Lucho Dillitos partner with the BMC to support their Hills 2 Oceans campaign
I used to get rather annoyed when I was younger by people who would spit their chewing gum out in the street. I couldn’t understand the mentality, who did they think was going to clean up after them? It became a huge issue with pavements covered in a variety of colours based on the flavour and age of the offending item. It was a disgusting sign of the times but it didn’t take long for the government to reinforce the laws surrounding littering. I recall a case that was subsequently fought in the courts over a woman who had discarded an apple core by throwing it into a hedgerow and I knew at that point, with the police taking things to the extreme, that finally there was a focus on the impact of littering.. or at least I thought.
The problem is, whilst these laws work well to keep our cities and roads cleaner, there really is a distinct lack of enforcement in our countrysides, national parks, on our hills and in our mountains. We have freedom to roam in these places but there is no-one to hold the ignorant accountable.
The main issue is the reliance that our food industry has on cheap plastics. Everything is packaged to look better than the next item on the shelf with no consideration for anything other than selling as many items as possible.
It is going to take either, a seismic shift in the priorities of food manufacturers, or a change in regulation if we are to move to a more ecologically sustainable method for food packaging. With so few businesses putting the environment ahead of profit margins, I do not believe things will improve without legislation, but unfortunately there doesn’t currently appear to be an appetite within government to tackle this.
If you are a Lucho Dillitos fan you will be aware that our focus has always been to provide a completely natural product wrapped carefully in our compostable wrappers, minimising our impact on the environment where possible.
We started with fully biodegradable packaging. There wasn’t a hint of plastic to be seen. Unfortunately this was not well received by the Food Standards Agency here in the UK (or by the FDA in the USA). We were forced to ensure a cellophane ‘air tight’ barrier existed between the product that would be sold to a customer and the air. On our packs of ten, we have been able to keep this packaging to a minimum, the ten pieces are wrapped together, but with so many shops using our boxes of twenty seven to sell individually we were forced to wrap those separately.
This meant ‘returning to the drawing board’ and we hope that, as our followers, ambassadors and athletes, you will be pleased to hear that we haven’t given up on our original goals. We are constantly evolving; we are working on our supply chain to eventually replace the cellophane with a starch based wrapper that will also compost in the same way as the leaf. Sure, it will be a little more expensive but it is the right thing to do. This won’t mean higher costs for you as the consumer but what we do ask is, if this is an important topic to you, share this blog post with people who will appreciate our goals for a cleaner planet and build the Lucho Dillitos fan base!
Ambitions and goals are what we all need to progress, but what can we do about the current situation? I for one am fed up with hedgerows and crags full of discarded junk but I think there are some simple steps that can be taken:
- It goes without saying, take your own litter home with you!
- If you see someone discarding litter carelessly, speak out. People need to be educated to respect their surroundings, the environment and the enjoyment of others. (Obviously consider the risks and if you suspect they could be aggressive, refrain.)
- If you find litter pick it up. It may seem dirty but I carry a latex glove and pick up refuse on the trails and take it home alongside my own.
- Consider any initiatives that are underway to clean up the environment and get involved.
With regard to initiatives, we are proud to say that we are partnering with the British Mountaineering Council to support their Hills 2 Oceans campaign. It is really easy to get involved and you’ll be sent the essentials needed to litter pick in your area.
This doesn’t have to be conducted like court enforced community service! There are no timescales and you don’t have to head out daily and collect a specific amount. This is about working as a team to try and improve our environment any way we can. If you walk your dog over the fields twice a day, you can help. If you climb three Munro’s every weekend, you can help, but if you’re not as active and merely walk a footpath to the village shop once a week, you can still do your bit.
If you are interested in learning more, please explore the BMC website. There is an information pack available here and if you are already sold on the idea, you can sign up here.
Someone who sees this issue all too often is our ambassador James Forrest – The Mountain Man. He is a huge advocate of Lucho Dillitos and you will see the occasional image sneaking into his photos. We recommend having a look at some of his posts and if you haven’t already, have a good read of his book which is available from most online retailers. He is also supporting this campaign and we invite all of our ambassadors to get in touch to see how they can work to promote this alongside us.
The planet isn’t going to fix the mess we’re making of it. It is on us to realise the damage we are doing and take decisive steps to make amends.