6 Things I’ve learned attempting plastic free July

Beach covered in plastic rubbish (Lap Sap Wan), New Territories, Hong Kong, China. Reference: matthewwilliams-ellis.com

1. ITS EVERYWHERE

This is something I did realise prior to the challenge but it has absolutely been engrained in me more so now. How’s the guilt walking into the supermarket and seeing more than half of the fruit and vegetables wrapped in plastic(unnessecary) as well as hummus, biscuits, breads, frozen berries, PB, dried fruit, grains, pasta etc etc etc could literally go on forever.

2. Farmers markets are the way to go

This makes such big difference in a number of ways:

-Supporting local business’ which I am so for post Australian bushfires and mid pandemic. They deserve our dollar. Not these overseas multi million dollar companies

-Its better quality and I really do think better budget wise

-A whole lot less plastic, I still see a ridiculous amount of items such as mushrooms in a plastic bag with a plastic tie right next to a paper bag full of mushrooms? But generally I think there is less plastic. I’ve even asked stall holders if they’ll recycle the container/plastic bands if I buy the produce and they’ve been fine with it. Unsure if this is okay during covid but hoorah for less landfill.

3. So many people are unaware

I am 25 this year and i’d like to assume most people I associate myself with (20-35) have a pretty good understanding around single use plastics… definitely not the case. It’s really hard biting your lip/not overreacting because NONE OF US ARE PERFECT. But to see people still getting plastic straws with their drinks whilst out or using glad bags/cling wrap on a daily basis….. WOT πŸ™ these people unfortunately don’t know any better/ the repercussions this has and that’s OKAY. We all could do with more education on this topic but the more we work together and share the knowledge the better off we will be. “Its not about all of us being perfect, but all of us being imperfect” I love that quote. And that is where we will see change.

4. Cornstarch tooth brushes are the BOMB

Again like many other humans that are lucky enough to have the money to buy oral hygiene products I have been buying plastic toothbrushes for years. They say we go through 300 toothbrushes in our lifetime. That’s a whole lot of plastic sticks chilling on beautiful coastlines around the world. I’ve also read that plastic tooth brushes take 400 YEARS TO BREAKDOWN compared to cornstarch toothbrushes taking just 12 months! Bamboo are a good idea too but cornstarch seem to last longer, feel more sturdy and keep cleaner! Personal preference.

5. Let glass jars be your bestfriend

Glass jars are amazing! I’ve been using them for homemade coffee scrubs, pot plants, toothbrush holders, trail mix containers, iced coffee cups, bobby pin accumulators lol and to store all of my dry goods in the pantry! If you can ever purchase something eg: peanut butter in a glass jar over a plastic container- do it! So useful in the long run.

6. Every small difference counts

Pick up that chip packet that is making your left eye twitch or that mcdonalds cup(are they not everywhere?!) on your morning walk. If we all had the mentality ‘someone else can do it’ what would get done?! You’ll feel better for it, our streets will be looking more pristine and mama earth will thank you for it!

Lets all do our bit πŸ™‚