My Plastic Free Week
I spend a lot of my life lambasting my friends in bars when they use straws – we have all seen the harrowing footage of turtles with straws up their noses, it still baffles me how anyone can use something so destructive so cavalierly when it is completely superfluous to our existence. However, the more I reflect on single use plastic the more I came to realise that straws represent a dislocation between us and the packaging we use. Yes, straws are pointless and unnecessary with so many alternatives (including just regular drinking – when did raising the glass to our mouth become too much effort?) but what about those plastic bags I take my vegetables home in from the supermarket? I certainly have not been reusing them! Every hangover for me usually requires at least one bottle of diet coke and I must confess I seldom reuse them. So I have decided to stop being preachy and start being practice-y. I am going to attempt to go for 1 week without buying any single use plastic. I am not going to try and go cold turkey; I have cupboards of Tupperware and plastic bags that I will continue to use as well as some packaged goods in the fridge that I won’t let go to waste for the sake of this experiment. I will however be seeking out plastic alternatives wherever possible and any plastic I do use will of course be going straight in the recycling bin and, most importantly, I will not purchase anything plastic for 1 week. What I aim to do this week is to show myself just how much plastic I use and to see how much of it I can personally cut down. Wish me luck!
I started today with so much optimism. I already had my long life water bottle (no single use Evians for me anymore!) and I filled it with a smoothie to take in for breakfast. My banana’s have their own plastic skin so no need for a bag there. My berries I buy frozen, so they were already in their plastic in the freezer. That annoyed me a little but hey, at least they were caught and frozen in season! Almond milk from a cardboard carton and blend it up, happy days. No plastic thrown away there. Went to make myself a wrap for lunch and bam – sandwich bags are a massive no no! Not to worry, this is why we store all the Tupperware we get from takeaways. Off to the library I go.
Challenge 1. Coffee. Our library does not sell recyclable coffee cups. Looks like a caffeine free day as well as a plastic free day.
Challenge 2. I want a chocolate snack. You cannot buy loose chocolate. This day sucks.
Dinner consists of leftovers which my flatmate very kindly put in the fridge for me when she deep cleaned the kitchen this morning after our dinner party last night. Unfortunately, she has put cling film over the top of it to keep it in good condition. Challenge 3 – failed. Cling film is very much a single use plastic. Poor turtles.
Just when I thought I had negated the worst of the day (teabags come in cardboard boxes so I can still have one good thing in my life), flatmate number 2 opens her post for the day. There is a lot of excitement I can hear and it turns out it’s because the moth balls we ordered have arrived!! Excellent, I have a sparse wardrobe as it is, the last thing I need is my favourite jumper(s) to get savaged by moths. I will take this moment to say ‘moth balls’ is a very misleading name. They are not even a little bit round. It turns out they are capsules that you peel off the lid of and leave in your wardrobe. We got 4 each. That takes my thrown away plastic to 5 items and its only day 1.
Fingers crossed tomorrow is better.