Is your home a soft plastic magnet? It doesn’t seem to matter how conscious I am about not using too much plastic, I find that it seems to weasel its way into our lives one way or another. Whether it be the plastic bag that the wet clothes come home from daycare in, or the plastic my bulk pantry purchases come in (even when I request paper, it’s not always possible and there are always compromises). We live in a regional town and some things we ‘need’ (let’s all be very real about needs in our western world and remember that most of the time they are truly just ‘wants’) we have to get shipped in from the city… and more often than not, it comes in plastic. It was last year some time that I was really made aware of how little of the soft plastics that we accumulate in our every day lives are actually recyclable. Over the course of last year I collected a fair amount of our accumulated soft plastic so that I could get an idea of how much our household actually creates for landfill. Whilst I try to use plastic bags that were often accidentally accumulated over and over again… it still didn’t make me feel good that at the end of it’s life, it was destined for nowhere other than landfill.
I’ve got friends doing plastic free months, and trying to create waste free households and it’s challenging. We’ve tried a few times and I found it frustrating how little of the pantry foods we buy couldn’t be bought unless wrapped in plastic. Community and eco-minded folks locally are working their butts off to create wholefood co-ops where locals can buy in bulk and we can choose our packaging (for the most part) but even there there is still *some* soft plastic involved. Even my Community Supported Agriculture food box, the veg comes wrapped in (only) only large plastic bag inside the reusable cooler box. I’ve got a friend weaving a rug out of plastic bags and others who carry jars with them everywhere like we do. It takes a lot of commitment in our plastic world to push back on the extreme plastic use (and more so misuse) that goes on around us every day.
I understand convenience. I understand being busy. I understand being stretched and pushed and pulled in every which way and I understand that
none of us can do it ALL. Yes. Sometimes you just have to buy that cheese wrapped in plastic because the local deli doesn’t sell it any other way. Sometimes it’s cheaper for me to buy prepackaged organic produce even if I don’t like to do it. Sometimes it’s just easier.
And I’d feel better about that. IF the plastic was at least destined to be recycled. Instead I walk along the beaches that circle our hometown and I see little bits of plastic… plastic that will never degrade. Plastic that is here to stay… and it’s disheartening. Are we destroying our world for the sake of convenience?
Then… I head about Red Group. Australian based recyclers who are turning soft plastic into awesome useful things.
In the world of Red Group takes the equivalent of 12,500 plastic bags and pieces of soft plastic packaging to make a park bench That’s 12,500 pieces of plastic that will never end up in landfill, on our beaches or in our waterways… You can check out the wesome things that the RED Group does by checking out their website or their facebook page.
This is not a sponsored post. I seriously dislike soft plastic. A friend of mine put me onto this six months ago and whilst I’ve never been a huge plastic user, I make conscious choices as often as I can to avoid bringing soft plastic into our home… and when we do… we make sure we recycle it appropriately… even if that means taking it to the city with us when we are on our way to visiting family and friends.
You can find out where your local Red Group recycling drop off point is here. With awesome recycling initiatives like this, there is really no
excuse for single use.
Reduce. Resuse. Recycle.