Now that Plastic Free July is over there are a few things that this challenge has taught me. One of the biggest lessons is how taking part in something like this connects you to other bloggers. There have been some inspirational UK based bloggers who have really taken the no plastic message on board and through them I’ve picked up some invaluable information (and lots of encouragement).
Polythene Pam from Plastic is Rubbish alerted us to the plastic that is used in the manufacture of teabgs here. Since then there have been campaigning emails, tweets and phone calls trying to get to the bottom of this issue. Westy Writes and Treading My Own Path have grabbed this by the scruff of its neck and it seems that no tea company has been left alone this month. For my very small part I have emailed Cafe Direct to clarify its use of plastic. Despite two emails, I have yet to hear from them.
When I received my over-packaged meat box from Riverford Organics I dropped them an email. My local suppliers contacted the butchery department who replied that the meat has to be kept in optimum condition and it is an industry standard to use the non-recyclable trays. However he said that he is looking for ‘greener packaging’. There is an interesting link here that explains Riverford’s research into different forms of packaging. However this didn’t really answer my query about why such packaging had to be used in the meat box. So I will just chalk that one up to experience and continue on my quest for less heavily packaged meat products.
After my disappointing Asda delivery with the plastic bottle of Filippo Berio olive oil I contacted both the supermarket to ask them to change their online packaging description, and the oil manufacturer direct. I have yet to hear from the latter but Asda has called me to say they will change their website details. (I will keep an eye on that).
But I also wanted to be positive this month and thank companies. So my email to Asda also explained how useful I found the packaging information on their website (most of the time!) and mentioned those products I had bought that were packaged only in cardboard (ice cream, choc ices, waffles, veggie burgers). And I emailed Bottlegreen who produce some lovely cordials in really pretty glass bottles.
The past week has led to a few more failings in my Plastic Free quest. A trip to London on a very hot day when we left our re-usable water bottles at home meant we had to buy plastic bottles and I even failed in my quest to refuse disposable coffee cup lids. I have to admit I’m relieved the month is over and am not sure if I would take part again (or if I did be better at planning in advance). But there are a few things I have taken on board and plan to continue with:
– keep up with milk in glass bottles (but ditch the orange juice at £1.25 per pint)
– continue to make home-made granola
– continue to refuse plastic bags, straws, plastic drinks bottles and dispoable coffee cups (as much as possible)
– keep on looking for minimal packaged meat
Now that August is here I shall enjoy a month with no challenges!