There are so many uses for plastic from storage boxes to food containers to holding my favourite bath scrub to my keyboard to all sorts of things. As I sit and write this I’m looking at so many things that are made of plastic in some way.
Plastic protects and holds, it keeps messy things from spilling out, it’s light weight, it’s safer to use than glass in some cases, it’s just so convenient and easy. This is the part I love. The part I don’t love is when I see how it doesn’t really break down or decompose; the amount that ends up along roadways, pavements and in landfills; the amount floating around in the ocean as well as the dependence I have on it.
Part of loosening my dependence with plastic has been to explore different ways of using it:
- I do have a choice sometimes to buy produce from somewhere that packages it differently or even petitioning the supplier to look for more sustainable ways to package their products.
- Taking along my own reusable shopping bags and even paper type bags for buying loose produce if they’re not supplied.
- Washing out and reusing bags, boxes, etc. where possible – repurposing. I also use the food trays as paint palettes or create something new as a toy or
- Some of it can be recycled so learning which ones and where I can take it for that has helped.
- Collecting things like bottle tops or bread tags for organisations that then use the money from the recycling of them to purchase wheelchairs or other items for the needy.
- Finding out about Ecobricks helped with the single use plastics that can’t be recycled. There are wonderful people building things from dustbins to benches to schools to homes with the bricks once they are filled. It seems like an endless amount of possibilities to create something with them.
- Then there’s the single use plastics like clingfilm, if I can’t wash it well it can’t go into an Ecobrick and I really don’t like throwing it away so I was really pleased to see an Eco friendly compostable type of clingfilm on the shelves. Unfortunately it carries a hefty price tag as some of the Eco products are want to do, hopefully one day it won’t be that way. Though I still need to do more homework into what some of these Eco friendly items are made of and do they really breakdown as well as they are advertised to.
There are some plastics though that I can’t reuse, recycle nor Ecobrick and that then becomes a lifestyle choice for me.
All said and done I can also only do what I can do, with what I have and where I currently am at. I can challenge myself to up my game if necessary and keep educating myself. I can’t save the whole world, I can only do my best, in my part of the world and hope that it possibly inspires someone else to do something in their part.