Thursday, 29 May 2008

Drastic Plastic

I recently discovered an interesting blog called Life Less Plastic.. which is all about trying to cut out plastics from our daily life. While I have no plans to try to be completely plastics free, I wholeheartedly believe in cutting down unnecessary use of plastics and it prompted me to be more aware of the plastic that crops up in my daily life...

So, for the record, I have recently bought...

  • A new bit for my drill - hung on a thick plastic label
  • A new (Ikea) roller blind packed in a plastic tube
  • Screws and rawlplugs - in plastic bags
  • Linseed oil for my table - in a plastic bottle
  • A screwdriver - with a plastic handle.
  • olives in plastic pots
  • bread in plastic bags
  • plastic wrapped cake
  • and even croissants - in a paper bag.. (with a plastic window)

..and my recycling waste regularly includes:

  • plastic pourers from fruit juice cartons
  • soft drinks bottles
  • disposable razors
  • & yoghurt cartons

and occasionally - ice cream pots & wine box pourers.

You know the sort of stuff...

So? What about it?

Well... I will

  • be more observant in the future and make packaging part of my buying choice...
  • when I buy things in plastic packagingI'll choose packaging I'm likely to re-use. Resealable boxes for my dry goods for instance.
  • Make sure that plastics go for recycling (they do already)
  • Look out for an alternative shaving solution
  • Look for a farm produce outlet locally
  • Shop at the food hall where things are not pre-packaged.
  • Keep using the (plastic) things I've got.

But... Plastics are an important class of materials and get used all over - in cars, aircraft, electrical goods and medical equipment.. and a myriad other places. Plastics can do things that other materials have a hard time matching.. and are mostly based on chemicals derived from oil. By comparison to making plastics, burning oil (petrol) for fuel is just short sighted profligacy. So, if you're thinking of cutting back on using plastics to 'save the environment' make sure you have your priorities right.

Which means I'm going to keep walking round the corner to the shop and choosing the best they have to offer.. unless I find something better in cycling distance (whch is tricky right now).

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