making a change.

 

Because you love your town, and you want to care for it.

 

One reusable item at a time.

 

 

 

About Sophia Lacey:

 

Previously in hospitality for over a decade, while completing my BA in Events Management I realised I couldn’t contribute to the volumes of waste that the industry produces. I decided to move to Brighton and educate myself upon the subject, and do a MSc in Environmental Assessment and Management with a focus on Waste Management.

About the author:

Previously in hospitality for over a decade, while completing my BA in Events Management I realised I couldn’t contribute to the volumes of waste that the industry produces. I decided to move to Brighton and educate myself upon the subject, and do a MSc in Environmental Assessment and Management with a focus on Waste Management.

 

 

 

 

*This blog has been submitted to the 2018 ISWA YPG Blog-writing Competition. The Young Professionals Group, supported by the Chartered Institution of Waste Management and the International Association of Solid Waste, is dedicated to (and coordinated by) young professionals in order to encourage them to be proactive and support them in building their careers in the waste industry.
#YPGblog2018 #WHATHAPPENSTOMYWASTE #WHATHAPPENSTOMYWASTEUK
The sponsors of this year’s competitions are Veolia and Biffa


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