Malta - an unexpected story of missing plastic
A much needed break saw us in Malta after Christmas for time off with the family. As much as we needed to switch off, Non Plastic Beach was never far from our thoughts. Staying on a beautiful beach surrounded by crystal clear waters, always serving as a constant reminder of what we are trying to help preserve and restore.
We were also inevitably still surrounded by single use plastic but surprisingly less than we would normally face back home in the UK.
BYE BYE PLASTIC BAGS
Self- catering accommodation meant regular trips to buy provisions but whether we purchased form the hotel Deli, local market stall or large supermarket, we were only ever faced with strong brown paper bags. Perfectly commonplace. Beautifully simple.
Huge supermarket chain fresh fruit and veg counters stocked mountains of unpackaged fruit and actively encouraged NOT using a bag, or to use one compostable cornstarch bag for multiple items if you preferred. Helpful. Thank you.
Even shoe shopping for the ever growing feet of a mischievous toddler saw us receive a paper bag rather than being offered (and having to actively decline) a plastic bag, which happened when we bought her last pair of shoes in the same shoe shop chain back in the UK.
Every restaurant, bar and café was stocked with only paper straws – not a plastic straw was to be seen. Now how hard is that?
Whilst frustrating that the UK seems to be lagging behind with making what appear to be simple changes, it does give some glimpse into a (hopefully not too distant) future where some unnecessary plastics are removed from circulation. And these ones really aren’t missed. Then we won’t have to worry about remembering our own bags or straws or think about which recycling bin (if any at all) might be the right one to dispose of these in.
We were also pleasantly surprised that the only bin in our accommodation was separated into three sections for glass, paper and plastic recycling. We all know recycling takes conscious effort, which is one of the reasons that uptake is often low, but with the right tools, everything is easier. It was harder to NOT separate our rubbish here than to just pop everything in the right bin.
CHANGE IS POSSIBLE
It’s evidence that change is indeed possible. And in the mean time we can always make our own small changes. Here at Non Plastic Beach we strongly believe that many people making one small change is more impactful than the few making many changes.