Plastic Free? – Not Yet

8 Comments

As we approach the end of the month I feel as though I am limping towards the finish line with respect to Plastic Free July.

Picture

On Wednesday we bought a new telephone for home.  It has an inbuilt answering machine and a second handset.  It was packaged in a cardboard box which is great but every single item was separately wrapped in plastic!

Plastic packaging

I generally keep any plastic bags that do happen to make their way into our home.  Even ones with air holes are used for containing rubbish.  These are too small to be of any use so I think I will have to pack them all inside one bag and then put them in the rubbish.  This is far from an ideal solution but the main thing will be to ‘dispose of thoughtfully’ so that they do not end up in the marine environment where plastic does untold damage.  Here is an example that I saw posted on Facebook the other day.  It comes from this page.

Photo: As a little baby this poor snapper turtle swam through a plastic ring and got stuck. Conscious Consumers - think about the plastic you buy and how you dispose of it.

Today I bought a book for our guests to write comments on their stay.  I looked at several different ones but in the end I decided that rather than a generic one with a black vinyl (plastic) cover from the newsagent that I would buy a handcrafted one from an independent bookstore in our town.  It is made in Sri Lanka using handmade paper from elephant dung and post-consumer waste paper.  The only problem was that it was packaged in shrink-wrap plastic.  This will go in the bin along with the telephone packaging.  Here is the book (plastic removed) and the addition of a title (printed by me).

Guest book

I have also bought more yoghurt, cheese and milk – all in plastic.

So what have I learned from participating in Plastic Free July?  Awareness, mostly.  It is pretty difficult to live an existence that is completely free of single-use plastics.  I think in the scheme of things that I do quite well, but there is room for improvement.  The dairy products are the only things that I buy regularly in plastic.  Reducing consumption in all aspects of your life and not buying new will certainly limit the plastics more than anything else you do.

I bought the regular things that I do this month so this is a true indication of the single-use plastics that I contribute to the waste stream.

8 thoughts on “Plastic Free? – Not Yet

  1. I always buy from Aldi supermarket, the chicken snitzels, they come in a box which we recycle on the garden, now when I open the box last week, they were in plastic wrapper…what…why…did someone maybe complain….bad choice to make, I am thinking of writing and compaining to them.

  2. I probably don’t notice how much plastic comes into our home on a regular basis. I try to avoid it as much as possible, but as you’ve pointed out, it’s not always possible. It wouls take something like this challenge to make me take notice of it all.

    • You are quite right, Heidi. It does take something like Plastic Free July to really push the issue to the forefront of our consciousness. Awareness is the first step. Although there are some things I will not be changing at the moment it is a good reminder to keep striving for alternatives.

  3. Dairy has certainly been one of the biggest challenges to be plastic (or waste free), closely followed by smallgoods, given I don’t have a local deli. And things like your phone, there really is no way around it, unless you go second hand, but even still, if it’s ebay etc, it’ll be mailed in those plasticy bags, that are indestructible!

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