It’s Plastic Free July, and I'm challenging myself to find alternatives to single use plastic for an entire month - and to write a daily blog on the most interesting parts of the experience. Today I looked for an alternative to using a plastic bag as a bin.
I started by emptying my bin onto my kitchen table. (Sorry if you’re coming over for a meal any time soon!)
By thinking about the contents, I realised something surprising - I don’t need a bin bag at all. Either my waste is compostable (banana peel and sad burnt toast from this morning), recyclable (the Uncle Toby’s Oats box, which I bought in my first plastic free grocery shop and now have the contents in a metal container), or will no longer enter my house (non-recyclables).
By only buying items that are compostable or recyclable, I won’t need a bin bag from now on. Here’s a bit more about the items I’m giving up:
Plastic Bread Bag
I’m doing pretty well with the bakery bread I bought, which came in a paper bag - apart from burning a piece this morning! I can’t imagine going back to buying plastic wrapped bread.
Until I can find a way to filter microfibres in my washing machine, so that I’m not adding hundreds of thousands of plastic fibres to the ocean every time I do laundry, I’m only going to buy natural clothing when something needs replacing.
These tights have a hole in them, so I’m going to repurpose them instead of throwing them away (they’d make a good rope swing for my rats!), and replace them with natural fibre tights.
Microfibres from our synthetic clothes accumulate chemicals in the ocean, are swallowed by marine life, and the toxicity builds up the food chain until it reaches us humans. So we’re literally poisoning ourselves by eating pieces of chemical coated clothing.
There are things that we can do, like buy a Cora ball to filter out microfibres in our washing machines, and things that we can ask the Government to do through Plastic Free WA, like tackle microplastic pollution in wastewater.
As far as I know, toothpaste tubes can only be recycled through TerraCycle in Australia. As my closest drop off location is a 20 minute drive away in Leederville, I don’t think I’m realistically going to make the journey.
So my options now are to: a) Find a toothpaste that has recyclable packaging or b) Make my own toothpaste.
Tell me (or show me!) - what does your bin look like?
Inspired? Start your own challenge here!