My journey to reduce single-use plastic came about by accident. I had planned to take a sabbatical, and my team bought me a reusable bottle (and a bottle of Gin) as a going away gift. Well, it got me thinking. A dog owner who lives in a small town in Hampshire, UK, I have always loathed litter, and plastic makes up a fair percentage of items being carelessly discarded. So I looked at some easy swaps I could make while travelling.
- Reusable cutlery, bowls, cups and bottles
- Bamboo toothbrushes
- Reusable shopping bags
- Saying no to straws
Taking the first steps into reducing plastic, I felt a range of emotions: regret, anger and joy, to name just a few.
- Regret for all the plastic I have used and discarded without further thought
- Anger at the behaviour of others who do not respect our environment when littering or fly-tipping
- Joy each time I replace a single-use product with a plastic-free alternative or a friend asks for my advice.
Two years later, my main regret is I should have done it earlier. Shop No Plastic was launched at the beginning of March '20 to help others in their journey to reduce single-use plastic.
Changing habits of a lifetime takes time and perseverance, and my advice to anyone who would like to reduce plastic would be to take it slowly. We all make mistakes along the way, and unless you are very disciplined and want to progress to zero waste, there will be some products you will feel you can't replace.
But doing something is far better than doing nothing. Plastic is going nowhere and, governments are too slow in responding to the issues.
Wake up in the morning and feel good about yourself for doing something positive :) Join the Shop No Plastic community today by subscribing to our newsletter.