Summer has passed and many enthusiastic humans like us tried to celebrate ‘plastic-free’ months in July and August. Some of us were very successful, but others found it a bit constraining. In my family, we tried to remember our reusable shopping bags, we were glued to the reusable water bottle and we were very strict on recycling. My daughter even said that we were ‘obsessed’ with plastic free! Is this true? Is it possible that we have gone so far down this road that the only way to remove this plastic dependency is to be obsessive about it?
Our daily lives depend on plastic products; toothbrushes, shampoo bottles, micro beads in beauty products, food wrapping and packaging – the list is probably endless. Even going to our favourite (very international) coffee shop and ordering a cold drink became an environmental hazard when we realised that, once the pleasure of drinking it was over, there was no way to recycle the single use ‘plastic’ cup and the straw that was required to drink it. I felt momentarily depressed and very guilty thinking that no matter what we do as planet lovers the war against plastic is going to be very long and complicated. That said we just cannot give up.
It is our individual responsibility to do something about it (anything is better than doing nothing). We have to learn to reduce demand for plastic products and reduce senseless plastic use. I am tired of feeling helpless and hopeless, but again, I know that big changes start with small steps.
So my first small step is to highlight five simple actions that all of us can take in order to kickstart our plastic-independent lifestyle, all of which will have a positive impact on the reduction of plastic production and consumption.
- Avoid using plastic bags: It’s simple. We all know they are damaging and everybody is aware of the horror caused by plastic bags, recently highlighted by the news of the dead whale found with a stomach full of plastic bags. Now you can get very pretty reusable shopping bags.
- Avoid plastic bottles and any single use items (cups –straws – food containers). I do not need to say much more about it as the title of this report says it all: “Drowning in plastic: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of France”
- Avoid unnecessary children toys and freebies that come with fast food.
- If you have no other alternative, think of ways to use, re-use, up-cycle and re-cycle. Check with friends or relatives if they have the item that you need, borrow it or even buy it second hand. Remember, plastic does not disintegrate
- Buy plastic free personal hygiene products. No micro beads! Also, remember to buy plastic free tampons and pads. Every month, women go through an endless number of disposal pads and tampons. Just think that the conventional sanitary pads are roughly 90% plastic and to make things worse every year, over 45 billion feminine hygiene products are disposed somewhere – anywhere.
Monthlies.co.uk offers you an easy way for you to make a start and make some important changes that have an impact.