July 26, 2015

Plastic Challenge: Rachel French, Week 1

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With living on an island, I have limited resources for shopping, i.e no such things as a bulk barn here! So struggling to reduce my grocery shop plastics.
We have a few small local markets but otherwise we’re limited to a small Co-op shop.

Location:  Isle of Mull, United Kingdom

Name: Rachel French

Week: 1

Personal Info:

Hi, I’m a conservationist and wildlife lover living on the rural Scottish Island of Mull. I am currently a ranger working with white-tailed eagles and scot tourism, but am about to start working toward teaching – aiming to teach younger generations outdoors, to love their planet.
I live with my boyfriend and we both work full time.

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)
4x plastic packaging bags from online orders
1x plastic window on fresh Co-op bread
x1 turnip/swede wrapper
x1 small lunch steak pie packet
x1 trimmed leek packet
x2 new potato packets
x1 garlic bread packet
x1 mushroom container
x1 plastic film from mushroom container
x1 roast chicken tray and film cover
x1plastic yoghurt lid
x1 bacon packet
x1 sticker from LUSH bar shampoo
Snickers chocolate bars 9x individual and 1x outside wrapper
x4 biscuit wrappers
x2 milk cartons
x1 cordial bottle
x1 bleach bottle
x2 shampoo bottles
x1 washing up liquid bottle

Total items collected: 37

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
x2 milk cartons
x1 cordial bottle
x1 bleach bottle
x2 shampoo bottles
x1 washing up liquid bottle

The only plastic we can recycle locally here are HDPE and PETE.

Items: Nonrecyclable
4x plastic packaging bags from online orders
1x plastic window on fresh Co-op bread
x1 turnip/swede wrapper
x1 small lunch steak pie packet
x1 trimmed leek packet
x2 new potato packets
x1 garlic bread packet
x1 mushroom container
x1 plastic film from mushroom container
x1 roast chicken tray and film cover
x1plastic yoghurt lid
x1 bacon packet
x1 sticker from LUSH bar shampoo
Snickers chocolate bars 9x individual and 1x outside wrapper
x4 biscuit wrappers

None of these are recyclable where we live.

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Bleach and washing up liquid – I plan to do this next and not buy any new bottles.

I switched to shampoo bars a while back from LUSH, I support their anti fox hunting campaign, so have stopped buying new shampoo in plastic. I also use locally made soap from a Tobermory company, the bar comes in a cardboard box with no plastic.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Shop bought lunches for work – this is just me being lazy and I can cage this.
Yoghurts – I could go without

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Milk – I haven’t found anywhere on the island which provides milk in glass bottles.
Meat – no walk in butcher on the island. Some local meat can be purchased at local markets, but it is already packaged in vacuum plastic bags.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Diet – need to eat more fresh fruit and veg

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Cordial (dilute juice) – change to water and I might try adding fresh lime, any suggestions for making this a little sweeter?

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
Very difficult on this island to change habits, shopping options are limited and not practical or green to travel to the mainland often for shopping there.

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