Life without plastic – how complicated is it, really?

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2016 has decided to DW reporter Tamsin Walker, to live without plastic packaging. At least that was her intent. After a few teething problems it went quite well. But she also stayed?

How much my life was dependent on plastic packaging, I understood, in the night I’ve tried, the contents of my storage Cabinet to decant into jars. The were an incredible number of glasses, thousands, before it came to me. That I should now find plastic-free packaging, before it came to me like an impossible task. Here, I would have thrown a hair in the towel.

The task was not only difficult for me but also for my children, who had perforce to join in. For my Experiment, meant: No favorite candy more, none of the usual yoghurts, no cereal from the supermarket, no potato chips, no granola bars, and, of course, no favorite biscuits. Four weeks of the Experiment should take. And that meant four weeks full of Surprises, and maybe not always an easy experience.

In my head, the Plan sounded pretty good. I would buy fruit and vegetables at the market. Rice, beans, nuts and the like in supermarkets, the dispense packaging. Cheese, meat and bread I wanted to buy only in stores that my own container accept.

For myself, I made a Plan to dispense liquid Shampoo. Also shower room in a solid Form. I also wanted to connect all sorts of other things. How hard can that be, I thought.

Plastic-free life is not a lot of work, unfortunately, everything can be done immediately

A one-way street in the head

For a while my Efforts were, however, quite frustrating. To be plastic free, this idea of my life, haunted me even in my Dreams. Even more: Once I clogged the drain in my sink in the kitchen with a sticky mixture of wax and coconut butter. Actually, I wanted to restore moisturizer.

In order to provide my children with something Sweet, so I tried something out of edible paper made of dried Strawberry puree. Not very successfully, admittedly. Just as little luck I had with my sweet apricot tart.

I’ve also tried to make toothpaste yourself. They melted in the winter sun. In the end, we have resorted to a purchased toothpaste back – which was, after all, the tube in a metal with a plastic lid.

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But there are also positive messages: bamboo tooth brushes for example, or toilet paper without plastic share, refillable cleaning products, reusable plastic bags and the unbeatable experience, on which shops I could not count in my area, sent me with my own packaging back home. Many of them were not, by the way, especially supermarkets cross. Shopping on the whole to a very targeted thing.

Because the experiences were positive overall, we decided we (or especially I), the Experiment after the first four weeks. Each plastic sin which we have committed, ended up in an empty yogurt glass, so we could see exactly where it was.

In each of the three months that the Experiment lasted, finally, that we have not filled such a glass, but also not less. We have not lived completely plastic free, but enough that it felt like a small victory.

I thought that we were on a pretty good path.

Can be self-made sweets as tasty as purchased? The answer is not always clear

Plastic is a windy affair

How much one can be mistaken.

How long it took, until old habits had crept up again, I can’t say. But they were back.

Also if I buy after things without packaging, or at least in the glass or in the paper, and although I also had soap and Shampoo, no relapse, I become careless.

At some point I also had a bottle of detergent in Hand. I have also given up the creams myself and I have dropped the toothpaste in the metal packaging again, after I had read a negative review. Maybe we can talk about better, not about the biscuits, I failed. In the end I ended up yet again in the case of those from the Store. And to always go back to the other end of town to the packaging-free supermarket… who has the time?

So, rice and cereals stood at the end of wrapped in plastic in my shelves, just as potato chips, nuts and candy. And cheese and Tofu appeared again in foil in the fridge.

My family liked it, their sticky fingers and full mouths were proof enough. Something remained, however: whenever I bought something in this unwanted packaging, I was overcome by an unpleasant feeling of guilt. I had failed, or? Worse still, I had more or less abandoned.

The Shop, which brings to the rescue: Who wants to live plastic free, also appropriate shopping

The end is always a beginning

But then, has opened around the corner from a Shop selling Goods without packaging. As I entered him for the first Time, awoke in me again the desire of my to make a small contribution to the solution to the plastic problem.

This Shop actually had an immediate effect on me. By him a (almost) plastic-free life was very much more likely. I came to cereal, rice, or nuts, without packaging, without any problems. Not to mention the ingredients for a restart of my career as a cosmetics producer.

More to the topic: The rocky road to a plastic free life

More: One year plastic bag ban in Kenya: a model for others?

So back to the lab. Perhaps with something simple, a liquid household cleaner I can use to do the dishes, I thought. Well, what roch came out of it, as it would have to be washed.

Nevertheless, my family and I have been experimenting together since then. We have prepared, for example, liquid soap, water and horse-chestnuts that we collected in the Park. The unfortunately wasn’t very long. But we have achieved good success with a lip balm, and moisturizer. Because this was all so encouraging, I decided to give homemade toothpaste a new opportunity. According to a recipe, the delicious sound, with peppermint and cacao nibs.

The result was not especially gratifying. We brought the ingredients up a little? It’s possible.

As nice as it can be, if everything works out: homemade soap in a soap dish made of wood

Common Thing

But actually some of it is for 2016 to happen. There are now something like a plastic-free movement. It is no longer a Problem to find unpackaged tooth cleaning tablets, Deodorant in the can, such as the solid hair conditioner, or plastic-free bamboo, handkerchiefs or toilet paper is also going to have to.

I am aware that the search for such things is a luxury problem. Nevertheless, everything each of us buys at the end, at the expense of our planet.

In a perfect world, those who make laws or products would care more about. But because the world isn’t perfect, and the decision-makers are not doing enough, we can, we are looking for Alternatives, and sometimes buy things that seem, at first glance, might seem strange, but to move something.

At least I have, and I say very carefully, my vows renewed. I want to live “plastic-free as it is in the financial and the time frame of my family.” I’ll keep you posted.


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