Soo…lets talk about plastic, specifically the amount thats wasted…
Recently I read that there are hardly any applications for recycled plastic. One of the only things it can be made into is bumper stickers. This made sense as I remember being taught about how difficult plastic is to recycle.
Thinking about this made me VERY conscious about the amount of plastic I dispose of. Is there a huge demand for bumper stickers? Despite me always putting it for recycling (if appropriate) I’ve never been convinced that this means it gets reused. There are rumours that our carefully sorted recycling often goes to landfill anyway *cries*. Even if it does get reused, there is an energy output needed to repurpose it. To allay my huge feelings of guilt about the environmental impact of all this (poor planet earth) I’ve started reducing the amount of plastic I use.
I already tote around a refillable water bottle and reusable canvas bags. Both practices are quite commonplace, especially since we now have to pay for carrier bags in the UK. I never get the small plastic bags when buying fruit and veg, even if it seems comical to have onions and potatoes rolling around my shopping trolley. Despite this I felt I needed to do more. This means:
- Making more food from scratch. Most ‘ready to go’ food comes in bulky plastic containers. I cook most nights anyway and bring packed lunches, but some of my snacks come in plastic packages. I can make more of these at home and as an added bonus they’ll probably be healthier too.
- Buy food that does have plastic packaging. Now I don’t just choose products based on price but also on packaging, or lack thereof. The other day I brought loose peppers that were more expensive than the packaged ones to avoid the plastic bag. I’ve swapped where I get my frozen blueberries, as some seem to have double the packaging.
- Make swaps to products that don’t have plastic containers AT ALL. For some things, like certain hair products I’m not aware of alternatives I’m happy to swap to. *If you know any hit a girl up.* Other swaps however are more manageable. I’ve started using a bar of soap in lieu of shower gel and washing powder instead of liquid.
- Make your own cosmetics. Never again will I buy a body scrub in a plastic tub. I’ll made my own out of ingredients in my kitchen cupboards; sugar or oats make great bases for scrubs. The same goes for face masks.
- Buy products in bulk or package less. This is especially effective for dry products, I’ve heard of places you can bring the container you store things in a home.
- Shop locally from smaller suppliers. Often they are more accommodating to requests for less packaging. In a supermarket your meat comes in a load of plastic, end of. A local butcher however can wrap it grease proof paper instead if you ask. When the product is sourced from nearby it’s carbon footprint is smaller. Additionally you are supporting local businesses and people in your community. Win win win!
Although small these changes can really reduce the amount of plastic you waste. Now, does anyone know shops in the UK I can buy food without packages?