Plastic Free July – a fail and a success!

Plastic Free July


It’s July and a few years ago I joined in with Plastic Free July. Since then I have cut out a lot of plastic from my life. For quite a long time I tried to go shampoo free and I lived without foods I couldn’t find plastic free e.g. peas and celery. I went out of my way to find plastic free products.

Fast forward to today and my shopping trolley is not the plastic free beauty it once was. The plastic we bring into our home is massively reduced compared to the pre- Plastic Free July days. However nowadays the things I want that I can’t get plastic free easily or affordably are in that trolley. There are several reasons for this including affordability, practicality and getting fed up of avoiding things because I couldn’t get them plastic free. I also realised that sometimes plastic free doesn’t always mean better. Is it fair trade, organic, on my shopping route i.e. do I need to burn extra petrol to get it?

Making sure there was no plastic on anything coming into my home gradually stopped being a top priority in my life. Plus no-one else I knew seemed to care whether I had plastic in my trolley or not. The thing is though times have changed. Turns out people read my blog. People who live locally and who have changed their habits at least partly because of me. In fact they sometimes tell me that they worry about bumping into me when they are doing their shopping in case I see the packaged stuff in their trolley.

Recently I ran into a lady in the supermarket who had those thoughts. When she did run into me though, her trolley had less plastic in it than mine did! And she wasn’t impressed with me. I did have some unpackaged things in there, but I had picked up a bag of carrots when I could have got them individually. So I returned the offending articles to the shelf and picked up some unpackaged carrots. We made each other laugh a lot with our encounter and our trolley comparisons, but the good thing is that my effort to go plastic free wasn’t wasted.

Helen felt so inspired about going plastic free that she started up her own site about it – check it out here:  Plastic Free Portal. Now she is keeping me motivated on my shop! Helen says her friends are also inspired by her site and the plastic free movement is definitely growing which is so fantastic.

If you are taking part in Plastic Free July, then well done for all your efforts however large or small. If you aren’t, have a go – start with the cutting out the simple things like plastic bottles, disposable coffee cups, straws and bags. Check out the campaign here: Plastic Free July Even if you just make one change and cut out one bit of plastic it is worth it.

Going plastic free isn’t easy yet (at least not where I live). However the more people that make the effort to try and the more people who care, the more of a voice we can have collectively to ask for change. Then the shops and supermarkets will listen and it will become easier. In the meantime don’t worry if you go off course a bit, just do what you can, when you can. It is a whole lot better than not doing anything at all.