Plastic Free July: Week One

I’ve just completed the first week of Plastic Free July, an Australian-based challenge to get people thinking about reducing single use plastic.

I have pledged to do without the following this month:

plastic bags

plastic bottles

plastic straws

disposable coffee cup lids

Plus really try to stop using single use plastic (ie food wrapping) completely.

Like many other participants I am keeping a ‘dilemma’ bag to hold any plastic that does comes my way. And like many other plastiphobes (Eco Thrify Living, Plastic is Rubbish, and Westy Writes) I am struggling with keeping the plastic out of my life.

So far in the PLASTIC FAILS pile this last week I have:

– bought a second-hand hoover which came with tools in a separate plastic bag

– asked someone to buy me 100g of sweets from the local newsagent (I asumed they would come loose in a paper bag). Instead each sweet was individually wrapped and came in a small plastic bag.

– drunk out of a plastic pint glass at a friend’s party

– bought a bicycle pump that had plastic shrink-wrapped at the top

– bought a plastic envelope to send a parcel to a friend (didn’t even realised what I’d done until two days later!)

– wrapped up a sandwich for work in cling film

But in the PLASTIC SUCCESSES I have:

– discovered Lush products and am enjoying the soaps, shampoo (doesn’t smell as bad as I thought) and conditioner.

– went to the local health food store with my own containers and bought some loose ingredients

– shopped at the local greengrocers who supply paper bags to put their fruit and veg in

– said ‘no’ to plastic straws for my daughters’ drinks when out. And refused to buy them fruit shoots

– used cloth bags all the time and taken a reusable water bottle with me when out and about

So, at the moment the ‘fails’ outweigh the ‘successes’. I am beginning to realise:

a)how plastic is everywhere and how hard it is to lead a plastic-free life, even if it’s just for a short time and

b)how easy it is to forget I’m doing this challenge as I go about my everyday life. Nearly every decision has to be checked and double checked as I strive to wean myself off the stuff

Now in Week Two I face the big challenge of food shopping on a larger scale for my family to feed us for the next few weeks. It’s going to be hard to keep plastic out of it and, as I have limited access to a car and live in a rural village, may have to resort to online shopping and home delivery. We’ll see how that goes….


4 thoughts on “Plastic Free July: Week One

  1. It’s incredibly hard to avoid plastic entirely! I am trying to do without a lot of it but you do have to be constantly aware! I’m impressed your greengrocers provides paper rather than plastic bags. Best of luck for week 2. Joanna x

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