I’ve pledged to refuse single use plastics for the month of July, read how week 1 went here. Needless to say, there is room for improvement. If you’re interested in challenging yourself to go plastic free you can join in on the Plastic Free July website and get loads of tips and ideas there. You can also take a fun plastic usage quiz.
Week 2 has definitely been more of a challenge to keep up with. I still need to buy reusable straws and a coffee cup but have definitely cut down on my cling film usage, opting instead for reusable containers for left over’s in the fridge.
I’m still surprised daily how much throw away plastic is produced. Buying a quick lunch in a supermarket is a struggle. My favourite supermarket sushi comes in a little plastic box and even the sandwiches packets have that piece of plastic film over the front. I am making more thoughtful choices though when buying from supermarkets which can only be a good thing. I have not used the little plastic bags for fruit and veg for years now, they’re fine in the trolley and fridge in all their naked glory (just give them a good wash before eating) but there are things that seem unavoidable. All kinds of bread come packaged in plastic, even the freshly baked loaves. Yoghurts for the kids are pretty much a non-negotiable unfortunately, and I haven’t got as far as ‘going naked’ for the bin so I am still using the bin liners.
I am on the look-out for any local farmers markets where I can buy fresh berries and fruit in paper bags or cardboard punnets instead of plastic. If you are local and know of one do let me know in the comments below.
This week I have succeeded in:
- Opting out of plastic bags for my home shopping delivery and recycling the ones they sent for the meat.
- Remembering my reusable bags when out shopping in town.
- Choosing to use Tupperware to store food instead of cling film
Next week I plan to:
- Buy and use reusable straws.
- Buy and use a reusable coffee cup.
- Plan lunches ahead so as not to buy lunch on the go from a supermarket.
Do you think you could live plastic free? Join in with the Plastic Free July challenge for the rest of the month and let me know how you get on.
Plastic free July
Single use plastics have a huge environmental impact. Things like straws, plastic bags and water bottles take hundreds of years to biodegrade and are ending up in our oceans the world over and being found in the stomach of every type of marine animal from fish to birds. More than this there is now known swathes of ocean where cubic metres of micro plastic particles are gathered floating around the ocean, dispersing toxic chemical into the environment. That last bit really shocked me but if you want a real shocking fact how about the estimate that up to 50% of our oceans could contain plastic by 2020? Or that by 2050 there could be more plastic in our oceans than fish.
Plastic free July is an idea that started in Australia in 2011 and has grown to 1 million people taking part worldwide last year. The idea is to dedicate one month to refusing to use single use plastics. There are some really simple things you can do to get started like take a drink of water out with you in a reusable bottle instead of buying bottled water and using reusable shopping bags. There’s absolutely loads of ideas on the Plastic Free July website.
I’m joining in with thousands of others across the globe for 2017 plastic free July. Week one quite frankly I’ve used quite a bit of plastic! Which might normally be considered a bit of an epic fail but it’s not. Here’s why; signing up for the challenge has made me really mindful of every time I’ve used a single use plastic. It’s actually quite surprising how easily it sneaks into your everyday. The main culprit for me at the moment is cling film. I use a lot of it for picnics and wrapping up left over’s for the fridge. I’m will look into getting some glass or stainless steel lidded containers and for now I am using all my lidded Tupperware.
Things I already do
I already do a few things like using reusable nappies (not as much as I used to now), I always take out a bottle of water with us when we go out anywhere in a plastic reusable bottle because that’s what I have. I’m still using oat milk from our allergy days and that is packaged in waxed cardboard not plastic. And I recently switched from single use sanitary products to a Mooncup on the recommendation of a friend and although it took a while to get used to, it. Is. Awesome.
Things to Change
Some things I will be looking to change for week 2 of the challenge are:
- Buy a metal reusable straw and picnic cutlery.
- Look at alternative food storage options.
- Buy a plastic free reusable coffee cup.
Come and join the movement ! It’s so simple and easy to do. You can register on the website for a weekly tips email and join the facebook group.
Every piece of plastic that has ever been made still exists. That’s enough to make anyone want to ditch the straws at least! Let me know if you are doing the challenge too and we can go along together, or if you try not to use single use plastics generally anyway in the comments below. I love reading comments. Thanks! 🙂