Plastic Free July – my outcome

In this post I´m going to talk about my failures, new solutions I´ve found, and why I´m glad I took part in Plastic Free July

So, what did I end up with in my little bin?  You may think, is that it? One months worth of plastic?  Or, like me, you might think, she´s lived PALL Plastic A Lot Less, for over 6 years, and has THAT much?!

If you fall into the first group, and took part in Plastic Free July and ended up with much more, try not to frett. It takes time to change habits. Hopefully seeing what I´ve ended up with can help keep you encouraged. Even after all these years, it´s not always easy!

So, how did I end up with this plastic?  In just one month. Scroll through the pictures, and I explain a little bit about each, and talk about some new solutions I´ve found.  You may find an item you particular struggled with.  

The rules I´d laid out for myself were:

  • I´m not going to include when my house mates, family etc cook for me.
  • Or when I eat out, what´s gone on behind the scenes, that´s impossible!
  • If I end up being giving plastic when I´m out, I´ll bring it home.
  • I´m not going to do anything different from normal.
  • I won´t hord on to stuff to get rid of in August!

Olive Oil pourer things.

I blogged them here. Olive Oil blog post

If you didn´t see it, briefly:  I´m saving money as well as plastic, buying in bulk.

If I´d got around to this six years ago, I´d of saved a fortune!  Thank you PFJ for bringing it to immediate attention. I´d always noticed, but for some reason not got round to actually addressing it.

And just so you know. We´re all managing to pour without them!  Like I said in the post, we managed for 1000 of years. I had a feeling we still could!

Still to address: the vinegar and other oils…

Friend coming over and cooking

I´m currently avoiding cheese as I can´t find it easy PALL here, unlike in Portugal.

On this occasion, our friend was coming over and offered to cook for us. Very nice!  She said she´d pop to Tesco on the way…  She hadn´t already got all the stuff in, so I offered to pop out and get in the stuff local. Which wasn´t technically breaking my first rule!  It also saved her lugging it over town on the bike.

As it was her idea what to have, I decided to stick to her recipe. EVERY thing else was plastic FREE!  For 3 people with left overs. Imagine if she´d gone to Tesco…

So although I´ve ended up with the Halloumi packet in my bin, I feel this was a PALL successes. Free no, but PALL, yes!

Health reasons

I had ear ache. Really bad ear ache. Ironically I´ve helped many people with surfers ear over the years naturally. But mine?! No!  Maybe because I´ve not been surfing, that´s another reason I need to surf!

It got worse and worse…. I had to visit the doctor, I didn´t wanna lose my hearing.  Then it actually came back… so now I have TWO bottles! But the second one has done the trick, thankfully. And there´s some left in it just the case.

Earplugs.

Yep I opened a new packet. Maybe if I´d done that earlier I wouldn´t of got an ear infection?!  I haven´t included pictures of the actual (plastic foam) earplugs I got rid of, as they were totally minging…

An ex-biker gave me enough to last a lifetime, he´d already bought them and didn´t need them anymore. I need to sleep, I accepted them. Without sleep, forget it, PALL or anything else for that matter, ain´t gunna happen!

Can a hangover be classed as health reasons?! I had a mighty one, and I´m sure I took more than 2 tablets that day… but I was in no fit state to keep track of them. There probably under my mattress somewhere….

Loose Tea

I know, it looks like paper. I was fooled too. Inside it´s plastic. Hiding plastic, the worst!

This has opened my eyes up to loose tea though. Something I´ve never giving a second thought. Yep it´s cheaper. It is WAY cheaper!! This tea was like the gift that kept on giving, it lasted for weeks (& I like a cuppa tea) I´ve since found it loose in Scoop Away on Glouster Road .

Sometimes it´s not just the plastic that often wraps tea boxes, but now tea bags themselves often contain plastic. Gross!  We pour boiling water over them, stir them about and then drink that… Common sense says, that can´t be good for us.  I´m no purist, but even so plastic and boiling water, together?!  Loose tea is cheaper, it´s not any more hassle. That´s it, I´m a loose tea kinda girl now!

