As we approach the end of the month I feel as though I am limping towards the finish line with respect to Plastic Free July.
On Wednesday we bought a new telephone for home. It has an inbuilt answering machine and a second handset. It was packaged in a cardboard box which is great but every single item was separately wrapped in plastic!
I generally keep any plastic bags that do happen to make their way into our home. Even ones with air holes are used for containing rubbish. These are too small to be of any use so I think I will have to pack them all inside one bag and then put them in the rubbish. This is far from an ideal solution but the main thing will be to ‘dispose of thoughtfully’ so that they do not end up in the marine environment where plastic does untold damage. Here is an example that I saw posted on Facebook the other day. It comes from this page.
Today I bought a book for our guests to write comments on their stay. I looked at several different ones but in the end I decided that rather than a generic one with a black vinyl (plastic) cover from the newsagent that I would buy a handcrafted one from an independent bookstore in our town. It is made in Sri Lanka using handmade paper from elephant dung and post-consumer waste paper. The only problem was that it was packaged in shrink-wrap plastic. This will go in the bin along with the telephone packaging. Here is the book (plastic removed) and the addition of a title (printed by me).
I have also bought more yoghurt, cheese and milk – all in plastic.
So what have I learned from participating in Plastic Free July? Awareness, mostly. It is pretty difficult to live an existence that is completely free of single-use plastics. I think in the scheme of things that I do quite well, but there is room for improvement. The dairy products are the only things that I buy regularly in plastic. Reducing consumption in all aspects of your life and not buying new will certainly limit the plastics more than anything else you do.
I bought the regular things that I do this month so this is a true indication of the single-use plastics that I contribute to the waste stream.