Like most people, I am conscious, if not anxious, about the plastic waste I produce, but I am by no means an eco-warrior. I was distressed after watching Blue Planet II and more recently Our Planet, and yet I continued to mindlessly consume my morning coffee in a takeaway cup and chuck away endless plastic packaging. So, I’ve decided it’s time to change.
The dominant opinion suggests that you need an abundance of time and money to avoid plastic when shopping, eating and cleaning. But, my salary means I cannot shop at Whole Foods and fancy farmers’ markets, nor do I have the time (or the desire) to make my own deodorant. So, over the course of 2020, my mission is to discover how through making small life changes, avoiding plastic needn’t be for the privileged but can be affordable and accessible to all.
The stats are worrying – by 2050 there could be more plastic, by weight, than fish in our seas. And with scientists estimating that eight million metric tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans each year, we are destroying our planet one Evian bottle at a time.
Despite the known horrors, plastic is everywhere: from the lesser-known quantities in teabags and takeaway paper cups, to the more obvious unnecessary cellophane wrapping of fruit and vegetables. There’s no denying that plastic is ubiquitous with 21st Century living.
And while the UK government has pledged to introduce new controls against plastic, more needs to be done. So, just how easy is it to take matters into our own hands?
When I first heard about the Zero Waste movement, I was intrigued. Plastic Free July – a global initiative to remove plastic pollution by encouraging people to live without single-use plastic for a month – has gained serious traction since its launch in 2011. With millions of people across the globe taking part, and many committing to reduce their plastic consumption far beyond July, this lifestyle is surely possible?
With this challenge ahead of me, I am equal parts apprehensive, as I am excited. From sourcing greener alternatives to everyday homeware products to bulk buying legumes, I’ll be here to document my successes and my inevitable slip-ups over the course of 2020.
Source: The Independent