Last year, as we came to the end of #30DaysWild, someone suggested to the Facebook group that we might like to take up #PlasticFreeJuly. I wrote a blog on this topic last year 8th July and fear there’s not really been any improvement since then.
I signed up for another #PlasticFreeJuly this year but it’s based in Australia and many of the questions in the pre-challenge survey just didn’t fit my circumstances. I then discovered the Marine Conservation Society UK is running a #plasticchallenge this month. So I’m giving that a go.
Switched on my pc today to discover it’s World Oceans Day! Seemed a good day for me to confess to a serious lapse on Days 4 and 5 of the #plasticchallenge! I’ve been quite good for some years at always having a shopping bag with me and I have a little net bag for loose fruit, veg or bread rolls. I usually take a water bottle on outings. And last #PlasticFreeJuly gave me the confidence to use my bamboo Ecoffee Cup more regularly (Bought via Traidcraft but no longer in stock).
As already described in my Day 4 blog we’d been promised, in the Open Garden I was to visit “cakes incl lemon drizzle made with lemons from the garden” and “teas incl rose hips from the garden”. I foolishly assumed I’d be able to get a coffee in a real cup and wasn’t planning a long enough outing to take tap water in my bottle. But there was no coffee on offer and it would, like the tea, have been served in paper cups. I was given a plastic cup of water while my lemon drizzle cake was placed on a large plastic plate. I did, however, take this plastic home to ensure it wasn’t thrown away after a single use.
Day 5 I had another lapse! I wanted to go shopping in Camden Town straight from my Eurythmy class at the U3A. While still in Haverstock Hill I realised I’d not got my Ecoffee Cup. I was in need of a coffee but didn’t want to go home (just round the corner) as I knew I’d never get out again. So I got the bus as planned, thinking of “damage limitation” options. There was no guarantee I’d get a real cup at Costa or Starbucks. Both Greggs and Waitrose serve Fairtrade coffee – in paper cups. I ended up choosing a free coffee at Waitrose. I remembered too late the advice given by #PlasticFreeJuly last year – “if you have to have a paper cup, refuse the plastic lid”. They’d left the lid off as I was adding my own milk and I only carried the cup a couple of yards. Why didn’t I think of refusing the lid?! At least I re-used the bakery bag I’d taken for a pastry for the bread rolls I added to my shopping afterwards.
These Challenges certainly make you stop and think – however belatedly.