We’ve completed week 1 of the plastic-free challenge and I’ve been very encouraged by the conversations I’ve started through this blog and through my conversations with friends and family. Collectively as a small community we’ve been reflecting on our consumption habits and have discussed simple ways to reduce plastic waste. It’s also been interesting to share insights with people from around the world and how our experiences with consumerism are very different. For example, it seems that people in certain European countries have many options to purchase items from cereal to laundry detergent by refilling containers from home. In Japan, it seems that the plastic packaging problem is worse where even bananas come in plastic bags. But no matter where we come from it’s nice to see a growing awareness of the issue and a desire to, as my mum says, “Refuse, Reduce, and Reuse.”
So far we’ve generated a small amount of plastic trash. A couple drinking straws (oops!) and two plastic sacs from items we already had in the house (raisins and lentils). We hope that we’ll create even less in the three weeks remaining. One thing I have noticed is that we’re generating much less trash in general. By eliminating plastic, we’ve eliminated much of our regular cardboard consumption. Often times we find that items packaged in cardboard often have some sort of plastic component such as a lining or a bag. It’s annoying because it seems unnecessary much of the time. So, as a result, we’re mostly accumulating organic waste.
The places I’ve been shopping or eating out at have been very understanding of my demands for no plastic. I’m obviously not the first person to rock up to the cheese counter with my own reusable container and I’m certainly not the first to refuse a straw or a plastic bag. Kudos to all of you out there who do this on a daily business and thank you to the local businesses who have been pioneering waste reduction initiatives.