Again last week it was reported that our passion for plastic is causing untold damage to the environment. The news that China, to whom we export most of our plastic waste is to be far more selective in what it will accept in the future brings the whole question of how we dispose of such waste and a whole rethink on the question of recycling. Add to that the likely levy of 25p on throw away coffee cups and the whole questions of how we face this challenge is high on the agenda again.
The Welsh assembly took the initiative of charging for plastic bags and England soon followed seeing a sizable reduction in their use. This was a big step forward but it does raise the question as to whether we really need all the plastic and packaging that is causing such pollution and damage especially to marine life. One of the toys our four-year grandson had on his birthday was so heavily packaged with hard thick plastic that I had to get a handsaw to release it! Then again, a package from an on-line retailer had so much bubble wrap in a cardboard box that would easily have held three of the items we ordered.
I suppose it would be seen as over simplistic to recall days when milk was delivered in bottles which were then rinsed and put out for collection and re-use. Or those ‘Corona’ ‘pop’ bottles with their distinctive tops which were returned for use again… and again. My school summer job in a local brewery saw beer and pop bottles returned and a whole day would be set aside for washing and sterilising. I wouldn’t suggest for a moment that fish and chips wrapped in newspaper was the most hygienic form of packaging but no one complained – as far as I know!
The Bible speaks of us as being ‘stewards’ of creation. Jesus told a story of three servants entrusted with sums of money to invest while their master was away. Two invested thoughtfully and wisely and were well rewarded, the third buried his money in the ground and did nothing. That’s not an option as far as the environment is concerned – God said ‘Let there be light’, creation was born and entrusted to our care Let’s ensure that as good stewards we invest in ways of preserving this wonderful world for generations to come. In the end it’s up to us!