I’ve decided to take on the challenge in July, and I will try to reduce my household’s plastic waste. The decision came after I had a few chats about plastic pollution with Hedy, our talented writer/editor. I’m not a big fan of challenges, but reducing plastic waste, energy consumption, or CO footprint is definitely in my interest, something I really want to do.
What is plastic-free July?
“It is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans and beautiful communities”, the initiators state on their website. This resonates with me one hundred per cent, and I would love to have zero plastic waste.
Unfortunately, with our current lifestyle, going completely zero waste will remain a dream, but that won’t stop me from seeing how much I can change it.
What do I have?
We accumulate a huge pile of waste each week, and a considerable percentage of it is plastic. We live in the urban area of Palma de Mallorca (Spain), on the outskirts of the town. It’s a quiet area, there aren’t any block of flats here, mainly one or two-storey family houses.
We live on the second floor of a family house, without a garden. The reason I mention this is because, with a garden, I would be able to compost our food waste, for example. Every fortnight I throw away at least three bags of plastic, one paper, one glass, half a bag of cans and three huge bags of general waste.
Why do we have that much plastic waste?
The biggest chunk of it is plastic bottles. The quality of the tap water here in Palma isn’t very good, so we buy bottled water. While over time we have swapped our 1.5-litre bottles for bigger ones (5-6 litres) so we have less plastic waste, the amount is still significant.
Another big part of it is food packaging like meat tubs, prepacked veggies, plastic seals and so on. We cook at least five times a week, and that comes with a lot of single-use packaging.
My plan is simple: I’ll watch what I buy and where I buy it. There are shops where I can buy without plastic packaging and instead bring my own containers. Buying meat from the butcher will help a lot in reducing the waste. The solution to the drinking water must be a filter, which would not only save a lot of waste, but also money, and it’s something I’m still looking into.
Where are you in your low waste journey? What are your top tips to help me reduce the huge amount of plastic waste we generate every week?
Join us for this year’s #plasticfreejuly: follow us for tips on how to reduce waste and help make this a cleaner planet, and check-in with www.plasticfreejuly.org for even more information.