#plasticfreefebruary: It's A Wrap


How did your #PlasticFreeFebruary go?

Mine was surprisingly eye-opening.

A few years ago I had my big "holy shit, plastic is everywhere" moment.  I was living in an incredibly remote area of Indonesia and was finding myself on uninhabited beaches that should have been pristine but were covered in plastic that was washing in from the sea.  I started to see plastic everywhere - my shampoo bottle, my toothpaste tube, my toothbrush, the cover of a new DVD, food packaging, every single one of my pens (and the rest of my stationary)... EVERYWHERE.  Since that moment I have been on a mission to cut single use plastic items OUT of my life.

And I've been going pretty well.

Or so I thought.

I realised, in logging every piece of plastic I threw in the bin this month just how much I still use.

Like I went away for a weekend trip with my Aunt and took my pack and when I pulled it out of my cupboard it still had the bag-tag from my last flight on the handle.  So, I pulled it off and into the trash it went.


And when the boys buy us bananas or pineapples in town they often come with these "convenient" little carriers made from plastic twine. So I was getting 1-2 of these a week.


And we drink coffee every day which comes in these handy resealable "foil" bags (of which we use about 1 a week).  The bags are made from #7 plastics which traditionally aren't recycled.  And, even if they are in some places, I know there is nowhere that processes them here.  So, yep, into the bin.


There was other stuff too... I went to town and picked up some seaweed crackers as a treat.  Packaged in plastic.  Cheese is always in plastic.  We ate spaghetti for dinner a couple of times.  Packaged in plastic.

I also had to take a long hard look at the use of plastic on our island by staff.  See, we don't shop for ourselves.  So even though I can proudly say I always take reusable bags to the supermarket, most of my shopping is done by someone who does NOT take reusable bags to the supermarket.  This month we were getting between 4 and 6 plastic bags coming into our own home a week and significantly more than that coming onto the island with food and goods for the staff.  

(I keep all our plastic bags.  I'll tell you all about what I do with them soon, but here is a sneak peek.)


This month, inspired by this challenge, I have focused on reducing consumption of plastic bags across the site.   And I have started to collect ALL the plastic bags from the island.  It's taking time to get everyone into the habit of washing and drying and keeping them for me but with persistence I'm confident that even if plastic bags make it onto the island we will not put anymore of them into landfill!

How has February's challenge to reduce plastic left you feeling?  Inspired?  Overwhelmed?  Hopeful?

I'd love to hear from you.  And thanks so much for joining me!


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Cath
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