Following on from Luke’s plastic-free week last week, and to continue our latest blog series, we speak to EcoVibe’s Amy, as she attempts to complete a full week without using any plastic at all!
From prep to the first challenge
We kicked-off our chat with Amy at the preparation stage, with no prior experience of conducting a plastic-free existence, preparation was key. We asked Amy what particular prep work she undertook the weekend before. She said, ‘I switched all the plastic wrapped food in the cupboards into glass jars. We went to the market and purchased all our vegetables for the week in paper bags. I bought a shampoo bar and toothpaste.’
You clearly can’t ‘de-plastic’ your house over the weekend - with decades of plastic items being accumulated over a relatively short period of time - something Amy soon found out on Day 1. ‘On the morning of the first day, I noticed how many things in my bathroom were in plastic containers!’
‘You really don’t need shower gel in a plastic container, when a simple bar of soap in a cardboard box works perfectly fine!’ Amy noted that the most challenging thing on the first day was ‘laundry and cleaning products.’
The first plastic casualty
Due to the prevalence of plastic in our everyday lives, there’s always going to be at least one item, ritual or pleasure you’re going to have to completely eliminate, Amy’s first plastic ‘casualty’ was her usual breakfast. ‘I had to give up my favourite breakfast, yoghurt and granola. I’m happy enough to make my own granola but finding yoghurt that’s not in a plastic container was very difficult, nearly impossible.’
Other adjustments came in the form of using ‘shampoo, soap bars and toothpaste that were free from plastic.’
The biggest surprise
The biggest surprise Amy encountered on her week-long campaign to avoid plastic was how supportive people were in the office, with the damage plastic is doing to our environment now readily apparent and widely publicized, people are currently much more sympathetic to personal plastic crusades.
Amy noted, ‘People in general are very supportive of plastic-free when you get talking to them. Most people seem to think that we have an excessive use of plastic, that isn’t needed, and we need to stop using it for activities such as wrapping fresh veg in the supermarket.’
Speaking of supermarkets, the most difficult thing Amy had to avoid was lunches on the go. ‘Everyone tries to give you a plastic bag, straw or cutlery without you even knowing you’re going to get it!’
After a challenging and especially eye-opening week, and as a first foray into the world of no-plastic, we asked Amy to be honest, and surprisingly, her only slip-up was when making a cuppa! She said, ‘I didn’t realise that tea-bags had any plastic in, I couldn’t prepare for that.’ Plastic in tea-bags, who knew?
Overall Amy’s experience was a positive one and she found that there were plenty of ‘really easy switches you can make. But to be completely plastic free is going to be very difficult at the moment, until manufacturers start to change as well.’
As with Luke’s journey last week, Amy demonstrated with a bit of willingness, and a small amount of preparation you can really reduce your plastic footprint. However, without some of the world’s biggest manufacturers playing ball and actively looking for solutions to the environment’s plastic deluge, we still have a lot of work to do to reduce the amount of plastics in our everyday lives. Something we are really passionate about here at EcoVibe.