Doing this activity, I found that plastic products could’ve been avoided by simply eating food that isn’t wrapped in plastic or bringing my own utensils to school. Normally I’d use plastic spoons or forks, but didn’t in this time period. Also, I didn’t collect waste over five days. I filled my mason jar in about one and a half.
The biggest obstacle for this challenge was trying to reduce the amount of plastic I used and making dinner instead of eating something microwaveable or a frozen pizza wrapped in plastic.
Going plastic free isn’t as hard as I would’ve thought. Eating healthier foods (fruits, vegetables, or nuts) corresponded to eating foods with less plastic wrapping. The more “quick-snack” foods that I ate, (granola bars, Goldfish, fruit cups, frozen dinners), the more plastic waste I had; the healthier I ate, the easier it was to avoid these plastics. Plus, a simple solution to avoid using plastic bags when buying fruit or vegetables at Sobeys, for instance, could be bringing your own paper bag and throwing it into the compost when it’s no longer needed.
An overall solution to single-use plastic is to just bring your own things. Tooth-brushes—order a bamboo one online or find a store around you that offers them. Toothpaste—find a recipe online to avoid the waste from the tube and the contaminating micro-plastics inside.
People choose products wrapped in plastic out of convenience rather than need. Considering the drastic and imminently approaching effects of climate change, people made more aware of how easy it is and how necessary it is to change their ways—would. Plus, if people realize how it isn’t inconvenient to avoid these products, they’ll be more willing to give them up.
We need to spread the word.