The 7th in our series of blogs by Liz Longden.
Well into 2018, and plastic pollution is being talked about in mainstream media more and more. Even the BBC have recently featured a family who agreed to try to go completely plastic free for ten days. It’s possible now that most families have at least been giving some thought to the way they shop. It’s all very encouraging, isn’t it? But from the start of our campaign we have never thought most people or families can live a plastic free life, because we have to stay in our ordinary lives at the same time. We use computers with plastic housing, we fill our plastic rubbish bins, we are constrained by our incomes to buy the food we can afford, in the time we have, in the shops that are available to us.
At the same time, we have become accustomed to comfort, convenience, and a huge range of choice in products, in drinks, shampoos, conditioners, and laundry products. Huge range of fresh fruit and veg all year round. It’s hard to do without these things. It’s very easy to persuade yourself that what was a luxury has become a necessity.
So, this is a blog about not needing to beat ourselves up. About recognising that it is impossible to be absolutist, and that we can all only do what we can do. My friend Lorrie is writing a blog about how she has changed her shopping habits, which is full of information and ideas about replacing plastic with alternatives. Lots of information in there for those that are able.
However, this is also a blog saying: ‘no more excuses’! I am coming to think that it’s time that EVERYBODY should be thinking about this and taking what action they can. No matter how busy and stressed your lives, there will be some changes you can easily make that will make a difference. I understand that all we have been talking about, for some people, is very difficult. For instance, a few people really need straws to be able to drink safely and independently, or without pain. But most of us don’t. That’s what lips are for, and for most of us they work really well. So, ditch the straws, and replace them with nothing.
Go back to powdered washing powder. It’s cheaper, lasts longer, and for most people, will cause no problems for your skin.
Go for the unpacked fruit and veg whenever you can. You don’t need to bag it.
Put your leftovers in a bowl in the fridge, and put a plate on top. No expense, zero waste , zero carbon, zero consumption.
DON’T BUY BOTTLED WATER! You know that plastic contamination has been found in your bottled water now? I have to admit that that kind of made me laugh, but not in a good way.
These changes would require no extra time, effort or money. They may lead you to make more changes, maybe not; either way they will make a difference, and they will start you thinking.
So, I am no longer asking will you, can you, could you? I’m asking, why aren’t you? And I’m saying, I think you can, and I think you have to.