Church of England issues Lent commandments to reduce plastic waste: 'Avoid the mini bar'

Worshippers warned against hotel drinks and snacks: 'Not only are they incredibly expensive but they all come in plastic bottles'

Lucy Pasha-Robinson
Thursday 15 February 2018 15:58
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The campaign follows heightened public awareness over the impact of plastic waste on the planet
The campaign follows heightened public awareness over the impact of plastic waste on the planet

The Church of England has issued a list of climate-conscious commandments to encourage worshippers to reduce their plastic use over Lent.

The church’s 42 dioceses are being encouraged to participate in the “Lent Plastic Challenge” that encourages people “to reduce the actions which damage God’s Creation".

“For Anglicans Lent is the time when we remember the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, facing challenge and temptation. It is a time when we reflect on God’s purpose for our life. This year we challenge you to give up single-use plastics – to reduce the actions which damage God’s Creation,” the church wrote.

The list, published on churchcare.co.uk, encourages Anglicans to give up single-use plastic bottles, use bar soap instead of gel soap in bottles and use a razor with removable blades.

The challenge encourages worshippers to consider how much plastic they use at home, when they travel, in their food and drink, and clothing.

“Avoid the mini bar snacks and drinks. Not only incredibly expensive but they all come in plastic packages or bottles. Even if you can’t avoid plastic entirely, you can resist single-serving sizes,” the calendar instruction on 28 March reads.

The campaign highlights the over 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic that have been produced since the 1950s.

“That’s enough plastic to cover every inch of the UK ankle-deep more than ten times over. Just 9 per cent was recycled,” the church wrote.

The challenge follows heightened public awareness over the impact of plastic waste on the planet.

Scotland recently announced plans to ban single-use plastic straws by 2019. Free water refill points are also expected to be available in every major town and city in England by 2021 in a bid to curb the use of plastic water bottles.

Ruth Knight, environmental policy officer for the Church of England, said the challenge formed part of the overarching Christian belief to care for the planet.

“The Lent challenge is about raising our awareness of how much we rely on single-use plastics and challenging ourselves to see where we can reduce that use,” she said. “It ties in closely with the our calling as Christians to care for God’s creation.”

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