Balance September 2019 - 26

A RE AL SEA
C HANGE
( TO SAVE THE PLANET )

How plastic-free can you really be? Walk through a typical
day and discover which crucial changes to make
WORDS REBECCA GILLAM

P

lastic is killing our planet. It's
littering our seas and if we don't
make urgent changes, our oceans
will be more plastic than fish
(by weight) by 2050. Thankfully,
you'll be surprised how easy it is to make the
switch. Some of the tips here are about going
back to basics and doing what people have
done for thousands of years. Others are more
modern solutions, using new techniques and
technologies to leave plastic behind us.
BALANCE looks at your day to see how and
where you can be part of this sea change...

GOOD MORNING!

Quite often, the first thing many of us do when
we wake up is reach for a cuppa. However, it
may shock you to discover that teabag, of which
almost 160 million are thrown away every day
in the UK, is made with polypropylene which
doesn't break down. Switching to loose leaf tea
will make a world of difference.

BREAKFAST

By making sure you eat something before
you rush out of the door, you'll avoid the plastic
that can come with grabbing breakfast on the
go. Here's how to have a plastic-free start to
your day...
Eggs Whether scrambled, boiled, poached
or fried, eggs are cracked open every morning
in homes across the land. Some are packaged
in a (non-recyclable) plastic or polystyrene
container, but eggs in cardboard boxes and
recycled paper pulp trays are easily found.
These can even be put on your compost pile
as they are biodegradable. Chickens make
delightful pets, too.

26

Milk We've become used to the high-density
polyethylene (HDPE) bottles that contain fresh
milk at unfathomably cheap prices. These
bottles, while not made from reused plastic, are
at least recyclable. And yet, the possibility of
home delivery hasn't completely died out. If
you live in a large town or city, you can probably
have a daily delivery of milk in glass bottles at a
very reasonable cost. Try milkandmore.co.uk
or findmeamilkman.net to see if your area is
covered by a delivery service.
Bacon & sausages If you eat meat, bacon,
sausages, black pudding and other delicacies
can be bought without a plastic wrapper at the
old school butchers or supermarket fresh meat
counter. Go prepared with a tin, reusable
plastic Tupperware or other suitable container
to take it home in.
Veg Mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach can be
bought fresh and loose, and beans come in
recyclable tins. Avocados, of course, have their
own compostable packaging.
Fruit juice Like milk, fruit juice now comes
in HDPE bottles or Tetra Pak containers.
Doubtless it is just as good for you as
anything sold in a glass bottle, but why not do
your own juicing? A freshly squeezed fruit juice
cannot be beaten for flavour and nutrient
content, but if you don't have the time to do
this, it can be delivered to your doorstep along
with your milk.
Fresh fruit Always try and buy your fruit
loose. This is very easily done for more
robust choices like apples, pears, bananas and
citrus fruits.

...GETTING READY

Experiment with shampoo bars
These can last three-times as long as regular
bottles. Head over to the Lush website
(lush.com) and see heaps of shampoo options
complete with lots of testimonials.
Avoid microbeads Banned in skincare and
cosmetics, these tiny balls of plastic are still
used in cleaning products, like dishwasher
tablets and washing machine sachets. Be
careful not to inadvertently buy cosmetic
products containing them when overseas.
Ditch the face wipes... Super convenient
and easy, these seemingly disposable beauty
godsends are incredibly damaging to our
planet. Make-up wipes, along with other
household wipes, won't break down.
...And plastic toothbrushes According to
dentists, we should replace our toothbrush
every three months, adding to the growing
plastic mountain. However...
The bamboo brush is back It takes some
getting used to, but they're fully-biodegradable
and once you've got past the less-than-familiar
feeling, you're good to go.

...AT WORK

Natural resources Choose stationery made
from cardboard, wood or cork.
Bottle job Flasks or reusable plastic bottles
(these days, you can even find fancy ones that
filter your water) are everywhere, while water
fountains are also increasingly common. You'll
save quite a lot of money, too!
Plan for the planet Take your time. Plan what
you want to eat, buy (or grow!) the ingredients
plastic-free, and prepare your food at home to
avoid all that unnecessary waste.

...AT LUNCHTIME

Switch to a reusable cup Ecoffee, Brita and a
whole range of brands do jazzy reusable cups
and water bottles. You can even get money off
drinks at certain establishments.
Dodge the Meal Deal The £3 combo of
sandwich, crisp packets and a plastic bottled
drink is a lethal blow to our planet. Bring lunch
from home in a reusable box.
Make a bee line for all-natural wrap
Cling film and foil last, at best, one lunchtime.
However, compostable food wraps are now
widely available to keep your food fresh. B

How to Live Plastic Free by the Marine
Conservation Society (£12.99, Headline
Home) is out now


http://www.lush.com http://milkandmore.co.uk http://www.findmeamilkman.net

Balance September 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Balance September 2019

Balance September 2019 - 1
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