On the journey to be plastic free
Giving up plastic for a month proved to be a satisfying Reporter Challenge for Rexine Hawes.
‘‘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.