Thanks to Lucy Siegle for highlighting the plastic dilemma in her Observer column. It’s such a complicated subject that there really is no single right answer but she’s excited by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastic Economy. It’s pretty scary that within a few decades there will be more plastic in the sea than fish and I guess it takes an ocean yachtswoman to see it. It’s always been ‘let’s blame everyone else’ situation but the beauty of seeing the problem as circular, rather than linear, is that it’s everybody’s responsibility. If plastic is designed for single use, it doesn’t really matter at what stage it’s jettisoned because it’s going to be anyway. If it’s designed for long life, reuse and, eventually, recycling breaking the circle, at any stage, is not an option.
My wife hates them but I’ve always thought our soup pots are quite well designed – strong enough for multiple reuse and relatively easily recycled. But I was wrong because as Ms Siegle so wisely points, it’s the small bits that pose the biggest nightmare and they do have those non-tamper tabs that invariably fall off and after they’ve broken the pump on your dishwasher, probably end up in the sea. I’ve often said that my dream shop would be a ‘traiteur’ where customers bring in their saucepans, fill them up and take them home and pretend they’ve been cookin’ all day etc. That’s partly my ego but it will happen – after the Wine & Tapas bar.