For this post I got inspired by my girl friend who discovered a lot of interesting things while having a little walk in our neighbourhood. She likes to go down to the Thames river bank enjoys the views over London, fresh air and the sound of the waves. However, on this occasion she made some shocking pictures of stranded rubbish that was swept onto the little bank we have only 2 minutes next to our home. I was surprised to see so much stuff. I know that the Thames is not the cleanest river of all and you can usually see that the water is not really clean, but the amount of plastic and rubbish in this river is just ridiculous. I think the pictures say it all.
By the way the red basked on the left was not even damaged and we have now in our storage cupboard.
What does a coconut have to do in the Thames?
This little duck seems to have escaped the bathtub and was looking for a bigger adventures.
The most concerning thing for me is that all the plastic rubbish will be swept out onto the sea and over many, many years will make its way into our food chain and will ultimately end up in our bodies. Therefore, we decided to go down to the river bank again on our next day off and collect all this rubbish and put it where it belongs – in the bin. Anyone joining?
Here we go! After an absence of about 9 days from blogging due to life happening, I finally managed to write my next blog post. I am really behind with my 365 project, but I will catch up during my holidays in October when I will be off to Germany for 2 weeks and can spend all the time I want for blogging and other things that sometimes don’t fit into a busy schedule.
It was a great day and it was just great to be out with my baby and discover some new areas that I did not manage to see in the past 6 years in London. After some extensive shop hopping we were looking to get a bottle of water as a refreshment and went into Marks & Spencer. In my opinion, Marks & Spencer stands for the more environmental kind of super market with a lot of good ideas to minimise the impact on the environment. However, it was very difficult to find some glass bottled water. We found all kinds of plastic bottled water from all different brands, but nothing really bottled in glass. We asked a very friendly customer service agent who gave us a really astonishing look when we were asking for water in glass bottles. But he managed to find us the only water in a glass bottle that was in the lower corner of the last row on the bottom shelve, which was San Pellegrino.
To my shock it was the only glass bottles water. I was really under the impression that are more companies that still fill their beverages into glass bottles. Having been glad to find at least one brand of mineral water in a glass bottle, we enjoyed the healthy refreshing water and continued our walk.
However, the next challenge was coming up on the horizon. Recycling. It took us several streets to find a recycling bin that would take glass bottles. We did not really want to use any available bin. Anyway, there are not many bins around in London when you compare it some other major metropolis in Europe, but there is a relatively small amount of recycling bins in London as well. Still much to do when we really want to make a difference.
I really hope that in future we will have more people asking for glass bottles water and make retailers change their product offer, because at the end we as customers have a great power with our buying decisions.
I will also have a look in a German supermarket when I am back home and will try the same thing, os watch this space for a comparison!
Over the past month, I developed an interest for the challenges that are surrounding the big subject of water. Inspired by the documentary movie Tapped that not only shows some very astonishing facts about tap water, but also gives you an inside into the industry that stands behind plastic bottled water and their practises in the US.
Tapped is a movie that really made me think, especially when they show you that some of the plastic containers used to store water can leak chemicals into the water that we are drinking. Most of the research until 2009, the year the movie was shot, only focused on plastics containing the chemical bisphenol-a (BPA). These were found to leak substances into the drinking water and the water industry would not even take these plastic containers off the market.
However, PET bottles that are most commonly used for bottled water seemed to be safe and no health concern. This might have changed as a recent study at the University Frankfurt in Germany shows:
They discovered estrogen active substances in most plastic bottled waters, but not in glass bottled waters. These substances might have a negative impact on sperm quality and quantity, interruption of fat metabolism, increased appearance of diabetes 1 and 2 as well as increased risk of cancer. However, more research will be needed to establish which compounds in the plastic are leaking. Unfortunately, the manufacturers are not contributing at the moment and the compounds of the plastic bottles are still an industry secret.
This all adds up to the already bad press about plastic bottles and their carbon footprint. Here are some sites you might want to check out about it:
Overall, this was quiet an eye opener for me and I will certainly try to avoid plastic bottled water, change to glass bottled water if on the road or just use reusable bottles and fill up from the tap. Please check out friendsofglass for more info why glass is a great alternative to plastic. Additionally, you can find some interesting examples of reusable bottles here:
I am sure you can find an alternative that suits your needs. Watch this space for info on tap water….coming soon!