Watch: How not to feed the Plastic Monster this Christmas

Who doesn’t love Christmas? The season of goodwill traditionally means feasting, parties, presents and festive decor – and unfortunately, it is also one of the most wasteful times of the year.

The upcoming festive season is set to add to the already-critical global problem presented by plastic, with many marine species predicted to be extinct within mere decades if the plastic waste issue is not seriously addressed.

Now, a new video has been launched in Malta to help people to hugely reduce the amount of waste – including plastic waste – that they will create this Christmas, and so help to make Malta’s Christmases greener for generations to come.

The Jien u Int initiative has been launched by TV presenter Clare Agius and writer Jo Caruana, following the massive response to Clare’s ‘2018 Plastic Horror Stories’ video that she released earlier this year, drawing the attention of like-minded individuals, private and public entities and NGOs across Malta. Local businessperson and environmentalist Ms Caruana decided to join Clare in creating ideas of how to reduce plastic over Christmas, and their first video went live last week.

“The Christmas season is all about indulgence and everywhere you go people are going to offer you plastic! Mulled wine in a plastic cup… a sample of cheese on a plastic plate… it’s everywhere!” Clare says, “This Christmas – I am saying no. If something is being given to me in single-use plastic, I will not be accepting it. Thank you, but no thank you. Instead, I will be carrying a reusable bottle with me, so I won’t miss out on the fun… and I won’t be making more plastic waste.”

The video was created with the support of APS Bank. Hervé Delpech, Head of Strategy and Marketing said, “We are glad to support this initiative in line with our values. We hope this video will continue to build awareness and inspire people to take action to protect our home and environment for the benefit of future generations.”

The ideas Clare shares show how just a few simple changes to our Christmas routine can make a massive difference. Among the many useful tips recommended by Jien u Int, Clare suggests choosing reusable cutlery, plates and straws over disposable plastic options at parties, getting inventive with wrapping paper alternatives like brown paper since most wrapping paper is not recyclable, refusing shopping bags, being discerning about buying gifts without plastic packaging, and decorating the house with natural items such as pine cones, instead of plastic-ridden tinsel and baubles.

Clare concludes, “I realised I have the power to say no. I don’t need plastic – none of us do – and we can stop this cycle by standing up to plastic in small ways every day. It’s my responsibility, so my kids can not only enjoy this Christmas on our beautiful island, but many, many Christmases into the future.”

The initiative is supported by APS Bank.