Last month I joined millions of people across 150 countries participating in Plastic Free July - an initiative that aims to raise awareness around the issue of plastic pollution and encourage everyone to take steps to consume less single use plastic. I fell down the #zerowaste rabbit hole about three years ago, so participating in Plastic Free July for the first time was an opportunity to do a bit of an audit of where we are at with our plastic consumption.
So here it is...one month worth of plastic waste! This includes all the plastic waste that my partner and I produced in our house, plus pretty much everything that I used outside the house.
I'm not super sure how this compares to everyone else - it's a bit hard to gauge what everyone is squishing into those mason jars sometimes - but perhaps you had one of two reactions. If you are thinking "wow, that's a ridiculously small amount of waste for two people to generate in a month" - then remember that we are two relatively time and money-rich adults who can choose to support local, plastic-free businesses (and enjoy doing so!). If you are thinking "erm, you call that zero waste?!?" - then (a) please be kind and (b) remember that while bulk stores are coming to Cardiff, they weren't open in time for July. We also didn't really prepare for Plastic Free July, so while we had some recently purchased groceries from the Plastic Free Pantry and the Natural Weigh, we were also using up a bunch of other (plastic-packaged) foods.
What's in the box?
For the month of July, we put all our plastic waste into a big cardboard box so we could see how it was building up. Here's a bit of a breakdown of what went into the box over the month, with notes on what we are planning to change, and what we are probably going to keep using for now.
Our plastic-free champions!
We have slowly built up habits over the last few years that meant Plastic Free July was not too much of a shock to the system. There are a bunch of tiny habits that we probably don't even think about any more, but here are some of the big ones that have helped use to avoid plastic during July and generally in life.
Thanks for sticking with me for such a long post! I'm really glad we decided to participate in Plastic Free July this year, as it gave us an opportunity to consolidate our habits, push our limits a bit more, and identify what our areas for improvement could be.
Did you participate in Plastic Free July? I'd love to hear what you learnt and any tips in the comments below or on social media (T: @karabrussen, IG: @wonderfullygreen)!
A little while ago I tried to investigate what happens to all the soft plastics that everyone diligently separates and puts into the recycling bins at major supermarkets in the UK. The information available on the internet is a bit vague, so I asked the supermarkets for more detail. To close the loop on that conversation (#wastepun), I have included all the responses in this post.
You may have seen this on twitter:
I felt the response on twitter was a little lacklustre, so I also emailed the customer service teams of all the supermarkets mentioned. This is what I sent:
And here are the responses that I received back from all of the supermarkets:
Hello Miss Brussen,
Note: I received nothing further from Tesco.
Some interesting responses there, and all saying really good things! I just hope that the bags are going where they say they are going!
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My name is Kara and I created this blog as a way to document all the lovely aspects of sustainability. You can find out more on my About page.
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