Is ‘Plastic Free’ realistic?

Written by Kate Copeland, Founder

After recently reading an interesting article about the plastic packaging paradox by Tim Harford, it gave me food for thought, quite literally and also made me mull over the term ‘plastic free’. Plastic in its entirety has a terrible reputation but we cannot just react and remove it, deeming ourselves plastic free without thought for the consequences.

It may surprise people to hear I’m not a huge fan of the term ‘plastic free’, it’s misleading, it should be ‘single and minimal use plastic free’ – granted, that’s not so catchy! My point is, the best among us couldn’t remain plastic free… we have a phones, laptops with plastic parts, you might use a plastic asthma inhaler or plastic medical implants, as with anything else, it’s about how we responsibly use the tools we are given and then ensuring they are recycled or reused at the end of their lifespan.

Sadly, we all know there isn’t a quick fix to the plastic epidemic but we need to arm ourselves with enough knowledge to make sure we can adapt as things change and we learn to live without plastic.

For instance in Mr. Harford’s article he mentions how plastic wraps minimise food waste, if we remove one problem, we create another. Whilst the article is referring more to the industry supply chain waste, we need to look at what we can do at home to help, for instance if a cucumber wrapper is removed and the cucumber starts to turn sooner after purchase, keep it in a glass of water in the fridge to naturally prolong its shelf life. These aren’t permanent solutions but small tid bits of advice like this all helps minimise environmental disruption while industries figure out a sustainable balance for eco alternatives that support the bigger picture (which we can also influence with our purchasing choices).

On reflection, perhaps the term shouldn’t be ‘Plastic Free’ but instead ‘Plastic Freedom’, freedom from the plastics we should live without and freedom to use reusable plastics that we manage responsibly in the interim of change.

#AdaptToChange #ChangeWhatsInYourControl #BigPicture #PlasticFreedom #SmartAction #SustainableShopping

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1 review
  • Carroll Rouse
    6:14 pm - August 2, 2019. Reply

    I stand cucumbers in water, after the first use, it definitely extends its life ( growing end first.) I remember my mother doing this when I was growing up.