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Digital Subscriptions > Be Kind > May 2019 > Problematic plastics

Problematic plastics

Tara Bloom tackles the most dangerous plastics on the planet

Plastic often seems like public enemy number one – it’s targeted by individuals, corporations and governments to be recycled or reduced as much as possible. Yet it remains a complicated material that’s woven its way into society and our daily lives in a significant way. There are many different types of plastic in everyday use and different forms within one type. Simply seeking to reduce or recycle plastic as a whole does not take into account the intrinsic chemical differences between plastics – what may work well for one type of plastic, may not for another. The best examples that highlight these complexities are black plastic and polystyrene. Both are, in theory, 100 per cent recyclable, yet the majority still goes to landfill, our oceans or are incinerated.

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About Be Kind

Hello, Most of us are lucky enough to have someone who taught us how to be kind. For me, it was my dad. He showed me how to warm up a cold bumble bee in my hands and how to grow runner beans in the garden. Dad was forever picking up litter wherever we went, rescuing the baby ducklings who had slipped down the drain outside our house, and he taught me to have the utmost respect for all creatures, great and small. As the threats of climate change and plastic pollution weigh heavily on our minds, we spend so much time focusing on looking forward, concerned about the damage we have wreaked on our planet and what the future holds. However, it seems a lot of the answers to our current problems can be found by looking backwards. In this issue we talk about lessons we have learned from past generations, how to adopt a thriftier, more careful attitude to waste and the importance of sharing information. We discuss the valuable lessons we have learned from our families and friends and hope to inspire more people to go back to basics – it might just be the only way to save the world. We also had the pleasure of speaking to Deliciously Ella about making vegetables cool, Mark Griffiths shares the most wonderful images of inspiring open-water swimmers, and the Culinary Caveman gives us his top tips for successful foraging. Enjoy the issue, Phillipa Editor