Tea on the move.

I´ve been on a few train journeys back to Essex recently (only one in July) this was something that never concerned me in Portugal. It´s nice though isn´t it, get on the train, find a table seat and have a cuppa tea.

I did order without the lid, and they kindly gave it to me. (It´s not always the case, but there´s always more than one place selling tea, so I politely move on to a find one who does if for me, I always have.)

This time I wondered about the cup itself… I bet that lining is plastic to stop it from leaking…. I´m keeping my eyes open at the charity shop for one of those reusable ones and hopefully find one before I need it again!  (For the journey home I skipped the tea, but I had a packed lunch made by my Mum, so I did alright!)

New job. New shirt!

What could I do? I started a new job, they gave me a new uniform. I have to wear a uniform. I accepted it. In the last few months, I´ve accepted 4… ouch!

The amount of single use plastics involved in the clothing industry is staggering. Just normally we don´t see so much of it. Wrapping every item with bags and clips and the single use hangers (that often don´t even get used again) It´s all unpacked behind closed doors before customers see them…  There is cardboard to keep the collar stiff, yet they´ve used a plastic one as well? And there´s clips, which were just a pain to get off. (& no doubt a pain to put on!) what is the point?

This is why nearly everything I buy I get from charity shops, and have for years, that and friend´s hand me downs!  Also I love charity shops, and I save a fortune. Last week I stumbled across one having a 99p sale & kitted out for 15 quid. What´s not to love?!

If you shop for clothes to cheer yourself up, charity shop shopping certainly does that!  Finding bargains, there are loads to be had, is a buzz as well as providing lots of good clothes, and pretty much what ever else you need!

I´m not happy about this bag and bits and bobs I have from my uniform, but really I had no choice. From my first job I´m washing the uniform and passing it on, so it´ll get used again at least. It´s a good reminder why I don´t normally buy new.

Tag from charity shops.

That being said, shopping at a charity shop isn´t plastic free as you can see from these plastic things that hold the tags on… It is PALL though. Be good if they could find another way to tag their clothes…

Till Rolls

Till rolls?  What are these?  When we make a purchase and we get a receipt (which is for pretty much everything!) or use a card machine, the paper has come off a till roll.

Unless you work in retail you wouldn´t see them. I currently am, until I establish myself and boy it´s an eye opener…!

Till rolls are sly little things. The machines say the papers run out,and won´t print any more, when there´s loads left on them. They print huge receipt, most of the information we don´t need, if we even need a receipt at all!

These are going though machines the world over at an alarming rate. Who ever is selling till rolls, is getting very rich. If the organised people, who get around to, and follow-up petitions knew, they´d be on it!  Cardboard would work just as well.

Why can´t we say, “I don´t want or need a receipt”, and there be an option to not print one?  Unless I stop shopping I´m consuming till rolls. I know stopping shopping would have many other advantages, but I need to eat! and as yet, who knows, maybe one day, but right now I´m not going of grid and having an amazing veggi patch, I´m just not…

Luckily I only have a kids account, so have to use a cash point and I can choose not to get a receipt with that, so that´s less receipts and then less till rolls being used at least!

Wooden Pegs

My house mate came home excited she´d found wooden pegs. Hurray!  The plastic ones are crap and become brittle in the sun, as I´m sure you´ve noticed when they snap in your hands.  Wooden ones are just better.

They came in plastic packaging. As always. I never seen them any other way… They´re PALL though, and now we have wooden pegs on the line.

 Toilet roll packaging

Just this for a month? 4 rolls? No. I´ve been bad at buying it, my house mate does… and then I just use it, not having to see the plastic!  But I´m still using it. I could hide behind recycling, but that´s not what PFJ is about. And anyway, Bristol do not accept plastic bags to re-cycle, or in the case of plastics, down-cycle.

