On the 1st January 2017, we tried to go plastic free. Two years on, I would say we have been semi-successful and have managed to reduce our plastic usage by around 70%. But it has been difficult, and not without its ups and downs!
We are totally reliant on the milkman to deliver our milk on a morning, and he doesn’t always deliver on time which causes the inevitable breakfast moans from the children (and the husband!). Eating seasonal fruit and vegetables (these are usually the only ones I can buy not covered in plastic) is great in summer, but rather tedious (and gassy – root vegetables!) in winter.
Being plastic free is also rather time consuming as we do end up having to shop around – no more one-stop-supermarket shops for us. I find this to be the hardest part with my husband and I both working full time, plus with him commuting to London and me travelling around four months of every year (and then spending a good month of my life jetlagged). On a weekend, I do not always fancy visiting the different shops and my six year old definitely doesn’t fancy being dragged around the shops. In fact, the only way I can motivate the kids to come with me and give their father a rest is with a MacDonald’s breakfast (which is plastic free if you select carefully, but probably not very healthy).
However, despite the difficulties, some stuff has become easier. For example, I now have my cleaning products delivered monthly – in cardboard (and they work fantastically): https://www.ocean-saver.com/. And I find making our own bread easier too, as we just put on the beadmaker each night and wake up to the lovely smell of fresh bread.
I also feel that in the past two years, the issue of plastic pollution is much more discussed now, on the news, TV shows, by my friends, etc. I even feel as if I was slightly ahead of the curve and that is not often said for me (I wore pink cord flairs for most of my 20s so about three decades behind when they were actually in fashion! I was gutted when they wore out). Paper straws are in a lot more of the shops, people are using reusable coffee mugs more, and there are new petitions I am asked to sign regularly to force organisations such as Starbucks to reduce their plastic usage. I am also send photos from lots of people with pictures of their reusable, mental straws (from all over the world – below is a photo someone sent me from Egypt) – thanks for sending those photos and please keep it up!
So, things are improving and we will keep going and striving to reduce. Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and plastic free 2019!