On the jour­ney to be plas­tic free

Giv­ing up plas­tic for a month proved to be a sat­is­fy­ing Re­porter Chal­lenge for Rexine Hawes.

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About -

‘‘Un­less some­one like you cares a whole aw­ful lot, noth­ing is go­ing to get bet­ter, it’s not,’’ Dr Seuss.

Did you know that sci­en­tists pre­dict by 2050 there will be more tonnes of plas­tic in the ocean and wa­ter­ways in the world than fish?

This is in­for­ma­tion sup­plied by Plas­tic Free July and is one of the rea­son’s I de­cided to clean up my act.

Plas­tic Free July aims to raise aware­ness of the prob­lems with sin­gle-use dis­pos­able plas­tic and chal­lenges peo­ple to do some­thing about it.

Ki­wis throw away 540 mil­lion plas­tic bags.

I or­dered my pro­duce bags for fruit and veg­eta­bles to use with my re­us­able shop­ping bags, stain­less steel straws, as well as my beeswax wraps to use in place of plas­tic wrap.

My kids use tup­per­ware lunch boxes, yes they are made of plas­tic, but last a very long time and keep sam­mies fresh all day with­out the need to wrap them.

All of my soft plas­tics get re­cy­cled via the plas­tics drum at the New World su­per­mar­ket.

I am com­post­ing what I can and re­cy­cling grades 1-7 go into my wheelie bin.

I won’t al­low my­self to stop for a cof­fee to go if I don’t have my keep-cup.

Be­cause of the wee boy’s nap­pies - kick­ing my­self for giv­ing away all my 21st cen­tury re­us­able ones - I now only need to put my nightly.

Now, I am not say­ing all this to glo­rify my ef­forts, but to show a lit­tle goes a long way to re­duc­ing our piece of the 40 tonnes of waste coun­cil rub­bish ser­vices takes to land­fill from our district.

What I found hard­est how­ever rub­bish bag out fort- is chang­ing my mind­set.

I try to re­turn my shop­ping and pro­duce bags to the car af­ter use in case of im­promptu vis­its to the su­per­mar­ket and su­perette.

I force my­self to walk out of the su­per­mar­ket empty handed and re­turn­ing an­other day if I needed fruit, but for­got my pro­duce bags.

How­ever, in re­tail shop­ping, if I wasn’t asked if I wanted a bag, but was given one au­to­mat­i­cally, I found my­self walk­ing out of shops car­ry­ing it with­out think­ing twice.

I have to keep telling my­self that I am not elim­i­nat­ing plas­tic. It’s next to im­pos­si­ble (although I know plenty of peo­ple will dis­agree) but re­duc­ing the plas­tic I do use, re­cy­cling what I can and en­cour­ag­ing oth­ers to do the same if pos­si­ble.

I would chal­lenge any­one to give it a go in Au­gust.

Re­mem­ber every lit­tle bit helps, our world is worth fight­ing for.

Re­porter Rexine Hawes par­tic­i­pated in Plas­tic Free July to min­imise house­hold waste, such as us­ing re­us­able gro­cery bags, stain­less steel straws, beeswax wraps and re­us­able pro­duce bags.

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