Less Plastic is Fantastic

I was confronted head on recently with all the unecessary plastic from one of these commercial shops and reminded how far my small steps have taken me.

Whilst food and kitchen goods isn’t the only area of our lives where we over-consume plastics, it is one of the most obvious.

Did you know that nearly half of all plastics EVER manufactured has been made since 2000?  The rate of growth is alarming.

In 1950 there was 2.3M Tonnes of plastic.  In 2000, 250M Tonnes.  Fast forward to today and there is a whopping 450M Global Tonnes of plastic!!  This means that 44% of ALL plastics ever produced has been made since 2000.

Scary to think where this is heading if we don’t all pitch in to take action and make some easy changes!

Why is this important?  Well, plastics never fully degrade.  They get smaller and smaller, eventually breaking down to microplastics, which negatively impact wildlife AND human life.  We end up ingesting these microplastics without even knowing it!  Also, plastics leach and some of the chemicals transfer directly into our food and drink.  These chemicals have been proven to be endocrine disrupting.  On top of that, over 1M seabirds and marine animals every year are killed because of plastics – strangled, choked, etc.

Of course, at times plastic is a necessity.  For example, when you need an IV for medical purposes,  But, I’d argue there is no REAL reason for a red cabbage to be wrapped in plastic or 4 ears of husked corn to be packaged in plastic bag.  (By the way, don’t even get me started on the husked corn.)  The moment you start to take note you see it everywhere, but there is hope and simple swaps you can make today that will contribute to the plastic reduction cause.

Just remember, it’s a process not a destination and recognize all the steps you are taking rather than giving yourself a hard time when you hit a bump in the road.

Practical Recommendations

Organize a weekly Fruit & Veg delivery service.  If you’re in the UK, Riverford is my top pick by far!  I love their ethos and transparency.

Buy your produce through your local greengrocer or farmers market.  Just remember it’s not all organic so wash appropriately (aka apple cider vinegar bath in your kitchen sink)

Look into more ethical online shops.  I use Ethical Superstore and Planet Organic for my household goods.

Stop buying half vegetables or fruit.  Buy the whole thing and get creative with recipes throughout the week so you aren’t eating the same thing every night.

If you do have to buy something in plastic GO BIG and opt for the largest size.

Use your own carrier bags and remember to have them with you ALWAYS for those unexpected shops.

Update your Food Storage.  Who needs plastic when you can recycle jars of all different sizes?!? Quick tip, take the labels off with some tea tree essential oil.

Get some reusable net produce bags like these.

Pop some Beeswax Wraps like these on top of leftover food.  One less plate to clean up at the end of your meal!

Line the produce drawers in your fridge with tea towels.


For more listening and learning check out these podcasts:

How to Be Plastic Free with Kate

The Plastic Crisis with Brett Chamberlain