We have had a busy few days and my plastic-free challenge has taken a bit of a beating. On Friday we went shopping and I had my share of successfully avoiding plastic packing. However, some items were not so easy.
First, we bought sausages at Aldi for a planned BBQ with visitors on Friday evening. I buy these because a) I like them and b) the sausages are gluten-free. The downside is that they come in a plastic tray and are covered in cling-film. I try to limit the damage (marginally) by buying the bulk pack of 24 sausages. Am I kidding myself?
The other purchase pictured below is some bells in a plastic packet. I wanted these to make some Christmas earrings as we were going to a Christmas in July celebration on Saturday evening. They were not an essential purchase but I did share them with a friend and I will store them in the original resealable packaging so that I can use them on other occasions.
On the other hand, I did do better with some of my other shopping. I went to the butcher to buy chicken breast fillets, chicken thigh fillets and minced beef. All of these were packed into my own containers (plastic) that I took with me to the shop.
The cabbage in the background was bought at the local fruit stall were I shop regularly. The usually have cabbages cut into quarters or halves and wrapped in cling-wrap. I asked if I could have a whole cabbage and the owner happily collected one for me from the cool-room. I did not really need a whole cabbage but I used this strategy to ensure that I did not get one wrapped in plastic. I will make sure that it is used and not wasted.
The cream cheese was another rare purchase for me. It was required for a recipe I was making to take to the Christmas in July party. I made a conscious decision to buy the pack in the cardboard box rather than the plastic tubs. Inside the box the cheese was wrapped in foil which I carefully washed and dried but then discarded in the rubbish as I was not certain whether it was coated with plastic film.
I do not have a photo but I also bought a 500g punnet of strawberries for the recipe as well. They came in a plastic punnet but it was marked with a recycle symbol so that is where it ended up. I also bought the larger punnet so that there is potentially less plastic per strawberry. Perhaps??
What I have learned from this is that the less time you have, the more likely you are to succumb to items with plastic packaging. If I had more time I would have sought more plastic-free options. For example, I know that if I drive about an extra 4km I can pick my own strawberries and bring them home in my own fabric bag. If I had remembered to source the bells last week I could have looked in some craft shops near my work and maybe found some being sold as loose items. That way I would have ended up with 2 bells (what I needed) instead of 12. I rarely buy cream cheese but this has reminded to me to look into alternatives which I may be able to buy without plastic packaging. I also need to look into buying sausages from the butcher. They will have to meet a couple of criteria – be suitable for my dietary requirements and also that we actually like them.
Any suggestions for avoiding the dreaded plastic would be appreciated.