Plastic Free July – Being Plastic Free

Plastic Free July - Results

I’m sad Plastic Free July is over. It’s been good having an even greater reason to talk about it and raise awareness.

We made Plastic Free July into a competition in our household.  We enjoyed the challenges of who could create the least waste.

save our planet

My most amusing incident was during a really hot day, my son was forced to have a plastic bottle of water at school.  He came home most disgruntled and was really disappointed that this waste was forced upon him.  His own fault though seeing as he has a lovely stainless steel water bottle at home that he’d failed to take with him that day.  I digress (as always).

Plastic Free Hacks

Take Away Restaurants

It’s okay to take your own containers and ask them to dispense your food straight into them.  This surprised me.  I didn’t think they would, but during the month of July, we used three take away restaurants and they were all accommodating.

chinese food

 

Chocolate

When I’m flying my little red flag, if I don’t get chocolate, people are going to get hurt.  There are a few brands of chocolate that don’t come wrapped in plastic.  Obviously, I made it my mission to sample them.  I particularly enjoyed this Green & Blacks Organic Milk Chocolate.

plastic free organic chocolate

 

 Deli Counters

I frequently do zero waste shopping in my local Tesco and they’re pretty accommodating.  We take our own containers to buy cheese and cold meats from the deli counter.  I felt like a massive idiot the first time, but  I couldn’t care less now, I feel like if they aren’t also on the same journey then it’s their ignorance.  My friend went to Sainsbury’s with her own containers and they refused to decant her deli counter shopping into her own containers citing health and safety as the reasons.  Shame on them.

zero waste deli

Meat

We always use our local, old school butchers.  I’ve been taking my own containers there since January so he’s more than used to it now.  My parents shop at the same butchers and during a conversation about me at the beginning of the year he described me as “a hippie, but there’s no harm in her”.  I was mortified and really embarrassed but now, again, it just makes me smile.  He wasn’t being offensive, he’s just old-fashioned and says it as he sees it.

butchers

 

Fruit & Vegetables

This has been the trickier one to handle.  Local supermarkets tend to have their produce wrapped in plastic as standard.  I’m totally comfortable putting my little peaceful protest out there and buying the produce but leaving the packaging on the counter and refusing it.  I always take my own produce bags with me (Onya bags are my very favourite – they’re super lightweight and are made from recycled plastic bottles).  I do sometimes buy fruit from our local farm shop although they are more expensive, however, I don’t mind paying extra for ethical produce.

plastic free shopping

 

Bread, Pastries & Rolls

We have a great bakery in town where we can buy bread.  They have a great selection of artisan bread.  We take cotton bags to carry our bread home in.  I bought a cotton bag at the beginning of the month, but I’ve since then made a few of my own.

Evershot bakery Chard

 

Fails

Not everything was a success this month.  I’d ordered a few bits from Amazon (aforementioned cotton bag and a stainless steel bottle).  I’d heard that you could select to have your Amazon shopping “Hassle Free”, meaning without packaging.  Couldn’t really figure that out, but as far as I can tell, that just means in their cardboard boxes.  What you can do, however, is customise your order.  I emailed the sellers as soon as I’d placed my order and asked for there to be no plastic packaging and both times they did still come wrapped in damn plastic.  This really annoyed me.

My Plastic Pollution

This was the plastic waste I created this month.  It drives me crazy when things are wrapped in plastic before placing in a box.  Why???  There’s just no need!  I’m missing a couple of toothpicks and another yoghurt pot, but this is it.  I’m pretty impressed with how little waste I’ve created.

my plastic waste

Smug

MrLovely felt very smug and self-righteous this morning when, on bin day, he had no rubbish to put out.  Just our recycling.

Conclusion

There’s a lot more to talk about, but I feel like it’s just too much to write about in one post.  I’m going to start creating YouTube videos about plastic free alternatives.

Now July is over, I have no plans to reintroduce single use plastic into my life.  It’s just rubbish.

I’d love to hear how you got on.  Did you have lots of victories?  Has it changed the way you shop and think about waste?  I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments section below.

Thank you for reading.

Lu Lovely

 

SOME OF THE LINKS I’VE USED ARE AFFILIATE LINKS AND BY PURCHASING THROUGH THEM, WHILST IT WON’T COST YOU ANYTHING, I EARN A SMALL COMMISSION WHICH CONTRIBUTES TOWARDS THE RUNNING COSTS OF MY SITE.

3 Comments

  • Reply August 8, 2017

    Kelly Peters

    Such a great post, I’ve never even considered the amount of plastic we use as a family of four. You’ve definitely got me thinking….

  • Reply September 20, 2017

    Joanna

    Congratulations for all the efforts you are doing into using as less plastic as possible. I never thought it was so difficult to live without plastic but if I look around me I can see so many items made out of it.

  • Reply September 23, 2017

    Amy @ The Devonshire Woman

    This is such a great post! Since learning about zero waste living all i see everywhere is plastic, plastic, plastic!! It’s nice to read about someone doing zero waste in one of the big 4 supermarkets as all other posts i have read, people have gone to expensive independent stores that readily support zero waste. You did great during this challenge, i am very impressed 🙂 x

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