Whose Waste is it Anyway Event Summary
Last week, on Thursday 1st November we hosted an event called ‘Whose waste is it Anyway’ which was a day that brought together thought leaders who gave informative talks giving our audience engaging insights into the huge topic of waste.
The talks covered many aspects of waste including packaging waste and single use plastics, fashion waste and the effects of fast fashion as well as food waste.
The speakers gave some inspiring speeches telling us all about what they do to help the environment and how they have made changes within their businesses in a bid to be as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible, some had in fact built their entire company around their own personal green ethos.
It was shocking for our audience to learn the facts and figures surrounding the volumes of waste we all produce. And to hear about the simple changes we can make as individuals in order to help reduce the negative impact we have on our environment. It was alarming to hear of how drastically we need to take action, and in such a small timeframe before it is too late. We all need to do more to ensure the future of our planet.
There were some great businesses who held stands at the event who were also waste conscious and environmentally aware companies selling all manner of things such as swim and active wear made from waste fishing nets found at sea, and natural toothpaste made in recyclable glass jars. There are also some fantastic frameworks and incentives in place which make it easy for people to live as plastic free as possible.
Unfortunately, Caroline Lucas, Brighton’s Green party MP, wasn’t able to attend the event due to prior commitments, however she kindly sent the below encouraging message which was read at the event:
“I’m so pleased to hear about this event – it’s so important that we get together to discuss and debate the kind of bold and radical action we so urgently need. There is no doubt that we are currently at a crucial point in human history – our knowledge of our impact on the planet is greater than ever before.
The earth is now one degree warmer because of the impact of burning fossil fuels – and the latest UN report made clear we have around a decade left to prevent catastrophic changes to the global climate. Meanwhile nature and wildlife are under threat as never before – not only from climate change but from the unsustainable way our economy functions. So - we must all step out of our comfort zones—individually and collectively—to effect social, political, and economic change.
There’s no shortage of actions government could be taking. For example, they should be pushing the Government to bring forward its absurdly unambitious targets on ending plastic waste by 2042 – a full quarter of a century away. Beyond recycling materials at the end of their lives, we need to find innovative ways of repairing and reusing what we already have. I was inspired by Sweden introducing a tax-break for all repair businesses – from bicycles to washing-machines. That law has been in place to two years now and we’ll soon know how effective it has been.
We need to look at industrial processes and how we can reduce the level of material that is simply discarded at the end of a product’s life. The Fair Phone is an interesting example of what a more sustainable supply-chain might look like for the smart-phone industry – whilst local shops supplying household products, like washing-up liquid, on tap that we refill from whenever we run out could radically reduce plastic waste. I’m proud that the local Green Party put forward a motion in the local council last November calling for Brighton to be a plastic-free city.
I'm so inspired by everything that people in Brighton and Hove are doing to make that change happen. I wish I could be there with you today to celebrate some of that and reflect on what else we can do. There’s no doubt that we need to radically reduce the amount we throw-away and challenge ourselves to be as bold and dynamic in our campaigning and calls for change. Thank you for being here today.”
Caroline Lucas also forwarded the following link, which is a petition that is supported by the Brighton and Hove Green Party. It's calling on the Brighton and Hove City Council and the sponsors and organisers of the city's biggest public events to commit to eliminate the use of single-use plastics by 2020. We encourage you to sign the petition to help the city become more sustainable and reduce its environmental impact:
If you would like to find out more about the amazing people who spoke or exhibited at the event, their details are as follows:
Peter Desmond – Brighton &Hove Circular Economy Club
Carrie Cort – Sussex Green Living
Jo – Ruby Moon
Cat Fletcher – Freegle
Charlotte Cross & Thalassa De Burgh-Milne – Charlotte’s Cupboard
Ruth Anslow – hiSbe
Rachel Watkyn – Tiny Box Company
Rachel Careless - FareShare