The Church of England has marked the start of Lent by challenging Christians to use less plastic during the 40-day period.
To aid followers, the Church has created a calendar with tips for how they can cut the material out of their lives on each day of the festival.
The Lent Plastic Challenge includes suggestions such as giving up disposable cups, shopping more at local markets, using a bamboo toothbrush, and choosing natural fibres instead of synthetics.
Ruth Knight, the Church’s environmental policy officer, said: “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.
“It ties in closely with our calling as Christians to care for God’s creation.”
The church was partly motivated to promote the challenge on the back of the successful Blue Planet II documentary series, which detailed the scale of plastic waste in the world’s oceans. In a statement, the Diocese of London explained: “David Attenborough has recently brought to everyone’s attention the hideous damage being caused by our throwaway society to life in the oceans – where so much of our waste eventually ends up”
“Over 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic 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% was recycled”.
The Church is the latest major UK institution to advocate for using less plastic in recent months. The BBC, the Royal Family and Scottish Parliament have all made commitments to reduce their plastic intake. In addition, restaurants Wagamama, Pizza Express and J D Wetherspoons have all pledged to remove plastic straws from their outlets.
Climate Action Programme