We’ve now been living our #threethings #plasticfree life for nine months and time for a quick update from Monkey on what it’s like being a plastic free warrior when you’re a pug.
The first and easiest swap was to buy biodegradable poopie bags… I also wanted to avoid the plastic middle bit that some are rolled on and the plastic packets some are sold in (both of which are quite bizarre when you are buying a biodegradable product!). So, first of all we bought a small quantity to test the bags and, once happy with the quality etc, bought a box of five hundred, packed flat in a cardboard box. Buying in bulk really cuts down on the amount of packaging waste. These were bought online and delivered disappointingly in a plastic wrap – but still a saving on the pre-plastic-free-me when I would just pop a roll or packet of whichever bags were on hand.
I had a look at the kitchen waste bags labelling in a supermarket recently (I know.. it’s a worry isn’t it that I felt the need to do this…BUT it was ENLIGHTENING!!). The labelling is VERY confusing.. the words degradable, recyclable, recycled, biodegradable, splashed all over every product to make the consumer feel they were taking a good choice, but this often didn’t even relate to the product but only to the packaging!
I think choosing a recycled plastic product is good (creating a market for recycled plastic), choosing biodegradable is good (always look for biodegradable over degradable which means just that it breaks down into small pieces of plastic, biodegradable means it can be biologically broken down), choosing compostable is good (if you have a way to compost it – some need industrial composting solutions) … but once you’ve made a decision on your good swap and you’ve found a supplier …buy it in bulk, so that you avoid the Russian roulette of attempting to make good swaps on the hop!
Back to being a plastic warrior pug, the second thing that I wanted to do was to avoid plastic on Monkey’s food packaging. This did keep alluding me as making the change from shopping on the hop to buying in bulk was a big mind shift for me. In July, I decided this was one of the things I would work on for #plasticfreejuly… I had visions of having a huge sack of food delivered and keeping it in a metal dustbin… but on closer examination of the back of Monkey’s feedbag I found that the plastic lining in the paper packaging is in fact BIODEGRADABLE…. Yay… three cheers for Harringtons…. a North Yorkshire company not only making wholesome food free from artificial flavours or colours for pugs (and other dogs too!)… but seemingly doing what the whole of the human food industry and big four supermarkets say is impossible or prohibitively expensive… perishable foods packaged in a biodegradable packaging. So Monkey’s food bags (now purchased in bigger sizes, saving money and packaging) are being cut up and put in our beehive composter. Result.
The third change for Monkey was that I used to buy disposable puppy pads which we have swapped for muslin cloths/old tea cloths which are washed. Getting a second life out of what was a ready-for-the-bin item and also a cost saving…. (Pets At Home don’t see us as much as they used to!!)
Finally, the fun addition for Monkey was Plogging…. this is a #plasticfree movement where people jog and pick up plastic at the same time. In our world, we do a fast pug paced walk interspersed with the occasional break into a jog and picking up discarded plastic …giving Monkey a lovely opportunity to sniff every blade of grass as I grovel around in the undergrowth.
These are the bags that I bought for Monkey:
My friend Verity recommends these COMPOSTABLE bags (because of the worry of how long it takes for some biodegradable bags to actually biodegrade):
There are so many articles on line about plastic alternatives and ways to reduce your consumption – this one is brilliant (their film The Plastic Ocean is also brilliant, sad, but brilliant):
On 8 January 2018 I did a #plasticfreeweek, which started my #threethings #plasticfree… I don’t buy food or drink in plastic / I’m addressing plastic use in the bathroom / I’m trying to roll it out throughout my life