Breaking the Plastic addiction – a how to

I get a bit upset about the completely unnecessary plastic packaging we see in our shops; I snapped these pics at Countdown recently…

 

 

As you can see, there are apples, avocados and grapes encapsulated in plastic galore. What I find most silly, is avocados and bananas in plastic packaging, when they already come with their own packaging – their skin, which we remove before eating! As for apples and grapes, they may obviously be washed before eating.

When I was living in the UK, I noticed the impact, virtually overnight of supermarkets beginning to charge for plastic bags. Everyone started bringing their own and it was wonderful. I know Pak n Save has started charging for plastic bags but the bring your own reusable bags movement, doesn’t seem to have caught on yet for some reason.  I get that using plastic bags is convenient and easy but how is convenience a justifiable excuse for not making a little extra effort and making a choice that is better for the environment?

We have a massive world-wide plastic crisis on our hands and it’s destroying our marine life, this article puts the issue into context: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/19/more-plastic-than-fish-in-the-sea-by-2050-warns-ellen-macarthur

It’s not just retailers that are the problem by selling these plastic covered products, the consumer is complicit too, because they are buying these plastic covered products and not bringing their own reusable bags. Is it you? If it is, please stop, we need to vote with our wallets. If people don’t buy these products presented in this way, then businesses won’t supply them in this way. Simple.

I am trying to do my bit to reduce my plastic consumption. I thought I’d share some of the steps I’ve taken and some ideas that you can implement too.

  • Refusing plastic bags wherever I can, for all purchases from buying clothes through to groceries, instead using reusable bags.
  • Buying as much food as I can through a Co-op – this way it comes in bulk and reduces the amount of packaging
  • Buying dry goods such as beans, lentils and rice from bulk buy stores e.g. Bin-Inn, Piko and Liberty Market (makes buying organic goods affordable too). You can use your own bags, or use provided paper bags and pay by weight
  • Taking every opportunity to bring the plastic issue into the awareness of others, by saying no thank you to plastic bags. This way you’re setting an example and prompting others to think about their own plastic consumption.
  • Use glass storage containers instead, get them half price at Briscoes, or on sale or at the Warehouse
  • Making a conscious effort to buy products in glass, not plastic
  • Switching to solid shampoo – such as from local business ‘Dirty Hippy, rather than getting them in plastic bottles. You’ll find they contain fewer chemicals too.
  • Using wooden, silicone, or stainless steel cooking implements
  • Putting produce straight in the basket, rather than into yet another plastic bag
  • Never use single use water bottles! Get your own reusable enamel one, far more durable and avoid BPA too.
  • Make your own cleaning products with castile soap, baking soda, vinegar, water and essential oils (honestly, they are just as effective) and put them in your recycled glass jars, rather than buying cleaners in plastic bottles. This way you can avoid the nasty chemicals too.
  • Make your own washing powder with borax or Citric acid (buy at selected Bin-Inn’s and supermarkets), vegetable based soap/castile soap and washing soda crystals (selected supermarkets)

Let’s do what we can and ditch the plastic today and every day as much as we can!

 

About Lauren Bray

Passionate about many things including healthy, low impact/sustainable living, vegetarianism, alternative health and using therapeutic grade essential oils to enhance mine and my family's lives.
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