We produce nearly 300 million tons of plastic every year, and over half of that is for single-use products - something’s got to change
Blue Planet II brought attention to the devastating effect that our plastic addiction is having on the oceans, but back on dry land, plastic buried in landfills can leak harmful chemicals into groundwater, and has even been shown to alter hormones and pose potential harm to humans.
We need to change, and we need to do it soon. But, as plastic is so ingrained in consumerism, the question is, how? Well, Tom Pell believes he has the answer. Inspired by similar stores he saw in Australia, Tom plans to open Birmingham's first zero-waste supermarket: The Clean Kilo.
Zero-waste is a lifestyle choice that's quickly growing in popularity. The concept is simple: as far as is possible, ensure that nothing we use is sent to general waste or incineration plants.
Supported by crowdfunding, The Clean Kilo now has the funds to open the first store, with a date being set for Spring this year. When open, the shop, which will be in Digbeth, Birmingham, will sell food, drinks, cleaning products and toiletries. Shoppers are able to bring their own empty containers, which can be any shape or size they like, as long as they’re clean and can fit on the scales. The containers are then weighed before they are filled up, and then again afterwards.
For Tom, The Clean Kilo is about more than just being zero-waste. As customers are able to buy the exact quantities of food that they need, it is their hope that those who are struggling to put food on the table will be able to make their budgets stretch further.
Whilst it’s too late to reverse the damage that has already been done by our culture with plastic, shops like The Clean Kilo offer us a good chance to reduce our environmental impact and break a habit of single use plastic.