Plastic Free July ends today. Well done! You made it! So it’s time for my final plastic audit of the month, which takes into account the last ten days.
As I explained last week, our milkman has had to stop trading, so you can see from the photo that it’s mostly plastic milk bottles. I don’t remember getting through this much milk actually, so I think one bottle must have been from the week before and it’s ended up in this week’s audit. There are also:
- Some plastic drink can holders.
- An empty clotted cream tub, which I might save for snacks.
- The lid from a jar of Marmite.
- The container from some cake decorations.
- Our son’s medication packaging. There should be two of these. My husband must have put one in the usual bin.
- Cat treat packaging. We tried making our own cat treats and the cat was having none of it, so that experiment unfortunately created more waste. We’ll reuse this bag for scooping cat litter.
- The hanger from some socks I bought for our son.
A few items didn’t make the bag:
- Two tubs of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream that we bought for our daughter’s birthday. I scoured the packaging for recycling details, but couldn’t find any, so I’m guessing it’s the same composite material as takeaway cups and can’t be recycled. This is a shame when Ben and Jerry’s are currently pushing that they are supporting renewable energy. I’ll be writing a blog post on greenwashing very soon.
- The very large bag that our rabbit’s hay comes in. We buy this from the pet stall on the local market in Barnard Castle and I return the bags to the stall to be refilled.
- A few small wrappers from sweets etc.
- The packaging from some chicken thighs my husband bought.
Looking back over the month, I think there are a few occasions when I was happy with a consumer decision at the time, but then wasn’t so happy looking at the waste it produced later: buyer’s remorse for certain! This is why it’s really valuable every so often to carry out a plastic (or more general waste) audit. It really helps to identify repeat offenders in your consumer habits so that you can search for alternatives. If there isn’t a suitable alternative then that’s okay, perhaps reducing your consumption of that item is then the way forward. At least you identified a problem and looked for a solution.
Seeing all our waste in all its glory and being aware of the fact that there is no ‘away’ is one of my biggest motivators in our journey towards reducing our impact on the world around us. I suspect that if we all had a landfill at the end of our street for our collective rubbish, then the majority of people would be more conscientious in what they consume and throw away.
How has your Plastic Free July gone? Do you think you’ve made some new habits that will continue into the future?