Hurrah, plastic. The amazing super convenient, so versatile and so everywhere!
I admit that when I thought about what to write here to honour Plastic Free July, I realised that I am absolutely hypocritical. Or I think the term might be "woke", please correct me if I am wrong. Basically what I am trying to say is that being totally plastic free is actually really hard. I nearly cried going to the supermarket and realising just how much we purchase that is either contained in plastic, is plastic or has plastic in its manufacturing process. So much so that plastic consumption it is normalised in our society, but does it really need to be?
So here are a few things that I wanted to highlight that sneakily contain plastic, that can be changed at home and make a difference:
Tea bags: some (not all) contain a polymer that helps bind the bags together. This not only can leach into your tea, but also cannot biodegrade. Here at White Cloud HQ are in the process of moving from tea bags to loose leaf.
Tampons and sanitary pads: believe it or not some contain plastic to retain the structure and support.
Clothes: Its nearly impossible to buy clothes that do not contain some sort of plastic derivative. From the label, to the actual material itself. There is Nylon, Polyester, Acrylic and Polyamide. According to research completed by Friends of the Earth, up to 64% of new fabrics contain some sort of plastic. The problem is that when we wash them, tiny microfibres wash out into our waterways and subsequently into the sea. Obviously trying to buy clothes without any of this is one way to combat this (i.e buying organic cotton clothes), but also in our household we are washing are clothes less (also a bonus for water conservation). Clothes do not need as much cleaning as the washing powder adverts make you believe.
Cleaning: Ok, so the spray might not contain plastic but the bottle is. I make my own cleaning products, not for everything but for every day use on surfaces. The lovely Wendyl Nissen has some amazing and effective recipes (link here: https://www.wendyls.co.nz/recipes/cleaning-recipes/) I add citronella into the spray, particularly in summer, to deter flies.
It is so hard, but there are definitely ways to start to reduce plastic consumption, or at least to be aware of where unnecessary plastic can be avoided. I hope this has given some ideas. I have added more on the White Cloud social media pages too.