So plastic is a huge environmental issue. If you don’t know already know that you must be either living under a rock or very naive. For the last 2 years I’ve been taking part in something called ‘Plastic Free July’ where by I try to live plastic free (or close to it) for the whole month of July. I set myself a target to not use any more plastic than will fit in one jar. This year I also challenged a few other people to join me. Here’s what we discovered….
This is easy, easier than last year. I’ve been for my weekly shop and not bought any plastic except for the lids on my nut milks. Francis bought crisps in a plastic packet and won’t offer me any so I decided to make my own. It did not turn out good. Ok no crisps for July…
Missing a few food items I’m used to eating. I’ve finished off the last of my spinach and cannot find it anywhere plastic free. Not even in the market (although they do have loose coriander…win!) I caved in and bought a bag of crisps, learnt how to fold it into a neat little triangle and put it in my plastic jar. It’s starting to fill up with milk lids, produce stickers and random bits of plastic I forget about inside cardboard boxes. Can’t buy rice loose anywhere… had to buy a bag in plastic but bought the biggest bag I could to try to cut down a little. Although I did find an amazing Mexican place for lunch – the best for plastic free lunch as they wrap they burritos in foil and put nachos in cardboard boxes.
Festival challenge. In the past, festivals have been some of the most wasteful places I have experienced but this year at Truck Festival, to my surprise I found it easy. I went armed with my own zero waste snacks – fruit and nuts (loose from the market) and oats as well as my zero waste travel kit including a couple of sporks, straws, water bottles and my new favourite thing – my Frank Green flask. Not only was almost all the festival food in either paper or foil (including wooden cutlery – not a plastic fork in sight!!) but we were even able to buy beer inside the arena in cans and then put them in the recycle bins after we were done. This is a major boost!
Moved into a new place and losing momentum after working a couple of shifts in a pub that have all of those tiny plastic sauce packets (one of my pet hates). Bought Pringles in a cardboard tube thinking I was clever… forgot about the plastic lid. In the jar it goes. Still missing spinach, crisps, tofu and rice… If someone could open a package free store in Oxford I would be eternally grateful ❤
All in all, this year seemed to be way harder than last year. I can’t quite put my finger on why though. The festival was a great success, in a whole weekend of eating out and drinking beer I didn’t buy any plastic at all (except the plastic packaging that the tent came in….why!). It’s hard, really hard. But I am optimistic about the future of being plastic free. Things seem to be changing rapidly. I used to get strange looks when I went into a cafe and asked for my water bottle to be filled up. Now I’m greeted with “Sure, would you like ice?” 🙂
So yes, being totally plastic free can have it’s limitations. But dramatically cutting down on plastic is easy and this is what we should all be focussing on. I’m still on the hunt for loose spinach, although I have heard about a place nearby that sells loose frozen fruit and veg so I will be visiting there very soon. ❤ Happy August!