I’ve just completed the first week of Plastic Free July, an Australian-based challenge to get people thinking about reducing single use plastic.
I have pledged to do without the following this month:
disposable coffee cup lids
Plus really try to stop using single use plastic (ie food wrapping) completely.
Like many other participants I am keeping a ‘dilemma’ bag to hold any plastic that does comes my way. And like many other plastiphobes (Eco Thrify Living, Plastic is Rubbish, and Westy Writes) I am struggling with keeping the plastic out of my life.
So far in the PLASTIC FAILS pile this last week I have:
– bought a second-hand hoover which came with tools in a separate plastic bag
– asked someone to buy me 100g of sweets from the local newsagent (I asumed they would come loose in a paper bag). Instead each sweet was individually wrapped and came in a small plastic bag.
– drunk out of a plastic pint glass at a friend’s party
– bought a bicycle pump that had plastic shrink-wrapped at the top
– bought a plastic envelope to send a parcel to a friend (didn’t even realised what I’d done until two days later!)
– wrapped up a sandwich for work in cling film
But in the PLASTIC SUCCESSES I have:
– discovered Lush products and am enjoying the soaps, shampoo (doesn’t smell as bad as I thought) and conditioner.
– went to the local health food store with my own containers and bought some loose ingredients
– shopped at the local greengrocers who supply paper bags to put their fruit and veg in
– said ‘no’ to plastic straws for my daughters’ drinks when out. And refused to buy them fruit shoots
– used cloth bags all the time and taken a reusable water bottle with me when out and about
So, at the moment the ‘fails’ outweigh the ‘successes’. I am beginning to realise:
a)how plastic is everywhere and how hard it is to lead a plastic-free life, even if it’s just for a short time and
b)how easy it is to forget I’m doing this challenge as I go about my everyday life. Nearly every decision has to be checked and double checked as I strive to wean myself off the stuff
Now in Week Two I face the big challenge of food shopping on a larger scale for my family to feed us for the next few weeks. It’s going to be hard to keep plastic out of it and, as I have limited access to a car and live in a rural village, may have to resort to online shopping and home delivery. We’ll see how that goes….