Plastic fantastic, or is it?
For many years now, we the world inhabitants, have been told to change our attitudes regarding the environment.
We need to be more caring, more thoughtful and less wasteful
All of which is true, especially regarding us being wasteful.
Each year the average UK household bins about 40kg of plastic and we need to reduce this and quick. Plastic is one of those materials we have become so dependable on and its in almost everything.
We should all be asking the question do we need it?
I’ve said it before and will say it again a million times I imagine, companies and people jump on trends and (I hope this one isn’t, but) plastic free is a massive trend at the moment and a bloody good one too!
As people become more aware of the damage we have and are causing they become less wasteful and more pro-active in saving our planet.
However, these kinds of trents can quickly become harmful if not managed correctly. I am aware and have witnessed people becoming so entwined with these trends, like having the perfect plastic free lifestyle, that if they do use what ever they “shouldn’t be” it can effect their mental health wellbeing.
But for some plastic is actually needed, for now anyways, and we shouldn’t be ashamed of that just mindful.
However there are ways you can help even if plastic is still in your lifestyle. Hopefully companies will see that we are actively making changes and they will too.
My plastic(ish) free lifestyle….
The fact is that we, the coeliacs, and other allergy suffers have that exactly
a reaction to a substance that’s not wanted and can cause many an issue
So what has this got to do with plastic you ask,
Plastic packaging is the easiest and probably the cheapest way to reduce cross contamination in food production
Plastic is likely to be the most efficient material to limit cross contamination that’s why its so widely used. There are a few companies out there that have paper packaging, but they are few and far between.
There is nothing worse than when you find a company that individually wraps every item in plastic packaging and then combines all together in more plastic packaging.
Its just not necessary
But there are changes we can do to help reduce our plastic waste even if some companies try to force it on us.
Simple. Stop using companies that over package with plastic. If we stop using them they will change.
They need us more than we need them.
Find yourself a zero waste shop.
These places are amazing!
Yes it will take a bit of organisation, as you will need to take your own packaging which might mean an initial cost to purchase storage containers or just re-use the containers you already have.
Label up all your containers before you go so there no confusion, no one needs salt in there tea!
Take some string/ribbon with you, if your reusing containers that don’t have a click lid (like an old butter tub) you might need to tie your lids shut
Remember these shops don’t just sell food many have a health and beauty section to so don’t forget your shampoo bottles!
Make your own.
Lots of these over package items we purchase are items we can make ourselves like bread, cakes and biscuits.
I totally understand that this in not always achievable. Trust me after several 12 hours shifts in a row you think I’m going to come home a whisk up a loaf of bread you are having a laugh.
But, on a day off I can make bread, cakes and what ever I will need for the next few days. And don’t forget you can freeze certain items so they can be made and stored for later.
If you have to purchase items that you can’t make or buy at a zero waste store look out for those with the least plastic wrapping.
Warburtons artisan range is wrapped in mainly paper with minimal plastic and they have a section on coeliac’s on their web page.
Galaxy’s new vegan chocolate is in cardboard and foil packaging.
GÜ puddings come in glass jars and cardboard packaging.
Every little counts.
Unfortunalty we cant always go completely plastic free, our health is important and we need to be mindful of the risks we maybe placing ourselves in at the cost of being completely plastic free
However, that doesn’t mean you cant be plastic free in other areas of your life. why not try giving plastic free(ish) a go