We’ve done it. It’s over. We are no longer under my daft self-imposed ban of buying plastic. My husband has renamed today Plastic Sunday in celebration of being able to buy Haribo again and our kitchen bin can return once more. Farewell, ridiculous leaking paper bags of rubbish that I have to apologise for when people come round! We can be a normal, bin-using family again with a mild addiction to crisps, although I think it'll take a while to stop feeling the plastic-guilt - I bought some hot cross buns for my Mum today and it felt like I was cheating.
Thanks to everyone who's commented on my posts on various corners of the internet. It's been harder this year - I've been very sleep-deprived, so keeping up the momentum and thinking of meals that don't involve plastic has been tough. But we've made some lasting lifestyle changes and it's been really great for the kids to think about how what we use impacts the environment. I feel like we still have a lot to investigate: most of our plastic reduction was in the kitchen - and while I love Lush shampoo bars, I never got as far as finding plastic-free alternatives to other beauty products (mainly because I've been so tired that wearing makeup has felt like a challenge in itself). But it's been really interesting learning a lot more about the pros and cons of plastic and how, in some cases like cucumbers, using plastic packaging is actually a lot less wasteful. Here's hoping that plastic-free alternatives can be found in the future.
What's been great is the rising tide of public interest in plastic reduction. Apparently milkmen have seen a spike in milk deliveries in glass bottles and there have been loads of articles and blogs on the subject (including the people on the news who gave up plastic for 10 days, which I LAUGH IN THE FACE OF!). Long may it continue.
And so... this is the plastic we’ve used over the last 6.5 weeks. Most of it is from stuff we already had in the freezer, packaging from parcels, children’s party bags, contact lens thingies and a Sprite bottle from when I asked a friend for a lemonade when we were out and they only had bottles at the bar. My children and I decided to make it into a fish and a jellyfish, mainly because they look cool, but also to symbolise the amount of plastic in the sea that affects marine life and sea birds (geddit? Eh? Eh?!). It's nice not to have a box of old, slightly gross plastic packaging kicking around in the corner of the kitchen. It's now on the wall in my son's classroom and they're welcome to have it for as long as they like!
I'll leave you with this quote, which I painted the other day. We're all in this together, guys. Let's get our shit together!