Our single-use plastic free day.

This week, my family set out to have a single-use plastic free day. Many of the things, we have been doing for a while, but it was interesting to see if we could manage an entire day plastic free.

Breakfast. Cereal packets are an epic fail. The inner bag is plastic and although the weetabix wrapper looks like paper, it’s actually plastic coated. Milk has been a real dilemma for me on account of just how much my family gets through and how I would store it if it was all in pint bottles. I’ve compromised and for now, half my milk delivery is in glass bottles and half in plastic.

A breakfast success though is making our own smoothies! I estimated we get through around 150 bottles of smoothie a year. For the last few weeks, we have been buying more fruit and blitzing it ourselves. Each day it tastes a little different and it’s something the kids have enjoyed making.

Children set off to school with reusable water bottles and packed lunch. Interestingly, my son’s secondary school stopped selling bottled water last year and installed filling stations. Each child has to bring in their own water bottle. This is part of a wider project to reduce waste in school, but it also means the kids are growing up with good habits & an awareness of the issues which is a really positive thing.

My husband makes his own coffee in reusable coffee cup and takes his own water bottle. He also takes a packed lunch to avoid having to buy a plastic wrapped one. I can already see that this exercise is going to be cost effective. We haven’t used cling film for several years now, and don’t miss it. Our sandwiches either go in a tight fitting box or get wrapped in beeswax wraps which are a great alternative to clingfilm and re-usable.

My local butcher allows me to take my own containers to shop for meat. They started doing this last year in response to customer requests. At first, it felt a bit weird, but now lots of people do it, so even though people may not comment on your efforts to reduce plastic, you never know if it sparks a change in someone else.

In the fruit and veg aisle, I buy loose produce and just put it all straight in my basket. This must be more common now because I no longer get comments about it. When I first started doing this, sometimes the checkout people would try and bag it up for me, but, reducing plastic is something that has really taken off in 2018, so I’m no longer viewed as weird, (at least not for that).

Lastly, I do have my re-usable shopping bags. This is just about learning new habits. My top tip though is always take more than you think you’ll need!

Have you been able to make any changes this week towards reducing your plastic? Could you have a single-use plastic free day? If you were to keep hold of all the single-use plastic you normally used in a day, what would it look like?

For more tips and help on how you can make reducing plastic an ongoing goal in your life, sign up to zerowasteweek for helpful tips throughout the year & follow on facebook.

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