Plastic Free Week is starting!!
The challenge is to live without buying any new single use plastic for the week. Single use plastic is plastic that is designed to be thrown out after one use (e.g. food packaging - NOT plastic used in clothes, shoes, phones, money etc that is used multiple times).
You can really decide how far you want to take the challenge. You could just drop the "big four" single-use bags, straws, coffee cups and bottles. However, trying to live entirely single-use plastic free is eye-opening and extremely fulfilling. Some people don't buy plastic that has been recycled already, but my personal opinion is that this will encourage the recycling industry, as most producers do not want to use recycled plastic in their products
The excitement is immense, the prizes are stacked and the launch event is just hours away.
The question remains: how to live plastic free for a week?
Half the fun is going to the supermarket aisle and getting weird looks as you rattle boxes to see whether there is a plastic bag inside (unfortunately, usually there is!). But if you want to avoid the weird looks and be able to eat well, here are some hints to get you through:
1. Buy fresh - the fresher the produce, the less packaging it is likely to have. Take your on bags for fruit and vege, or invest in some from Rethink (these are also part of the prize pile up for grabs!). Fresh bread (e.g. Pandoro uses paper bags) or fresh fish/meat from a butchers (take your own container and ask for it to be put straight in there).
2. Buy from bulk bins. You can find most things that you need in the bulk bin section of the supermarket. For a bulk bin overload, check out Bin Inn
3. Buy in bulk: more food in less packaging!
4. Look for products in tins, glass and paper (see below for list of brands)
5. Take your own: bottle, fork/spoon, coffee cup, container for takeaways (most places will let you if you ask them to put it in your container)
6. REFUSE : remember to ask for no straw with your drink, no plastic bag etc
7. Refill - Ecostore does an awesome refill service in Auckland
Cleaning (yourself, your house), cooking, almost everything = Ecostore
Pasta = barilla
Chocolate = Whittakers
Oats = Harraways
Toothpaste, cosmetics = Lush
Burgerfuel has great packaging and all plastic is plant-based. However, if you ask, they ill probably put the sauce straight ON your food for you
Other takeaways: kebab, fish and chips, pizza = plastic free
Other essentials like flour and sugar often come in paper too.
If you need more inspiration, check out the following links for some great ideas!