Now, I feel like I can skip over a long introduction seeing as again, we’re looping back to another piece I’ve already written.
Cutting out single use plastics is currently a household aim. It started off as just me, but now rather passionately JK has joined in as well. We’ve got our bottles, our coffee cups, our bamboo toothbrushes, and now our metal straws. We’ve been buying fruit and vegetables with limited plastic packaging, although we’re finding we may have to adjust our shopping habits to fully achieve this. We reuse bags to the point they can’t be used anymore, each with our own stash in the boots of our cars, and I actually carry around a bag with me if we go out anywhere, just in case we do buy something and it’s just as easy to shove in that bag rather than buy another bag to add to the collection.
Our aim is primarily just to cut down the plastic and other waste we send to landfill or recycling centres. Sometimes it’s easy, other times, it’s hard, and that’s down to us eating meat. Whilst I have been vegetarian before, the truth of the matter is, I don’t feel like I could do it again. And at the end of the day, I did it for different reasons rather than the welfare of the animals. I know, I sound heartless but it’s true. My vegetarianism was basically a choice to be a bit healthier that didn’t really pay off in the long run. However, we do have some vegetarian meals sprinkled throughout our weekly menu choices, and we’ve had brief discussions about the possibility of becoming weekday vegetarians based on the fact it’s often easier to achieve given our work commitments.
Whilst you can readily find vegetables and fruits outside of packaging, you’ll find that as standard, a butcher or even fishmonger will provide a plastic bag, or plastic sheet, or a tray that’s not recyclable, and it’s this that poses the problems. There’s the romanticised idea that a butcher or fishmonger will handover your produce in brown paper packaging tied with red and white string, and whilst that may happen in some places, it doesn’t happen everywhere. Plus, it’s not particularly freezer friendly when we live in a world built on consumerism of the weekly shop.
In reality, eating meat means that we’re not going to escape producing plastic that can’t be recycled. Even most of what meat comes in can’t be sent to recycling centres because it’s too contaminated with the meat, meaning it’s heading to landfill where it will slowly decompose letting out toxins into the ground. Hard plastic can’t be recycled either, and with the consumerism we experience, it’s harder to pass down items or even donate to charities when people still view charity shops as lowly bargain bins of things you don’t want – you don’t want them because you believe in buying everything brand new.
Plastic is far from fantastic in the long run, and whilst you make steps to cut down your contribution to the problem, the reality is, society and industry have to change and fall in line. Falling in line with something that will cost money and we all know how big companies don’t like spending the money they’re making. If you can cut down your plastic consumption, I do urge you to do so, in whatever way possible. Replacements to plastic items can be found easily online, even on places like Amazon, but don’t be afraid to ask the questions about what something comes packaged in to further reduce your plastic consumption.