Plastic-Free July?

 Well, maybe not exactly plastic-free, but I'm working on reducing my use of single-use plastics. I began by saving it all for about 10 days (was supposed to be a week but I lost track). I was pretty shocked at how much I accumulated, though it was higher than usual due to a couple of clean-out-the-cupboards projects and some on-line shopping.

It's a little hard to see here, because the bags and wrappings are all stuffed into the big wrap that disappears off the top of the photo. But it's just over a pound, some recyclable, more of it not.

Here's the breakdown:

On the left, we have all the bags, wrappers, and some worn-out ziplocks. None of this is effectively recyclable in my community. Next to it the non-recylable hard bits. l'd been reusing the plastic spoon, but of course it gave up. The Amazon mailer is another that says it's recyclable but I have no place to do so. I reuse a lot of these, but I don't need that many. The other two bags would be nice, reusable plastic bags with zippers--except they have holes neatly punched in them. Some pants I ordered came in those.

On the far right is the stuff that can go in my recycling bin: a couple of bottles, a couple of clamshells, and a yogurt tub.

Honestly, I'm pretty horrified. This is for one person, and that a person who tries to be conscious of my plastic usage! 

Looking at it, I'm trying to figure out what I can avoid. I can stop mail-ordering things, except... those are things I couldn't find locally. I realized when I look that almost everything in the store comes in some kind of plastic. I made the choice to buy frozen chicken rather than fresh, because all the fresh came in plastic trays. On the other hand, those are (theoretically) recyclable, while the bag isn't. I can buy fruit at the farmer's market, taking my own bags... but berries always come in some kind of container, usually plastic.

One thing you don't see there is any shampoo bottles. I've already made the switch to shampoo/conditioner bars, and am perfectly happy with those. I'm probably going to make my own laundry detergent, if I can find that recipe again, because I can't seem to find decent powder that is unscented.

At least the size of the pile has me looking more carefully at everything I buy!

Oh, and here's a couple of links to some helpful tips on reducing plastic in your life:

 ©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2021
 As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated.

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