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My One-month Plastic-free Life - Dancing Buddhas Books

Okay, it looks like I am nowhere near to making a dent in my plastic usage. I am so depressed. When I first thought of this challenge, I thought it would be really easy. But as I dug deeper, I realised just how pervasive plastic is in our lives, my life.

I started out first with making a list of all things plastic in my life. And as the list grew and grew, I realised how nigh impossible this Herculean task is. And I am having to change tack. After making the list and sticking it on my kitchen board, I began to add to it on a regular basis as I discovered more and more plastic in my life. I don’t want to bore you with the minute details but, believe me, it is EVERYWHERE!

The list of plastic items in my life. Just getting started...

So now having changed tack, I feel a bit relieved as the challenge of being completely plastic-free is impossible. I live in a block of flats. Am I going to change all the plastic plumbing? You betcha not!

Am I going to change all of the plastic plumbing in my own flat? No way, Jose.

So now the modified challenge means that I have to reduce, reduce, reduce my plastic usage. I recycle all plastic. But a recent article says how not all plastic can be recycled. 

Buying fresh vegetables with no plastic wrapping is the easy bit. Carrying fabric bags for shopping is also the easy bit. Have been doing it for years. But some of the fabric bags have a plastic lining! Okaaay, time to keep those aside. But the salad I buy comes in plastic bags and there is no way I can grow my own. Damn, damn…But that is compostable plastic. Phew! Decisions, decisions, decisions.

I definitely cannot stop using my computer or my car – loads of plastic in the interior of the car. So that is a challenge too. But that cannot be helped and that stays in spite of the amount of plastic there.

So – what are the daily necessities that I use contain plastic? Cleaning products all come in plastic bottles and jars. So do beauty products though more and more companies are now switching to sustainable packaging and bottling. I have now switched to re-fillables. This means that I use only those shops where I can re-use these already-bought plastic bottles so I don’t send them to landfill. 

Bag for Life?

No more plastic bags for me. Either single use or bags-for-life! Because as the name suggests, yes they are for life – not just mine but for generations to come as they are sent to landfill and it is said, they can take up to 500 years to decompose!

I have stopped buying anything that comes in plastic bags. Unless the plastic is compostable. That means no more shopping. Phew! That was easy. No more conspicuous consumption – of filling my already stuffed wardrobe with things I will never wear or just wear them once. 

There is also growing awareness of plastic in our daily lives. That is why no more virgin plastic for me which is made in China – cheaply. While this is at the micro-est of micro level, there is a growing recognition of sustainability at the macro level too. Sustainable beauty brands are starting to mushroom 

The backlash  against plastic is starting to become stronger and wider and we all need to re-think our plastic use as it is getting more and more unsustainable. 

Reduce, Reduce, Refuse!

See how complicated is my plastic-free month is getting? And I do wonder if I am setting myself up? But I am not giving up. I will continue to look closely at how I shop, how I live and where I can reduce my plastic usage. First of all I will continue to create change in my personal life and then look at ways my work life can reduce the use of plastic.

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