Plastic Diaries: Pupil Support Assistant from Moray

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 58-year-old Pupil Support Assistant from Moray, Scotland.

Hi, I’m Heather. I work at a school hub for children of key workers and my husband is working from home, when not working I am taking the dogs out, reading, running, visiting elderly parents (social distancing of course!!) and watching some rubbish tv, some awful films, some good films and quite a few good documentaries!!

Monday

Finish off a box of cereal at breakfast. Shame the plastic packaging is not recyclable, but the cardboard box can go in the compost. Have to throw away the plastic film on 2 cartons of fruit, but the actual boxes can go to recycling. My cheese wrapper at lunch does not have any disposable details, so I imagine it too must go in the bin. So much plastic is not recyclable! At teatime, the plastic packaging from veg and from a bar of chocolate has to go in the bin, but the tin trays from feeding the dogs can be recycled.

Tuesday

No waste at breakfast today – makes a nice change! At lunch I get through a couple of coffee pods that cannot be recycled. Neither can the viewing film on the cookie packet or thin plastic film on the cold meat tray. I separate these and pop what can be recycled into the correct bin. Do we really need these viewing films on everything? Seems like an unnecessary use of plastic.

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Wednesday

Finish off a milk carton at breakfast which can go straight in the recycling. Have to change a light bulb and the old one goes in the bin. Sausages and beans for tea! The plastic bag the sausages came goes in the bin, but the tin from the beans gets washed and recycled. As always, the tin trays from the dogs’ dinner get recycled too. Sort out a lot of old mail and have to remove the viewing section on the envelopes before I can recycle the paper. Yet again, completely unnecessary! Just write the address on a paper envelope, surely?

Thursday

Nice cup of coffee to tide me through the day, but unfortunately that means another couple of coffee pods for the bin. The packaging from my biscuits also has to go in the bin, I wish more sweeties and cookies would come in paper or carboard instead of this thin plastic packaging that cannot be recycled. Spaghetti for dinner, the bag it comes in has to go in the bin but the glass jar and its lid from the sauce go in the recycling.

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Friday

Another cereal box finished this morning, so the normal drill of recycling the box but disposing of the plastic bag. It’s time for the weekly shop. Try to buy products in cardboard packaging where possible, but a lot of the fruit and vegetables come in plastic and it’s hard to avoid. At teatime, the cardboard packaging from the cheese I bought can be recycled this time, but the plastic film from the chocolate has to go in the bin. It seems like all sweet treats come in plastic these days!

Saturday

Finally, it is the weekend. Being a pupil support assistant for key workers children means I still have to work through the lockdown. Enjoy some butteries and coffee this morning, the packaging and pods are not recyclable. It’s pizza night, and the plastic film from the pizza and the container for the dip can’t be recycled either. It’s beginning to dawn on me just how much plastic the normal person goes through in a week! We would use less if we made more food from scratch, but who has the time in this day and age?

Sunday

Bacon sandwiches today, so the film from the bacon packet has to go in the bin but the plastic box itself can be recycled. Really, I don’t see why everything has to be covered in this film – we know what food looks like by now! Roast dinner tonight of course, the plastic packaging is binned but the tin tray is recyclable. It certainly makes you think twice when you write down all the waste you get through in a week.

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?