What is the choice? I´m really not sure. For a while when I lived in Portugal I did opt for the bidet, but I´ll be honest, it didn´t last long!

Toilet roll use to come in paper, we need manufactures to go back to that, but manufactures won´t change unless we – the consumers – pressure them to.

Do you have a toilet roll solution? Help I need one!

Accepting kindness

I arrived at Greenpeace HQ in London early for a training course. (Which was brilliant by the way!  It was such a well run course and Greenpeace HQ is one of the most inspiring places to be in, with their breathtaking images all over the place. It´s a brilliant nature exhibition, as well as a comfy office space.)

I was early, and hungry. I asked where I could get a sandwich, though half eight on a Saturday morning every where close by seamed pretty sleepy, I wasn´t sure of my chances. One of the other early birds had a sandwich in her bag, which she insisted I had as she´d had it from the day before & it go in the bin otherwise.

I accepted it, plastic window and all, because not to would have been rude and daft. She had it, it go in the bin. I might as well eat it!

I do remember buying sandwiches like this that were 100% plastic packaging. So changes have been made, it came be done! I´m guessing they keep the window or people wouldn´t buy them otherwise.

Windows in envelopes.

Ahhh grown up stuff!  Bank statements.

I went online, it took just a few minutes and am now getting my statements paperless online. Which also means I have to make a conscious effort to look at them, rather than having them in my hand. Which, I´m not sure is good or bad?! Or will they email me? Maybe, I´ll have to wait and see.

Seals around jars

Peanut butter and Tahini seem to be staples in my diet… the nice organic ones with the picture of the little monkey on have them. So I went for the non organic and they don´t, they have foil inside instead. Ironically.

It doesn´t seam like a lot of plastic, but it adds up.

Nokia Charger

My ten-year old Nokia´s still working. The charger though… died.

I was worried my lap top might give up this month. It has new ram, it´s living to see another day. Something I´m very pleased about!

Naughty stuff!

I know my Mum doesn´t read my blog, so it´s fine to put this up! If for some strange reason she has… today´s not gunna be a good day

Like I said, I´m no purist, and sometimes when I´ve had a drink I like a cigarette. I know, that´s not good, but I do!  I use cardboard as roach and now days, I don´t even get though a packet a month, far from it. But still, I use some… no ones perfect.

As you can see, nearly seven years Being-PALL and I still end up with some plastic. Pesky plastic lurking everywhere!

As you can see, nearly seven years Being-PALL and I still end up with some plastic. Pesky plastic lurking everywhere!

Each month is different, that´s life. It´s the 11th August and I reckon I´m doing better this month than last, before I´d of never thought about it. That seems to be the way it is Being-PALL Plastic A Lot Less, they´ll always be new things to work out. It´s just trying to not get disheartened when we can´t.  I have a way to go till I´m plastic FREE I knew that, and now you can see…

So thank you Kate at Plastic is Rubbish for giving me the nudge to take part in Plastic Free July. It´s helped me address a few things and I´m glad I did it.

The oil and the Loose Tea are the main ones. Plastic saving, money saving, they´re a win win!

I may have more plastic than I´d like, but I remember:

Every refusal adds up. I´d of fill that big a few times over with the refusals I made in Plastic Free July alone!

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2 thoughts on “Plastic Free July – my outcome

  1. I have been looking for olive oil without the plástico…no luck. And the worse part is that small farmers olive oil comes in 5 litre plástic. They could use the wine glass jar (that i do not know the name in english) but no, gave in to plástic.

    Best luck next time…hope the sickness goês away .

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  2. Tricky isn´t it… I was at a job 15 years ago, there they taught us that plastic is really bad for the olive oil. So it´s a pity they do not use glass after all that work to make olive oil, to then put it in plastic which is not good for the oil?! Crazy!

    Good luck for you to! Yes it has, thank you.

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