Thursday, 24 July 2008

The beginning

Finally, we've set a date (and time) to begin:

Saturday 26th July 2008, 12:00

And for what?

Giving up plastic. From Saturday at noon, for the next three months, there will be no new plastic.

Including (but not limited to): bin liners, food in plastic wrapping, plastic lids (like on marmite jars), yoghurt pots, biros, toothpaste, toothbrushes, washing up liquid, takeaway containers...

Why?

One day, quite a few months ago, I got my bike fixed at a community bike shop. They were just beginning to become plastic bag and bottle-free. I thought something along the lines of 'how pointless and impossible'.

Months later, it turned out that I'd been thinking about this rather a lot, and it happened that knew I had to give up plastic. Hardly a decision, more an acceptance.

Is plastic even bad?

Well, no. As a material, it is a wonderful invention. Particularly, it has enabled developments in the field of medicine. BUT we think of it as a completely disposible product. I'm not just talking packaging obviously designed to be chucked, but things like tooth brushes, toys that have a useful lifetime of months or years, but actually do not decompose and hang around for perhaps 500 or 1000 years [yes, there will be sources quoted at some point, but not today].

And plastic is made from oil which might get rather expensive, or run out...

All this un-wanted plastic, while not decomposing, is causing all sorts of problems. Something like 97% of fulmars (a sea bird) have plastic in their stomachs. And so on. Perhaps more detail another day.

But mostly I think it is a waste. We just can't keep throwing stuff away.

Presuming I manage to update this with my rather busy lifestyle looking for non-plastic alternatives, I shall update with how things are going - alternatives we've discovered and any failures. Suggestions always welcome... particularly for toothpaste, toothbrushes and marmite.

5 comments:

geraldine said...

what about toilet roll?? Can you buy some that doesn't come wrapped in plastic?

Pass said...

One wooden toothbrush coming up:

http://www.cebraonline.com/eco-friendly-wooden-toothbrush-705-p.asp

Good Luck!

Pass said...

Oh, and as for toothpaste, this

http://www.greenpeople.co.uk/fennel-toothpaste-50ml.aspx

sounds tasty and hydrocarbon free! There's more choice of flavours on the website.

Rose said...

definitely you can buy it in flat sheets in a little cardboard box from sainsburys, but it is expensive and a tiny box. Haven't (yet) found anything else!

toothbrush - could be good, though I imagine they are animal bristles, and it looks like it has a plastic wrapping... I'll investigate

toothpaste - if this really doesn't have a plastic cap or anything, I'll be very very pleased!

Marianne said...

Rose, remember the solution to plastic tops. I suggest you employ this idea!

(i don't really though...)