I like Lush, producer of handmade cosmetics, for so many reasons but with one of the main reasons is their commitment to environmental issues. I find it very frustrating that my council will take plastic bottles for recycling but not the tops from the bottles, even though the tops are recyclable! My frustrated frown was replaced with a smile when I read on the Lush website that they will recycle your plastic bottle tops into their black pots. This carries on the scheme where customers who return five black pots receive a free fresh face mask. Although the article about Lush accepting plastic bottle tops for recycling is no longer on their website, I recently confirmed with them on Twitter that they still do this.
Plastic litter eaten by seabirds
One of the motivating forces behind this idea was these heartbreaking photos of dead albatross chicks revealing that they had consumed a staggering amount of plastic during their short lives on an Hawaiian island. The problem is that seabirds and other marine animals, such as whales and dolphins mistake floating plastic litter for food. Looking at the photos you will see that many of the items are bottle tops.This is a global problem and the Marine Conservation Society say that over 90% of fulmars found dead around the North Sea have plastic in their stomachs.
Message in the waves
Message in the Waves is an amazing and inspiring BBC Natural History Unit film about plastic pollution and other environmental issues facing the people and wildlife of the Hawaiian Islands. Plastic litters our oceans and beaches across the globe and often ends up in the stomachs of our marine wildlife, such as those poor albatross chicks. The Marine Conservation Society report that a recent study by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimated that there were 46,000 pieces of plastic litter per square mile.
According to Message in the Waves:
Of the 500,000 Laysan albatross chicks born on Midway Atoll (Northern Hawaiian Island Chain) each year, about 200,000 die, mostly from dehydration or starvation. A two-year study funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency showed that chicks that died from those causes had twice as much plastic in their stomachs as those that died for other reasons. The report, “Plastic Debris in the World’s Oceans,” by international environmental group Greenpeace, said at least 267 marine species are known to have suffered from entanglement or ingestion of marine debris. An estimated 1 million seabirds choke or get tangled in plastic nets or other debris every year.
- Set up a separate recycling container for drinks bottle tops, milk tops and other bottle tops.
- Spread the word – Use the “share” buttons below to tell your friends and everyone else you know!
- Find your nearest Lush shop and pop in with your bottle tops.
Lush website: lush.co.uk
Lush on Twitter: twitter.com/LushLtd
Lush on Facebook: facebook.com/lush.co.uk
Chris Jordan, photographer: chrisjordan.com