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The Anti-Plastic Crusade: Weeks 3 & 4 of Plastic Free July

Last week when by so fast and before I knew it, I’d forgot to write up all about week 3 of Plastic Free July so I’ve lumped both together for you.  Starting with good news of our plastic awareness campaign and we made the Daily Mirror with it! Let’s hope lots of people read the write-up and have changed some of their buying habits since.

Over the past 2 weeks I’ve been carrying on with my trips to the butchers, cheesemongers and getting our milk and eggs delivered plastic-free.  I’ve also been making paying visits to local refill shops, which seem to have sprung up after the lockdown has been eased!  If you are local to me in Chorley, then you might know that a new one opened up in Adlington called Fill Yer Boots and I’ve also been to a new one, Earth Evolution in Darwen.  Here, I’ve been able to purchase some cupboard food essentials such as rice, coffee, cereals but all plastic free!  All you do is take your own tubs and you just pay for the weight of the food you take away.  My Dad was telling me that when he was a young boy there used to be similar shops on every corner so it’s interesting to see that this journey has taken us back to some good old-fashioned habits. 

I’ve also taken a more in depth look at the new plastic-free food delivery service from Loop.  They have 164 plastic-free products online but can now also be found in a special aisle in Tesco.  It works simply by purchasing your items and paying a 100% refundable deposit per item.  When the empty glass containers are returned, your deposit is refunded, and the glassware is professionally cleaned and reused.  Your delivery will also come waste-free.  Having a look through the website, there are only a handful of items that we would use so rather than purchase them online, I am going to pay a trip to Tesco in this last few days of July to have a look at the aisle alongside my shopping list. 

Week 3 saw me picking up a prescription from the chemist and saw me with some unavoidable plastic tablet packaging.  And not just the packaging itself, after some googling I discovered that tablets are often covered in a plastic called enteric coating which prevents to medication from dissolving too soon. 

My hunt for plastic-free bread locally to me has also proved impossible.  The places that would normally do it, such as booths or a bakery, now have it prewrapped up due to the virus.  Instead, I’m going to have a go at making my own this week as a lovely follower of ours on Instagram has provided me with a recipe and tips and told me how easy it is so fingers crossed I can do her proud!

This week, I realised that one element of our kitchen that I don’t think will ever be plastic-free is the dog food!  Our Labrador, Bobby, has such a strict diet and has been on the same dry food that comes in a big plastic bag for years.  I would now be scared to switch his food and upset his stomach again so unless the brand come up with a plastic-free packaging alternative, it is best for Bobby’s health to stock to this dog food. However, we do use the Ecovibe or Maistic compostable dog poo bags.  When purchasing dog bags, don’t be fooled by the term ‘biodegradeable’ as this still means that the bags could take years to decompose.  The term is very misleading but to make it easier for yourself just look out for dog poo bag brands that are compostable. 

For the final few days of July I want to look at swapping to plastic-free alternatives in my make-up bag.  Although the rest of my personal care items are all now eco-friendly alternatives, it is time to switch up the make-up.  I currently use Tropic who do use 100% natural ingredients and are vegan.  They even offer some eco options when it comes to delivery, packaging, and refills but I would still prefer to have 100% plastic-free make up so I will be looking into that this week.  Has anyone got any brands they can suggest for me?  Hopefully in time, we will also be able to sell plastic-free make up on the site as I know its an area lots of people struggle with!

One thing I have started to do is to put some spare refillable tubs in the car along with our shopping bags, just in case I need to pick something up whilst we are out and about.  As ever, planning and preparation has been key to getting through the last few weeks and although July is coming to an end, I am excited to carry on this journey and to discover new ways of eating and buying plastic-free.  Hopefully as time goes on, more retailers and brands will wake up and change their packaging habits to make it easier for us and more sustainable for the planet.

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