Plastic is the hot topic of the moment. Ever since the Blue Planet episode that shocked most of us, there’s been a lot of movement on this front: Following the UK’s pledge to ban cotton buds, plastic straws and drink stirrers, the EU has pledged to commit to banning throwaway plastics such as cotton buds, plastic straws, single-use plastic cutlery, cups and plates Oxo-degradable plastics and food containers. The usage of plastic blags has dropped 90% since the introduction of the 5p charge for bags. Many restaurants and bars have started using paper straws instead of plastic. Glastonbury went plastic-free this year, selling canned water, using wooden cutlery and paper plates instead.
Now, this is all brilliant news! More and more is being done and it makes me really happy. However, there is so much more that we are unable to do because it’s out of or hands. I’m talking about plastic packaging.
I don’t know if you recycle (if you don’t, what are you doing?!), but have you ever notice the amount of (unnecessary) food packaging that is not recyclable? From biscuits to pasta and rice, all that plastic goes straight in the bin. And also the fact that yoghurt pots can be recycled in certain councils and not others just baffles me.
But the thing that frustrates me the most, is the amount of unnecessary plastic that is used for fruit and veg, and the fact that they cost much more if you buy them individually or not pre-packed rather than packed. I mean I only need one pepper but somehow, buying a pack of three costs only 20p more than an individual one? Obviously, I understand the whole rationale behind this - supermarkets just want us to buy more. The problem I see here is that it also creates a lot of food waste, because let’s be honest, how many times have you thrown veg away because you bought a pack and it went off before you had a chance to use it?
But not all hopes are lost! Supermarkets such as Morrisons and Waitrose have now pledged to reduce the amount of plastic they use in their fruit and vegetables, and one Waitrose in London you actually have refillable options for pasta, rice, drinks and even cleaning products!! They’re only trialling this out but I’m hoping they do this more shops, but most importantly, other retailers take notice and do the same!
I can’t wait to live in a world where I can just buy 500g of rice in my own container or just refill my bottle of cider. Not only are we reducing the usage of plastic, but we will also be reducing the amount of food we waste!
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been reducing the usage of single plastic, and you can read my experience about it on my blog, I’ve been trying to reduce my food waste, and I’ve also made some conscious decisions of using products that are more environmentally friendly, which I will be giving recommendations soon.
Hope you have enjoyed reading this post and let me know in the comments what things you are doing to help you reduce the usage of plastic.