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Had enough? Yup. Us too. Time to paint the town red ;)

Plastic Free Periods Workshop
7.30pm Thursday 11th February

We are huge fans of the game-changing joys of reusable menstrual products, known as RUMPs in the trade. In fact we talk about periods so frequently that we think we’ve bust through any chance of blushing. Soz Great Uncle Joe and your patriarchal pals, but the embarrassment is all yours. Don’t go thinking this is a ‘female’ topic either, as good evolving humans it is important that we all learn to talk about our bodies, their differences and changes, with ease. The more we do it, the easier it gets (unlike lockdowns).

  • Did you know that every packet of menstrual pads contain the same amount of plastic as 5 plastic bags?
  • Or that disposable period products are the 5th most common type of plastic waste on Europe’s beaches
  • Yet reusables could save you up to £2,000!

Join us at our free online workshop as we share all there is to know about plastic-free periods. We will explore all the different options and why what we use really matters, and will even teach you how to make your own re-usable washable pad, free materials included! The workshop is family friendly and a prime opportunity to start those conversations at home, its open to everyone whether you have periods or not. Go on, we all need something new to talk about ;)

Whilst we’re here, it’s important to point out the specifics of language. We talk about people with periods, rather than women, since to do so would exclude members of the trans community and also not all women have periods.


Tickets for this Zoom webinar are free through Eventbrite, however spaces are limited and we will be charging a refundable on attendance £3 deposit. Priority for 25 x free washable pad kits will be given to Hackney Homes residents. The workshop is kindly supported by Hackney Council. If you don't qualify for the free kit, don't worry, we will email you in advance to let you know what you'll need for the workshop.

 

For further info, send us an email at hello@plasticfreehackney.com. If you're not able to attend the workshop live it will be available on our sparkling YouTube channel after the event. Incidentally, attendance definitely counts as 10 Homeschool credits.

Plastic Free Periods 11th February 7.30pm

Shrink your bin

As you’ve probably heard, from March the waste collections in Hackney are changing from once a week to once a fortnight while recycling will still be collected weekly. We are big supporters of this change since its driven by the need to reduce the waste sent to incineration (in Hackney our waste is incinerated in Edmonton, not landfilled). The idea is that with limited bin space we’ll all be more considerate with our recycling and stop throwing away stuff that should be recycled into another life. Currently 40% of the contents of Hackney’s bins are materials that should have been recycled. No recycling isn’t the answer, but not recycling is even worse!

If you want more info, the council website is the place to go.

Not sure if you’re stuff can be recycled? Here’s the one-stop-spot for Hackney folk to find out if it’s a go-go or a no-no. An excellent resource for all bin nerds and those who enjoy a good can you/can’t you recycling quiz.

Supermarkets aren’t actually changing

Remember way back when as Blue Planet II aired and the public was outraged by plastic pollution. Shortly afterwards the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Greenpeace published their first report investigating the use of plastic in the UK’s top 10 supermarkets. This week saw the publication of their third annual report, Checking Out on Plastics III. It’s a really interesting read written for the lay plastics campaigner.

This latest report, studying data from 2019, finds that the UK’s 10 leading supermarkets collectively put almost 900,000 tonnes of plastic packaging on the market that year – the equivalent weight of almost 90 Eiffel Towers! And while this quantity was a reduction of 1.6% on 2018, it’s actually a 1.2% increase from 2017 when the survey was first conducted. Waitrose comes top of the charts again this year – and whilst it’s great that they’ve been installing refill points in supermarkets (well, actually just 4) we are staunch believers that refill will only work when it’s the cheapest option readily available in all shops, not just the posh ones. Other supermarkets, such as Asda have been trialling refill options but we can’t help but feel frustrated by the painfully slow speed that these incremental changes are taking place.

When the plastic bag charge was introduced to great fanfare in 2015 the government praised itself for a subsequent 85% reduction in bag use. However, the report shows that what we’ve actually done is simply switch to buying loads of ‘bags for life’, at a rate of 57 per household, more than one a week. Since these bags for life are made from heavier grade plastic than single-use ones, the weight of plastic used for bags has actually increased and given that they’re more durable they cause more harm if they get into the natural environment. We’re buying more ‘bags for life’ year on year so clearly this model of plastic reduction isn’t working.

So. Beware the numbers. Reuse and refill whenever you can and carry on having the conversations with people around you and supermarket plastic. It may not currently be the hot topic it was but this problem is quietly getting worse.

This at a time when the government has this week
delayed the Environment Bill for a third time since 2018. The bill will be the most important piece of legislation for decades and is desperately needed in order to act on air pollution, water quality and plastic pollution through changes in the law
.
 

Imagining the future

Well that’s a good idea. Imagining anything actually...

The council has a new consultation about Growing Up In Hackney. We want to see more places for kids to play out safely and connect with green spaces. It is so vital that our young people don’t disconnect with nature simply because they’re growing up in urban environments. Putting it bluntly, if the kids don't care, we're all stuffed. 

Here’s your moment to tell the council what they’re doing right and wrong in the provisions for young people. The deadline for responses is 12 February.
 

Growing Up In Hackney

And while we’re on consultations, the Rebuilding A Greener Hackney consultation is still open, where you’re invited to share your views on road use changes. Objectors to the scheme have been very vocal with opinions, if you’re a polite supporter, make sure you use your voice! Arguably more productive than taking it to a NextDoor Rantathon.
 

Rebuilding A Greener Hackney

Good Stuff

Petrochemicals giant Ineos recently announced it has suspended plans indefinitely for a major new plastics unit in Antwerp. The announcement followed a legal challenge from the excellent group Client Earth, who work to inform, implement and enforce the law to protect the natural environment.

The unit was one of two planned by Ineos. The installations were set to manufacture key ingredients of plastic – a process that is highly damaging to the climate and nearby wildlife and habitats. Furthermore the expansion stood in direct contrast to EU commitments to cut both carbon emissions and plastic waste.

"Antwerp has been suffering a major plastic pollution problem and adding further production capacity to Ineos’s existing facilities was only going to intensify it, as well as making it exponentially harder to meet climate targets." ~ Tatiana Luján, ClientEarth lawyer

Things to look forward to

  • Coming to our periods workshop. 
  • Knowing this isn’t forever.
  • Imagining how juicy hugs are going to be when we can liberally spread them around again.
 
Hope you’re OK*.

Love

Bettina, Daisy and The Plastic-Free Hackney team x


*Including those who really aren’t OK. No point in putting in trite stuff about rainbows when you’re feeling shit, but know that you’re not alone.
(From a PFH-er who has a whole lorra mental health parties going on x)

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