A Week Without Plastic: Anya's Story
After a bit of a Christmas hiatus we’re back with the EcoVibe plastic-free week! On to Week 5, and it’s Anya’s turn!
Prepping the flat
All good plastic-free stories start out with a bit of preparation, and Anya’s was no different. We asked how she prepared for her plastic-free week. She said, ‘My flat building (which I have only just moved into), does not have a communal recycling bin there is just a room filled with big black bins! So, in preparation, I requested a green recycling from my local council. They have a recycling scheme, so this is a free service.’
A stark realisation
Next, we asked Anya what the first thing was she noticed after getting on the plastic-free ride. Unsurprisingly she realised ‘that literally everything I ever buy is completely covered in plastic! It’s outrageous how much companies use on things they really do not need to!
I had just moved before Christmas and one thing I really noticed was how much plastic is used in homeware packaging! I went to a well-known Scandinavian home store and the stuff I bought - I was horrified when I got it home to unwrap! There was so much unnecessary plastic around every item.’
A plastic cat-astrophe!
Anya’s cat, Henry, was not playing ball when it came to the plastic-free week: ‘I realised that my cat’s food comes in meal-sized sachets which are made of this plastic and foil mixed material and he goes through two every day!
So, I was already doing badly as I hadn’t thought about his food until then. Then when I went to make my lunch for work, I looked in my fridge at all the plastic! It’s a shock when you really think how much plastic there is in the world!’
Adjustments, and giving up on items entirely
The first casualty of the week was Anya’s love of tealight candles and home sprays! ‘I gave up my obsession with tealight candles and home sprays (which I go through like crazy), as they are wrapped in lots of plastic and aerosols are terrible, obviously!’
On adjustments to her daily routine, Anya said, ‘I started buying my meat and veg from the market instead where there is no plastic on any of it! I also changed my cat’s litter to wood-based, even though this came in a plastic bag.
I swapped my face wipes for muslin cloths and cleanser. And I made sure I had a tote bag with me whenever I left the house, which I sometimes forget! And I started to use my green recycling bin, which makes a huge difference to my plastic output.’
Bring on the ban!
Next, we asked what the most surprising thing was about trying to go plastic-free, Anya said: ‘I think I was just surprised by how little is being done to stop the use of plastic in everyday things, I know that is a bit harsh as things are changing now more than ever. But it is crazy how hard it is to avoid plastic in your everyday life – it’s on everything! Bring on the ban in 2021!
The hardest thing to avoid was: ‘Pet packaging and drinks packaging, they are the hardest things to recycle and fairly unavoidable which is very frustrating!’
So, did you have any slip-ups? ‘I did a bit! I had a month’s worth of cat food pouches to get through, so I didn’t replace these with tins in this week, but I am going forward so I still learned from it.’
Finally, we asked Anya what she learned from the week. ‘It taught me a lot, so I think that in its self is a success. It made me think about the things I use every day and whether I really need to use those things or if I can either give them up or replace with something less harmful. I am a bit ashamed of how little attention I paid before just because I am ‘busy’ but I will take more care going forward!’