The second week of Plastic Free July has ended, and that has seen the announcement by Woolworths, and then Coles, to eliminate single-use plastic bags by mid-2018. This is fantastic news! In other news, I have been chewing off the ears of anyone who will (or won’t) listen to me! I have passionately nagged my immediate family to stop buying things in plastic, and explained the many hideous things plastic is doing to our beautiful world – seriously, google ‘rubbish island’. It’s gross. I’ve also podcasted, documentary-watched, and flooded my social media feeds with all things plastic-free to keep me motivated. Here’s how week two went down.
This is cheating because it arrived at the end of June, but I can’t go past an opportunity to tell you all about my amazing new plastic-free phone case. (No, this is not an ad!) I had to upgrade my phone recently and was lamenting having to buy another plastic cover for the new model I purchased. But never fear, a little search took me to Pela Case. They are plastic-free, come in a great range of colours, protect your phone and they are COMPOSTABLE! Yes, that’s right, they can go right in your compost bin when you’re done.
While shopping at the Finders Keepers market this weekend, I found a fantastic stall called Apiary Made, that sells beeswax wraps and also beeswax pouches for storing loose items and leafy greens. I still have a humungous roll of cling-wrap but I think I’m going to let it gather dust in a cupboard in favour of using these. I got myself a pouch to start with and honestly, it’s so beautiful I want to buy more. It’s all ethically-sourced, handmade in organic cotton, and the fabrics are gorgeous. Plastic-free has never looked so good!!
Audit your plastic
To me, Plastic Free July isn’t just about refusing new plastic that’s coming in to your life, but also auditing what you already have and using it up or finding new uses for it. You would have noticed in my Week 1 recap, I have been including not just the plastic coming in, but also the last of the single-use plastic items in my home. For example, last week I finished a large bottle of body wash that I had purchased in bulk from Costco. This has been replaced with bar soap. This week I used up a bag of pasta, which has been replaced with pasta that came in cardboard packaging. This is the time to look at what you’ve got and as you use it up, investigate what alternatives there are. This way you don’t end up in a jam, having run out of something and are forced to buy the plastic-packaged option again.
Acknowledge your wins
As I said last week, this can’t be an overnight change. But every time you avoid plastic you’re doing our world a huge favour. You’re saving plastic from landfill as well as all the resources used to make that plastic in the first place. It can be as simple as not using plastic bags – check out my plastic-free shop from this week. All my fruit and veggies were purchased plastic-free, and I even found a loaf of package-free bread! Shout out to Irrewarra Sourdough, stocked at LaManna for that one! Plus it doesn’t have to be all about healthy stuff – managed to still drop two blocks of chocolate into my bag. 🙂 Feel good knowing you’ve taken a step, no matter how small. Because every step, every purchase, every choice matters.
- The plastic sleeve inside the box of Weetbix I bought. Why, Sanitarium, why? The only way I can think to combat this is to get up even earlier than I already do to cook porridge … but I’m not much of a morning person so I’m not entirely sure if I can avoid this one.
- Two containers of strawberries. But I have a plan for these, involving taking them to the farmers market and using them to transport fresh strawberries home.
- I went to the bakery and got a donut. The lady asked me if I would like a bag or a box. Thinking a box meant cardboard, I went with that option. And while I was fishing for coins in my purse, she wrapped the cardboard in plastic wrap!!! *sob* So the lesson here is make sure you’re clear about what you want! I guess it’s punishment for getting the donut in the first place. 😛
- Farewell to the last packet of plastic-wrapped pasta, and hello shiny beautiful cardboard box of Barilla pasta! Although I have to say, is the plastic window on the box really necessary, Barilla? Especially when there’s already an illustration of the pasta on the box? I guess I know who I will be emailing this week!
- Adios to a plastic bag of rolled oats. The plan is to hunt down a cardboard box option, or fill my container at the bulk store.
Need more inspiration?
- I was saving this for a post on life-changing documentaries, but it’s so fitting I have to mention it here. A Plastic Ocean is a fantastic documentary on Netflix. The documentary opens with all this stunning footage of a blue whale, up close and personal, in the ocean. And then the camera pans up towards the bottom of the ocean and you see this horrible film of oil and rubbish and it turns your stomach. The message in this documentary is how our plastic consumption ends up in the ocean and is slowly killing the oceanic ecosystems. There’s footage of the ocean bed covered in decades-old plastic bottles and other plastic debris and it’s truly sickening. If you are still looking for reasons why plastic is evil, watch this!
- Listen to the War on Waste podcast. Hosted by Craig Reucassel and Wendy Harmer, it continues the discussion started by the ABC show of the same name. You’ll get plenty of ideas on how to curb household rubbish.