Plastic Diaries: HR Manager from Bedfordshire

Plastic Diaries

Do you know how much plastic you use every week? We tasked supporters to make note of all the plastic they use in a week to show just how much we rely on it in our everyday lives, whether we realise it or not.

This week’s Plastic Diarist is a 60-year-old HR Manager from Bedfordshire.

Monday: Muesli and almond milk again this morning (milk carton gets recycled as always). Before work I prepare a homemade lunch in reusable containers - much easier to avoid single use plastic that way. Discover some new food bags in Sainsburys - thin and transparent but totally recyclable. Happy days! Drive home for dinner of locally sourced sausage and veg.

Tuesday: Start the day with a deep clean of workspace. Cleaning products and hand sanitiser come in plastic bottles. Hand gel bottles get refilled at least. Eat homemade sandwich wrapped in foil (which gets recycled) and yogurt from a glass jar. Later, it is time to pot up veggie seeds. Reuse single use plastic pots (eco-win!) but the compost comes in single use bag. Pick up strawberries, courgettes, and radishes at the shop. All in single use plastic packaging. Come on Aldi! Awfully hard to access loose fruit and veg in ‘COVID times.’ So frustrating.

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Wednesday: Start the day with a good hot shower. Try to use eco-friendly products and recycle the bottles when they are done. Muesli and the last of the almond milk for breakfast, the carton gets recycled. Pop to Boots after work. Just cannot find an eco-friendly face wash in a recyclable bottle. Reminds me of conversation with colleagues who thought all plastic bottles were recyclable. A lot of education needed! Picked up more recycled toilet paper. Packaging can only be recycled in special carrier bag in the supermarket. Who is going to do that?

Thursday: Black bin day. Checking inside, it is ¾ full. All going to landfill. Must try harder! Drive to work and start shredding and recycling all the paper I can get my hands on. Lunch is homemade, packed in reusable containers.

Friday: Eat fresh fruit with yoghurt for breakfast, both come in plastic pots. Spend most of the day in the garden. Reusing single use pots again, I plant a mixture of the edible and the ornamental. Some garden centres have a service where they will take away old pots, but where do they end up? A long way to go before biodegradable options are in general use. Tried peat free compost, so far so good. Eat fresh salad which came in a plastic bag as the garden stuff isn’t ready yet. Fajitas for dinner with homemade tortillas - no plastic packaging and much more fun!

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Saturday: Muesli, fresh fruit, and yogurt for breakfast. I notice the yoghurt pot I bought in Aldi was not recyclable, but the one I bought in Sainsburys is. So confusing, they look exactly the same! Glorious sunshine, so make sparkling water with the soda stream instead of buying plastic bottles. Curry out the freezer for dinner, home-made. Frozen in a foil tray which is recyclable.

Sunday: A lazy Sunday morning with toast and locally sourced marmalade. Later we tuck into a ploughman’s lunch. The cheese was wrapped in wax paper which is not recyclable. Then I baked a cake with fruit from plastic bags. Argh! Roast dinner tonight of course. So much of the meat we buy is in plastic trays.

Hopefully the Plastic Diaries inspire you to make small but impactful changes to your everyday life to cut down on plastic. If you’re looking for inspiration and motivation to make some eco-swaps, why not join the Plastic Challenge this July? What will your Challenge be?