I spend a lot of time talking to people about plastic. I wish I didn’t have to, but we seem to have a bit of a problem with it so I will keep talking about it until that problem goes away – or my dying day, and sadly I think I know which will come first…….

Ecobrick trainers here in the UK often comment between themselves how hard it is to get people to actually listen to what we are saying, or read the huge amount of information we have on plastic and why we need to take personal responsibility for the plastic that comes into our hands. 

I have been trying to understand why we are struggling here in the UK to get the conversation beyond passing the results of our plastic consumption to others to deal with –  the shorter name for that is recycling btw.

And last night on the course I am doing on soil health ( soil advocacy with Kiss the ground) one of the other students came up with a phrase I hadn’t  heard before 

Committed to misunderstanding

And yes I think that’s the why , the public are totally and utterly committed to misunderstanding, and I am not even sure it matters what the subject is, people just don’t want to think in depth, and question, and research anything.

So why is this and what is the connection to plastic and ‘recycling’ or industrial downcycling as I prefer to call it. 

For a long time now we have been told that ‘recycling’ is the answer, and for some items it is, aluminium for example, tin cans, cardboard ( to a certain extent ) and in more recent times we have been told plastic is ‘recyclable’ as well. 

But we  know  that it isn’t, that plastic ‘recycling’ is more complicated than that, and that I think is where the ‘committed to misunderstanding’ comes in.  

If we remain committed to misunderstanding we don’t need to think about, or research, or listen to anyone else. Those all require effort, whereas keeping on as we are, is the easy option. 

It is not just with plastic we take the easy option, it seems to be with everything, and that means others in our biosphere suffer.

This signed picture hangs on my wall to make sure our family always remembers to make the effort to understand

And who doesn’t want the easy option?

Don’t let August 1st be when you take the easy options again!

You can find out more about ecobricks on the Global ecobrick Alliance website – start with the FAQ’s and we will lead you through the journey. www.ecobricks.org/FAQs

And do check out www.kisstheground.com

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