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Plastic Free July- Week 1

How has the first week of July gone by already? How did you get on with your plastic-free product swaps in the last 7 days?  Even if you didn’t manage to complete what you set out to do, it’s important not to think you’ve failed!  You’ve got plenty of time to try again.  It always takes time when making changes to turn them into a habit, which is why I always advise making small changes but often on your quest to an eco-friendly or plastic-free life.

If you’re wondering why you there’s a whole month dedicated to living plastic-free and what the whole fuss is about then here’s some facts and figures that I posted a couple of weeks ago that should make you want to start changing your plastic shopping habits.

  • Plastic can take up to a thousand years to fully decompose and gives off toxic chemicals (greenhouse gases) whilst it does so, which contribute to global warming.
  • With that in mind, it can be argued that every piece of plastic ever made since it’s invention in 1907 is still with us now.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped in the ocean every year.
  • Over 1 million marine animals are killed by plastic pollution every year
  • Over 90% of all fish & birds are thought to have plastic particles in their stomach
  • In the North Pacific, a whirlpool of ocean currents collects plastic debris and it is currently estimated to be twice the size of France. Its now known as the North Pacific Garbage Patch.

My week got off to an interesting start as I took part in a PR campaign to highlight the amount of single use plastic we consume so if you’ve ever wanted to see me (with bad lockdown hair!) sat on a pile of plastic then you’re in luck!

On a serious note though, this campaign was all about raising awareness of plastic pollution and highlighting the sheer volume of plastic that UK households get through every day.  Over a two week period I collected all the single use plastic we used in our household.  Most of my cleaning, personal care and bathroom products are already plastic-free so this large volume of plastic is mainly from food packaging. 

Yes, it really is just from a 2 week period. And that’s from someone who has already made lots of eco-friendly product swaps.

From the photo, I think we can clearly see that my vices are vimto, crisps and chocolate but when I started to prepare myself for this challenge I also found bread, cheese and meat were difficult to find in plastic-free packaging.

 

Plastic-free changes I’ve been successful in making 

  • Swapped the Vimto for Pixley Berries cordial in a glass bottle. It’s a bit pricy and doesn’t taste as good but it’s a good opportunity to explore this area and find a better alternative.

  • The only plastic-free chocolate that I can see on the supermarket shelves are the larger Galaxy bars and the premium chocolate bars so I am also looking forward to visiting refill shops to get my chocolate fix over the next few weeks!
  • The only plastic-free crisp brand I know of is Two Farmers but I haven’t managed to get my hands on these bags yet so it’s been a crisp free zone this past week.
  • Plastic-free fruit and vegetables have been the easiest to source this week as we have a farm shop (Spout House Farm) just over the road from us. This week, I am venturing to our local market as they will also have a larger selection.

  • Bread was a difficult one. No plastic-free packaging on the supermarket shelves and my local far shop and delis all wrap there freshly baked breads in plastic but I managed to get my hands on some at Holmes Mill Food Hall in Clitheroe.  It’s a bit far out for me to make a weekly trip just for bread so I’m on a mission again this week to find plastic-free bread.

  • In my planning and preparation I’d even spoke to our local pub ahead of visiting at the weekend as I didn’t want to drink out of plastic glasses. No problem, as I had the option of glass or plastic depending on whether I was inside or outside. 
  • We even managed to find a new plastic-free takeaway in Nandos! However, even though the takeaway bags are 100% recyclable, all other items have a thin plastic lining to keep the food warm and fresh, which unfortunately means they're not widely recycled.

 

The plastic-free challenge fail’s I’ve made!

  • On Saturday I found myself needing to buy a last minute bunch of flowers and completely forgot until afterwards that they were wrapped in plastic.
  • We also went out for a walk and lunch on Monday and unfortunately, the café was only serving drinks in plastic bottles due to the current Covid-19 pandemic so I found myself purchasing a bottle of water.

 

Week 2 of Plastic Free July

A lot of lessons from week one and only a couple of fails  I think being organised really helped me in Week One.  As we go in to Week Two of Plastic Free July I am looking forward to trying out more plastic-free alternatives.  On the agenda for the next week is a trip to the local market for veg, cheese and hopefully bread.  I am also paying a trip to a local Butchers who have said they will package our order up in our own reusable tubs.  

Let me know how you have all got on in week one and what's planned for week two below!

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