Plastic-free: ‘A toxic lovestory’ (interview)

Sustainability

Recently we have found that there has been a huge global emphasis on reducing our use of plastic due to it’s negative impact on the environment. We must admit that although we have been trying to find small ways to reduce our use of plastic, we have been finding it tricky – especially with food packing – plastic is EVERYWHERE!

So we decided to team up and talk to @izawizzy (Instagram) who is the Campaign Coordinator for @plasticfreemeeorg (and she does AMAZING work in spreading awareness of ways to reduce our consumption of plastic, with a recent talk at the National History Museum!). We talked about everything plastic to find out ways in which we can all create a positive impact on the environment.

Q: Why plastic-free?

A: Plastic is convenient and cheap – and it’s everywhere. It’s in your drinks, food packaging, it wraps your lunch and any products you might use – it’s hard to escape. Most of this is just used once, unwrapped and then chucked in the bin.

Personally it was something that I didn’t really think about for a long time – after visiting Australia and New Zealand and seeing the incredible Great Barrier Reef I became more and more interested in coral and the ocean and I started to come across more information on the subject.

Once I found out how much harm it does to the environment and started to look out for it I started to realise just how much we use. Plastic seriously harms marine life. Marine stocks are vitally important for our species – people who eat fish can ingest this plastic too. Locally too – you often just have to look around to see plastic litter everywhere. I wanted to make the change myself and inspire others to do the same.

Q: How long have you been plastic free?

A: Plastic-Free Me was set up only last year to address our growing global plastic problem. It is an awareness campaign group run by a growing network of volunteers. I joined them in September and have been trying to cut out plastic ever since. This month we ran the campaign ‘Plastic-Free Feb’ and I have attempted to cut out plastic entirely but a few pieces here and there have been almost unavoidable – I have saved anything I’ve used and will post this at the end of the month. I hope to be entirely plastic free as soon as possible but for the average person it’s almost impossible to avoid plastic completely. However if everyone made small changes to cut out single use disposable plastic and demands that corporations take responsibility for their production and use of single-use plastic it will only become easier to be 100% plastic free.

Q: What did you find the most difficult?

A: For me, foods such as crisps and quick snacks are the most difficult. I’m not always the most organised so just making sure I take my own lunch to work and carry bags and metal cutlery around with me to make sure I never get caught out helps.

Q: 5 alternative swaps we can make in our everyday lives to reduce our intake of plastic?

A: The main four plastic pollutants are plastic straws, coffee cup lids, plastic bags and plastic bottles so alternatives for these are easiest to tackle first. A lot of places are starting to offer paper and biodegradable straws as alternatives, there are also a lot of steel and silicone reusable straws on the market or just skip the straw altogether. There are also many coffee cups available and many coffee outlets offer a discount if you bring your own – if you forget like we all sometimes too just refuse the lid as this is the part which is least likely to be recycled. Most of us have become used to bringing our own bags to the supermarket since the 5 p levy so this is great news. For plastic bottles try and invest in a stainless steel or alternative water bottle so you don’t need to buy a new plastic bottle every time you need a drink of water. There are also lots of other areas that not many people think of using plastic – for example teabags actually contain plastic so using loose tea leaves can avoid this.

A massive THANK YOU to Izzy for doing this and helping us out! We can’t wait to try out the alternatives to plastic – we’ve already got our hands on reusable cups for that morning tea. What swaps will you be making?

For more info visit their website – https://www.plasticfreeme.org/

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