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Plastic free July - summing up

As I wrote back in June, I decided to participate in Plastic Free July properly this year and keep a "dilemma bag" with all the plastic that we still used, even though we were trying not to use any at all.  It is now time to look through the bag and analyse its contents.....

Things that we managed to do without:
  • muesli bar wrappers - by making homemade muesli bars
  • rubbish bags (lined bins with paper)
  • plastic cups (we don't buy anything in a cup and I always use a real cup when I make myself a drink)
  • straws (again we never buy anything with a straw)
  • shopping bags (used fabric bags, I put a stash in each car, so no excuses!)
  • plastic bottles (we are in a very lucky position of producing our own milk, and I make fermented fizzy drinks and Pete makes beer, so we didn't have to buy any plastic bottles)
  • plastic wrap (I used some of the tricks in this link)

Things that ended up in the dilemma bag and what I might do to reduce this waste:
  • Various wrapping from things ordered online, I'm not really sure how to avoid it, and some of it was also posted in a plastic bag in plastic bubble wrap!  I am going to email each company and politely suggest that they use alternative packaging, its worth a try.
  • Food packaging - pasta bag and lots of little bits of plastic, for example the seal that goes around the lid of the bottle of sauce, and some punnets from buying strawberries (which I returned to the market stall the next month).  Maybe I need to learn to make pasta, unless anyone knows where to buy it not in a plastic bag.
  • Rubber gloves for washing up - I get a rash on my hands, which seems to be caused by hot soapy water, even since we use a soap shaker, so I need to wear rubber gloves.  I buy the natural rubber gloves anyway (which technically isn't plastic, although the packet is), and apparently the latex can be composted, so I'm going to try that.
  • I also had several bags from freezer meat, that I didn't keep in the dilemma bag for obvious reasons.  This is a real problem for us as we get 300 kg of meat at a time, and fill 2 freezers, so it really has to go in bags to make it last through the year and its difficult to wash and dry those bags to a standard to reuse them.  Any other suggestions for freezing meat in bulk amounts?

Did you join in on Plastic Free July?  What was in your dilemma bag and do you have any ideas to further reduce your plastic consumption?  Any ideas that I have missed?

From The Farm Blog Hop    


  1. Plastic is a wonderful product for vacuum sealing meat so I would use it for efficient purposes and focus on not using plastic bottles, grocery bags and all the things that are truly becoming a plague on the earth. Just watch the survival type shows on TV, those guys can be in the middle of nowhere and come up with several plastic bottles, it is incredible.

  2. Good post and very practical. I make my own pasta but still buy it sometimes as a quick meal from the cupboard and my preference is for the brand in the box Barilla. It does have a small window of plastic in some of the shaped pastas but it is the best alternative I have found. I hate that our society now requires all the "safety" packaging and tamper-proofing, it has added to so much more bits of plastic. Isn't it amazing how little rubbish there is each week when you make and grow your own. I get very distressed when I see people putting bananas in plastic bags.

    1. We made our own pasta too and yes discovered Barilla as well. Tastes good will be buying this from now on (or making our own)Mx

    2. Bananas in plastic bags drives me crazy too! Or when people put a single orange or apple into a produce plastic bag in the shop and then at the register get another bag! I want to shout at all of them, but don't, instead I use my reusable produce bags VERY obviously, or none at all.

  3. Very thought provoking. It's the tamper proof packaging that I find the most annyoying. The plastic sleeve can sometimes be ten times (or more) bigger than it needs to be so I suspect there's a bit of customer duping going on too. More importantly there's no way of reusing it whereas if something comes in a plastic bag I can usually find something to do with the plastic bag to extend its usefulness.

  4. Well done you! I wish I had kept all the plastic we used. Either way was super challenging and I so enjoyed it. Mx

  5. I didn't do as well as I thought I would but will do better next time. With me it is an ongoing challenge but soon I will have 2 more set dates for it. One when I am alone for a week and one when husband is home too. I want him to see how bad he is with it all, not that he can we overcome someone like that?


  6. I didn't know about plastic free July, but have been trying to do this anyways over the past several months. Yes, the plastic they wrap most of our food in is non-recyclable. It is so annoying. I did read that one guy was putting his into bales and would place it in a concrete block when he makes blocks for a retaining wall. I don't have any concrete blocks to make so this is pretty much what's in my garbage.
    Lady Locust

  7. I did not participate in this challenge, but have been thinking a lot about the plastic that is everywhere in our daily lives. I appreciate this round up, the intention and thoughtfulness behind it all. I also really like the idea of a dilemma bag, so as to track all those little pieces you spoke of that really add up!

  8. What an interesting experiment.

    I too find it frustrating. It almost seems that corporations are incentivized to use as much plastic packaging as possible. :-/

  9. This post speaks to me - I hate, hate, HATE plastic and do whatever I can to avoid bringing it into my home. I'll reuse plastic bread bags to freeze tomatoes from the garden short-term, and refuse to buy anything that's over packaged. I only use my own canvas bags or none at all when shopping. I've learned to make my own frozen-banana-pudding ice cream, so no packaging there. ;-) I've learned to make my own yogurt and pasta primarily to eliminate the packaging - so easy. No one can do EVERYTHING, it's all about moderation, but I'm doing everything I possibly can to avoid plastic. Thank you for sharing this post & increasing awareness. (Visiting fro Homestead Barn Hop)

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas


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