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Plastic Free Post Interview: Ben Goldsmith

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Financier and environmentalist Ben Goldsmith talks to Plastic Free Post about the impact of plastic pollution and how we can combat it. Ben is CEO of Menhaden, an investment firm committed to investing in businesses delivering or benefiting from the efficient use of energy resources. He is personally committed to projects in the area of environment and sustainability.

Why is plastic pollution important?

The virtual indestructibility of plastic makes it a miracle material. But that same virtue is a curse when plastic finds its way into the natural environment. Our oceans are fast becoming a kind of grotesque plastic soup, and landscapes worldwide are littered with plastic. As plastic breaks down into ever smaller pieces it finds its way into our bodies and those of all the other creatures with whom we share the planet, causing all kinds of havoc. Using plastic to make objects that are used just once before being discarded is an act of criminal stupidity. It’s time to ban single use plastics.

Name one thing you do to reduce your plastic footprint?

In our house we don’t buy foodstuffs in plastic packaging, where possible. We take Tupperware or glass refillable tubs to the local food store and fill them with whatever we need. By doing this we have dramatically reduced the amount of plastic waste our household produces. 

Do you have any product that you like that helps to reduce plastic?

I love my SodaStream machine, for making fizzy water. We don’t buy bottled water at all anymore. 

What is your favourite plastic-free thing in the world?

My favourite thing in the world right now is the little stream that runs through our farm in Somerset. Previously this was an artificially straightened channel set around six feet deep and running between two barbed wire fences. We filled in the channel, removed the barbed wire and created a meandering, shallow stream which is already humming with life. Water voles, beavers, kingfishers, ducks of various kinds and innumerable amphibians have found their way to our little ribbon wetland. And we’re helping to protect communities downstream from flooding and drought too!

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