Week 3 of Plastic Free July included our youngest daughter’s birthday and the last week of school, both plastic-heavy occasions. We cut down some of the plastic that goes with birthdays by baking her cake at home (forgot to take a picture – sorry!) and shopping carefully for some of her presents. Family and friends very kindly put a lot of thought and consideration into keeping the impact of her birthday low. Her best friend made home-made wrapping paper and family members bought presents with as little packaging as possible.
The last week of term without fail seems to involve lots of small individual packets of sweets, especially as the Year 6s run competing tuck shops as a social enterprise during the last week. I’m proud to say that my daughter’s group decided to sell juice made up from a large bottle rather than individual cartons or bottles. They also encouraged children to reuse their cups by offering them refills at a reduced price.
Despite trying our best to reduce our plastic consumption, it still wasn’t a great week for plastic use in our house. Here’s most of our plastic waste for week 3:
I say ‘most of’ because I think my husband and children may have disposed of some of it without realising I was saving it. And here’s the breakdown:
- Milk bottle. Our milkman has unfortunately had to stop trading. We’ll sort out another delivery as soon as we can, but for now it’s back to the supermarket milk.
- Cheese. We still haven’t managed to find somewhere we can buy cheese plastic-free. If I buy it from the large block at the deli counter, the large block is wrapped in plastic. So, I’m continuing to buy it in bags and trying to reuse those bags (handy for if I need to scoop out the cat litter or if the cat is sick!). Also, we had home-made pizzas on Saturday instead of ordering takeaway. Most of the ingredients and toppings were plastic-free, but the mozzarella and cheese weren’t. Then on Sunday we had a barbecue and I had halloumi, because I’m not eating so much meat these days.
- Lid from a jar of instant gravy.
- Packaging from reduced to clear bread. We might have consumed some plastic, but we prevented food waste, so I can live with that.
- Cucumber wrappers.
- Dishwasher tablet wrappers. I have all the ingredients for making my own dishwasher tablets, but still haven’t found the time to have a go at making them. I really need to do this.
- Spice bag. We buy our spices in really big bags from the Asian supermarket. This cuts down on waste in the long term.
So, there you have it, warts and all. We’re coming into the last week of Plastic Free July now and it’s also the summer holidays. This throws up its own challenges as I come under more pester power when I’m shopping with the children. Stay tuned for the last day of July when you’ll get to see how well (or how badly) I resisted!
And don’t forget to tell me how your Plastic Free July is going in the comments.