For Week 3 of our no-plastic adventure, we spoke to EcoVibe’s Gabriela. It turns out she’s been wanting to go plastic-free for a while, now she puts it to the test.
It’s all about preparation
We started, as all plastic-free attempts do at the preparation stage, although Gabriela has always wanted to try plastic-free, she never really gave it a proper go, so without the prep, it wouldn’t have been a success!
We asked Gabriela what kind of prep work she undertook before the big kick-off. She said, "I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of plastic I use on daily basis for some time now, but for my plastic free week I decided to tackle my bathroom, as it’s still packed with plastic items!”
Gabriela decided to go on a bit of a shop before it all started: “Prior to my plastic-free week I was shopping for some alternatives to bathroom plastic, which included a shampoo bar, zero waste toothpaste, solid shower gel and the essential reusable makeup wipes!”
A bathroom full of plastic & the challenge of the first day
Next up, we asked Gabriela what was the first thing that she noticed when she started the challenge: “Pretty much everything in the bathroom comes in plastic packaging. All the shower gels, shampoos, toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes, it’s absolutely everywhere, there is no escape!”
You never really know what to expect when taking on the plastic-free challenge, other than expecting to find how hard it can be to not use plastic for a week. Gabriela’s first day went something like this: “I found it nearly impossible to avoid plastic when it came to cleaning.
Whilst I was able to replace most of my body care items with plastic free alternatives, I couldn’t find any cleaning solutions that came in glass or metal containers. That’s why I went for a home-made one!”
All-important daily adjustments
We asked Gabriela what she had to give up entirely, she said, “All the supermarket cleaning products, I couldn’t find any of them coming in non-plastic packaging.”
On adjustments to her daily routine: “I’ve switched to solid shampoo, shower gel and toothpaste rather than using the ones packed in plastic bottles or tubes. I wish I had made the change it earlier! Not only do these items come in zero-waste packaging, but they actually work better on your hair and skin, as they are all natural and don’t contain any artificial additives!"
The biggest plastic-free surprise
We asked Gabriela what the biggest shock was during her plastic-free week, and it was quite a surprise! She said that “Loads of the so-called ‘cotton’ rounds and balls are not even made from cotton, but from synthetic fibres! I had no idea. I always thought they were just 100% cotton and biodegradable!” Definitely all the more reason to buy ethically sourced, biodegradable cotton we say. Sometimes you really have to check!
The hardest thing to avoid, and an unavoidable slip up
On the most difficult thing to avoid, Gabriela said: “I found mouthwash the hardest thing to avoid, I didn’t manage to find an alternative at all! In terms of any kind of slip-up, I did have one, but it wasn’t my fault! I can’t do without contact lenses and contact lens solution.” Well, we forgive you for that one Gabriela, that’s not an easy one to get around!
So, overall how was your first ever plastic-free week? “Definitely eye opening! You don’t realize how much plastic is in your house until you actually try to get rid of it. But at the same time there are some very easy and effective switches you can implement straight away.
You might not find the plastic free items in high street shops but with a little bit of research you can find loads of them elsewhere. Another thing is the perception that zero waste items are more expensive than plastic ones, which I found not to be true! In many cases zero-waste actually works out cheaper. For example; solid shampoo bars are sometimes more expensive to buy. Or you could try home-made cleaning solutions, which are dirt cheap to make!”
You can see how Amy got on last time in Week 2 of our A Week Without Plastic series here. Be sure to keep an eye out for our next instalment, coming soon!