This week I tried to go plastic-free… and it was not so easy.
I started the week by breaking my plastic-free contract, because I desperately needed to buy food and it was too late to go to the organic market.
In Belgium, when you go to a regular supermarket everything is more or less wrapped in plastics, from sliced cheese to fruits and vegetables. I had no other choice but to purchase it.
The rest of the week was much better though. I grabbed take-away food in the restaurant nearby. It came on a recycled cardboard plate but I didn’t take the plastic lid to cover it.
I bought bread and fruits in the organic shop near the office, where paper bags are used instead of plastic packaging. I brought my meals from home in a Tupperware container, which is definitely the best choice to save on plastics – and money!
Apart from food, this week made me realise how difficult it was to escape plastics in detergent, cosmetics and other household items. Even though I didn’t buy anything new, I kept on using the products I have in plastic containers like washing up detergent and fabric conditioner.
I recently switched to soap and shampoo bars. They combine the advantage of being softer on my hair and skin, easy to carry and pretty much plastic free.
This week made me realise a few things. Going plastic free really requires a lot of preparation and mindful shopping. But it is not impossible. Most of the organic shops or food markets have products that come without unnecessary plastic packaging.
For other items like cosmetics or detergents, producers should start thinking about different kinds of packaging and developing more natural alternatives.
Consumers have a huge role to play in the journey towards a plastic-free world. Being aware of our habits and our impact on the environment is a very good first step.