OUR VIEW: Living a plastic-free life, could you do it?

If you haven’t already realised single-use plastic bags are now a thing of the past when you do your grocery shopping. That’s right, if you shop at a major supermarket or department store you will need to supply your own bag. 

And the reality of this new concept has come to life just in time for plastic-free July – you may have seen an article or two about this concept from one of our journalists who is taking part in the month. 

You will no doubt quickly realise that packing groceries in re-usable bags has many benefits – especially if you opt for the stronger hessian varieties. The various grocery items tend to sit more firmly and the bags are easier to carry – without any fear of breakage. The biggest challenge to overcome is remembering to grab your re-usable shopping bags when you head to the supermarket. There is also a feel-good sense of environmental consciousness that comes with this new improved way of shopping. 

It is only when you start to contemplate this way of life that you realise how plastic has become a part of life.

So you’ve scrapped the use of plastic bags at the checkout, but how do you pack the items you gather on your shopping journey? How often do you reach for a plastic bag for your apples, oranges or tomatoes? Have you noticed those pesky plastic stickers on the apples? Those deli items are packed in plastic before being wrapped in paper. Moving into the meat section you will quickly realise that every cut of meat is available with some form of plastic wrapping.

And chocolate! Let’s not even start with the packaging on chocolate! 

The trail of plastic destruction is not confined to the supermarket. It is a part of every day life - something we use, rarely giving its existence a second thought. That is until we consider eliminating it from our life.

How do you clean up after your dog on that morning walk? No-one wants a paper bag for that task.

It soon becomes apparent that plastic-free July is frought with challenges. Are you up for the challenge of removing plastic from your life? At the very least, can you eliminate single-use plastic from your life where ever possible? Perhaps re-usable plastic containers could be taken to the butcher for packing your meat purchases. And maybe fruit and vegetables could be taken home without packaging. Cleaning up after the dog? Well that’s a different story.

What ideas do you have to overcome our plastic lives?