So July has been an interesting one hasn’t it? We’ve had an actual summer this year, to the point of having to do rain dances to bring some moisture back, the World cup and.. #PlasticFreeJuly. As I continually tweaking my lifestyle to be more mindful so joining in was a natural next step. However, it did throw up some thoughts and realisations as you’ll see…

It requires a bit of planning

After looking at my daily habits I knew coffee and water were absolutely something I needed to sort, so a Keepcup and Bobble were in my bag at all times. But, on the days where I was going to be out all day, I had to plan ahead to see whether I could eat lunch out or had to pick something up on the go. Our weekly grocery shop had a full overhaul too; we split our shop between three places to eliminate plastic which was a struggle to say the least

It’s not easy when travelling

We were away in Portugal for nearly two weeks so we took our coffee cups, bobble and steel straws which really helped keep us in check! Unfortunately, any supermarkets we went into, everything was covered in some kind of plastic packaging. Apart from the fruit and some veg. But anything that needed to last in hot weather was in some kind of plastic.

You will be on autopilot one day!

It wasn’t perfect every day and yes, I did end up with something plastic a couple of times. There were days I didn’t prepare in advance and found myself having to grab something in between meetings or appointments. Or I didn’t have time for breakfast and was starving and needed something quick before hangry set in. Sometimes it just wasn’t avoidable.

There’s not enough alternatives – yet

The beginnings of plastic alternatives like recycled outer packagings or compostable plastics are being introduced (Teapigs use one to package their teabags in). Lots of new materials are being developed that are biodegradable, but like anything new and different, it’ll be a while until it’s adopted into mainstream industries.

Convenience is a working progress

Finding plastic free products daily, generally hasn’t been too pressing until it came to replacing things around the house like foil, sandwich bags, laundry items. Local supermarkets or grocery stores didn’t readily have these, so I had to go on a hunt for them separately. It wasn’t ideal in busy periods when we didn’t have time to go and physically buy them from the handful of places we found. Convenience is still something that needs to be worked on, but I’m sure it’ll be come easier as the demand grows.

Take action no matter how small

One of the biggest things I realised, is that taking action and making even a small change will make a difference. I’m not sure why, but there seems to feel like a need to have an overnight change in our habits, but changing a behaviour takes time. Especially on a mass scale. Through education we can all make choices daily to lessen our impact.

There’s still plastic in my life

I’m far from waste free and still have products that are plastic, especially beauty products from my days in the industry. It’s just not practical for me to just throw things out – they’ll still end up in the same place whether I use them or not. Instead, I’ve taken the approach to do things bit by bit and use them all up, then replace with better choices as I go along.

This is a much bigger issue

The more I’m investing myself in altering my habits, the more I read and see that this is so much more than me. We’ve all seen the distressing videos of a sea of plastic, but we also see local supermarkets still receiving plastic bags. The production doesn’t seem to be slowing down and it poses the question – what exactly needs to happen for a lasting change? What part of the chain needs to be broken for it to be better?