A friend was recently lamenting that she wished we could recycle more plastic. Often they were left with plastic containers, trays and bottles that they could not get rid of.
While I sympathise to a certain point, I do feel that the onus is on us as consumers to show the supermarkets and the Government what we want.
So often people feel helpless when it comes to environmental issues. They feel they are the victims of some immovable force that is much bigger than them. I like to play the optimist and I believe that with enough of us saying the same thing, changes WILL happen.
It’s easy to dramatically reduce the amount of waste plastic we have to get rid of by making a few simple changes to our lifestyle.
1- Buy loose fruit and vegetables from a farm shop or farmers market, rather than shrink wrapped ones from a supermarket. Alternatively, sign up for a vegetable box scheme or grow some of your own food.
2- Use a local butcher. They will use a sheet of grease proof paper and one thin plastic bag rather than a polystyrene tray and cling film. It’s not perfect, but it’s far less plastic to get rid of.
3- Bake your own bread. With bread making machines galore, it is no longer the chore it once was (although I’m one of those weird people who actually *like* kneading and baking by hand). You can throw everything in the bread machine at night and come down to the aroma of fresh bread in the morning.
4- Use the local milkman who will clean and reuse your glass bottles, rather than buying milk in plastic cartons.
5- Use a refill scheme for household products, such as Ecover. You get a reduction on the cost of a full bottle and you get to reuse the plastic instead of ditching it. Search the Ecover database for details of your nearest refill stockist
6- Over a million plastic bags are consumed per minute, worldwide. Buy or make a couple of cloth bags and say no to plastic carrier bags in the future. Check out the gorgeously funky Morsbags site for a sewing pattern. If you’re not a seamstress then treat yourself to an Onya bag , or the amazing Doy Bag.
7- If you have leftovers, don’t reach for the clingfilm to store food. Use a dish covered with a plate instead. It’s healthier for you and the environment. Likewise, if you take sandwiches to school or work, use paper bags from your vegetable box, unbleached parchment paper or the inner waxed bags from breakfast cereal.
8- It’s worth checking out your local recycling facilities. Where I live, for example, we can recycle plastic drinking bottles, milk bottles and washing up liquid bottles. Check out this recycle more site for details of your nearest facility.
9- Remember that you are entitled to leave any unnecessary packaging at the supermarket till. So if you do not have a choice about buying something wrapped in plastic then make a statement by leaving excess packaging at the checkout for them to dispose of.
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