Sunday, 9 July 2017

The Nightmare That Is Plastic Free July

Oh my golly gosh!  When I embarked on the Plastic Free July challenge I thought that it was going to be a bit of a laugh,  a breeze in fact.  The enormity of  what I've agreed to do has now set in. Keeping to the pledge of refusing single use plastic is nigh on impossible.

On day three of the challenge I popped into Sainsburys Exeter and experienced what I can only describe as an enlightenment.  My eyes were opened.  Everywhere I looked, in every section,  plastic packaging abounded.  I'd forgotten my lunch but there was virtually nothing that wasn't off limits.  Finally I clapped eyes on a Dickinson and Morris Melton Mowbray Pork Pie in the chill cabinets.  Yay!  It was wrapped in paper.  A lovely treat but a girl cannot live on pastry products alone for a month.

And yes I've failed, and cheated, and wished that I had the foresight to cheat a bit more by stocking up on illicitly wrapped stuff on 30th June or before.   I accepted a plastic knife to cut the cheese from Rosie and Spiky Kay's wedding cake on day1!  That's spurred me on to buy a portable cutlery set that I can keep in my bag so the same thing won't happen again.  And I bought some savoury rosemary infused biscuits.  Last time I bought something similar the inner packaging was foil.  On this occasion it was plastic, which I might have found out if I'd read the box first.  As you can see it's a minefield.

I'd worked out that sourcing  pasteurised milk in sustainable containers was going to be a problem early on.  Don't even go there with suggesting that the UHT stuff could be an alternative.  I can't abide the taste.  I thought I recalled that Riverford used cardboard packaging and made a special detour to Ben's Farm Shop  who are stockists.  Eek!  As you can see from my photo of the chiller Riverford milk is now packaged in plastic.  I left empty handed.  The solution I've come up with is highly questionable.  My six pint bottle ran out on Friday, just before a camping trip to Cornwall. I've sneakily got the friends who I've been spending time with to buy the milk and then, whilst drinking my tea, have taunted them for their lack of eco morality.    I don't know what I'm going to do when I get home and run out again.  I could do soya but even most of the tetrapaks have plastic lids.  Finding an obliging cow seems the only possibility.

I'll bring you another update further down the line.  It's only going to get harder.  I've been relying on store cupboard ingredients  so far but they're dwindling and I'm going to have to stock up soon.   More ingenuity (and cheating!) will be  required as the month goes by.

20 comments:

  1. It's virtually impossible isn't it? I'm am in complete awe of people who can manage to live their lives plastic free. I failed miserably on the very first day when I had to buy a bottle of water (which is something I never do) but we were caught out in an unusually tropical Liverpool. I'm going with long term small changes. Paper cotton buds, bamboo toothbrushes etc.
    Good luck with the rest of the month. X

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    1. Thanks - and you. I'm trying to work out make up remover now! Will use baby oil in the bathroom cabinet in meantime xx

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  2. As you (and Jules) say, it seems an impossibility. I really admire your commitment. Buying meat and milk seems to be the hardest thing. I'm watching your challenge with interest and wish you every success. Thanks for your blog, always a good read!

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    1. Sussed milk - will blog in a couple of days. Meat is going to be harder. I'm a yellow sticker kinda gal! xx

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  3. My milkman delivered milk in glass returnable bottles, Milk and More is the name, I only have milk from him, none of the other rubbish.

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  4. I failed on day two of the plastic challenge!! It's so all pervasive

    For milk though, how about the old school milk man delivery? Milkandmore is one and there are others

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    1. Yep - milk and nore milkman is now my main man! xx

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  5. I also have my milk from milk and more, it is a bit dearer but so much nicer from a glass bottle also it helps keep somebody in employment.

    Hazel c uk

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    1. Yep that glass botle pleased me greatly. xx

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  6. I tried this a couple of years ago. Reduced, but certainly didn't manage plastic free. I still buy some milk in plastic but we have a milkman again too these days.
    Arilx

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    1. Thanks to all the lovely people commenting here I have one of my own now as well. xx

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  7. I'm with Jules above and trying to reduce for long haul. You've opened my eyes though on how impossible the strategy is.

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    1. I'm determined it's not impossible. Just very very difficult though. xx

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  8. We switched to powdered milk in a largish cardboard box. We don't drink milk except for putting it in tea and we have not had any problems with the taste. I make it up by the half cup and then individual amounts as I need it for baking. It's working well and we never have to worry about using it up before it goes off, or running out of it.
    JanF

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    1. The powdered milk here comes in cardboard tube but with a plastic lid. Have resorted to good old 'Ernie'. xx

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  9. We struggle here too - everything is coated in some sort of plastic! Our milk man retired a few years ago and no one wanted to take over, so milk apparently no longer comes from a cow ... it comes from a plastic bottle! Going for the long term changes (where we can) and gently challenge stores to change their policies. It will be a long haul!

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    1. Have you seen (and joined!) my friend's Facebook site 'Food Plastic Saboteurs?' for support from like minded souls? xx

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  10. I have had to admit defeat, to my chagrin. I buy for one person only and I don't have a freezer so buying big and storing is not an option. I rarely see veg which is loose in a supermarket, just the odd potato or the awful courgettes. I can't even see loose tomatoes!

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    1. I can understand defeat regarding this. I'm feel a bit brow beaten everytime I go out to buy something! xx

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