Going plastic free

Plastic trash in a trash bag - "Wasted Stare" by Erich Ferdinand is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This week is the week of boycotting plastic packaging. For this reason, a few colleagues and I compiled a list of suggestions how to avoid plastic. I think that it’s important to share, so I want to bring it out of my work environment into the public.

Obviously, some of the suggestions are specific to Barcelona/Spain but they can serve as inspiration, so I left them in the list.

Alternatives 

 Change your behaviour 

  • buy your fruit and vegetables and put them in tote bags that you bring along in the markets you can maybe also bring your bags and Tupper ware and ask to get cheese, meat, etc. without packaging and transport it there.
  • plan ahead what you eat for lunch: don’t end up buying a salad in Spar. It’s a wasteful disgrace
  • avoid buying bottled water:t get an active carbon water filter (avoid reverse osmosis!) installed under your sink if you haven’t. The taste is great, and you can reuse your own favorite bottles.
  • reuse what you have: you had to buy a coffee to go? Instead of throwing away the cup directly, plant something in it. Ideally something you could eat later (e.g. chives). So, you won’t buy chives in the supermarket which comes of course wrapped in plastic. 
  • eat in rather than taking out! Avoid take away in general (single-use coffee cups are soo sex and the city, plastic Tupper ware is toxic and annoying, don’t even get me started on styrofoam!) take your time, slow down and eat in
  • if you’re going to order take out, let it be pizza! it comes in a cardboard box and no plastic bag and you eat it with your hands
  • bring a reusable water bottle everywhere and a tote bag (I always keep one in my purse; it does not take any space and it saved a lot of plastic bags)
  • at bars and restaurants: ask for plastic free alternatives 
    Even if they don’t have, you plant the seed of switching. E.g. Antic Teatre gives you biodegradable straws. 
  • buy less! Think before you buy, build in a 3-week buffer before any purchase, if you still think you need it after that time, go ahead. Consider if you already have something that you can use or re-use or even re-purpose, or maybe you can borrow or rent, you don’t always have to buy everything. (suck it Mari Kondo)
  • buy cheese and meat at the counter, a lot of supermarkets do have them (bring your own Tupper ware or beeswax wraps)
  • if you buy something in a plastic container: small sizes have more plastic and less product, buy the biggest sizes and refill small containers if needed, you’ll save money too. Say no to single packed shit. 
  • buy fewer ready-made meals, learn how to cook and save loads of money 
  • use crumpled newspapers instead of bubble wrap (sorry, no fun popping them) 

Since the main goal is to “push the big companies to search for better alternatives of packaging” and it’s understandably hard to avoid plastic, here’s a thing we can do, when having to buy products with packaging: 

Leave the packaging in the super market!

If we would all do this, there will be piles of trash in the entrances. The managers will certainly notice. And your trashcan at home won’t fill as quickly. 

Resources 

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