Western Mail Country & Farming Column
December 18th 2018

The huge problem caused by plastic waste has really come home to everyone this year. Children and young people in particular are very aware of the damage that is being done to the planet. So let’s use Christmas as an opportunity to do our own bit towards reducing that waste. I always try to avoid plastic packaging but it can be difficult, especially when buying toys, which are often completely encased in it and very difficult to open! I am going to make a conscious effort to try and have a plastic free Christmas.

I normally have a real Christmas tree rather than an artificial in any case. Christmas trees are always available locally. When growing they absorb carbon dioxide and other gases so they help the climate.

Buying locally is a way of helping the local economy and avoiding plastic packaging. We are spoilt for choice now with the very best of Welsh produce available, particularly meat, cheeses, fish, pickles and preserves, to name just a few.

Shopping locally is also a great way to reduce the carbon footprint on the food we eat.

Last weekend the latest climate change talks ended in Katowice, Poland where negotiators from over two hundred countries had been working on new rules to ensure that all countries played their part in reducing global warming. Phasing out coal fired power stations was a particular focus, although not all countries are willing to do this.

I have attended some of the climate talks in the past and I have seen how public pressure on governments makes a big difference. It was back in the nineteen eighties that the slogan “think globally, act locally” was coined. It was never more relevant than today. We need to persuade governments to take decisive action and we can also do that ourselves in our own communities.

Plaid Cymru is running a campaign to make the county of Denbighshire a Single-Use-Plastic Free Council. That is a way in which councils can make a difference but it can also apply to businesses, shops and all kinds of clubs and organisations. We can all think of those we belong to that could adopt a similar policy. Consumer demand will change the way manufacturers operate.

Let’s think creatively about how to make our Christmas greener. I wish you all a very happy and peaceful season.

Ends

Photo: Jill Evans