The lasting effects of plastic
The big breakthrough for everyday plastic wasn’t until 1907
Reducing single-use packaging and any use of plastic has been a farm incentive for the past few years. We have looked into bio fuel converters, on-site composting of cardboard and many other ideas. It’s not easy, and something I feel farmers and commercial sites should be given support in converting waste on-site. A huge issue in farming is the use of plastic in general every day growing. Think grow bags for strawberries, sheets used for insulation or any item delivered covered in shrink wrap. Not that plastic is all bad, it is essential for poly tunnels to grow fruits in uncertain climates or if you supply supermarkets (we don’t), plastic punnets and films are a requirement.
PVC was created between 1838-1872 but the big breakthrough for everyday plastic wasn’t until 1907. Whilst it has many benefits in the medical, farming and sanitary industries, I personally don’t feel it belongs in our groceries.
The benefit of living in the same area for generations means you get to see first hand how the environment around you changes and ultimately is abused. In the 50s Grandpa Fermor bought Perry Court and began farming the land, by the late 80s my parents and grandparents opened the farm shop. It was on 30 October 2003 that the Household Waste Recycling Act cleared the House of Lords and received Royal Assent at the end of its rollercoaster journey through parliament. The law meant that everyone could easily take part in recycling from home. It’s hard to find out when commercial recycling became law. But it definitely wasn’t pre-millenium.
So that is 96 years of no recycling since the creation of plastic, a little scary when you think of how much of your every day items contain plastic! Farmers in general have a great interest in nature and the environment - we rely on it for growth! But that isn’t always enough. You also need a universal interest in the cause, an easy way to recycle or clear up and a lack of (sometimes) laziness. A metal detector shared their findings with us a few weeks ago, with some items dating back to roman times and earlier, so imagine how long we could be finding our plastic waste in the ground!
It can’t be done overnight, or by one person, but returning your boxes, opting for glass milk bottles and taking advantage of refill stations, we can, as a community reduce our impact (imagine if the whole of Kent stopped using single use packaging!) If you have any suggestions on how we can improve this with our boxes, please get in touch!