… obstacles, dilemmas and choices
Ever since I ditched plastic I was confronted with obstacles. To name a few: plastic-free alternatives that didn’t exist, people offering me free plastic or accidentally buying something with ”hidden” plastic foil. Today I went to the biggest bakery chain in this area where a few days ago I still got my bread in nothing but a brown paper bag. Today I opened the bag and noticed that the girl behind the counter must have used some kind of plastic layered paper to take the bread out of the shelf and put it in my bag. I didn’t even notice her doing that, as I was busy counting my coins. There is another chain that does exactly the same thing (and they even have a big range of so-called ”eco-friendly” products), which is why I stopped buying my bread from them. So instead of using tongs or gloves (which I know are disposable in most cases, but at least they normally get worn for more than just one bread you take out of the shelf), the people behind the counter have to throw out a plastic layerd piece of paper everytime the put something in a bag. For some reason, there seemed to be no need for this, so why now? I decided I wanted to ask next time.
Despite of the numerous obstacles and dilemmas I am confronted with everyday, most things have become a little easier. As time is going by, I’m getting more inventive (Been using tissues instead of toilet paper now, made my own potato chips last night and tried out a whole bunch of ”cosmetics” out of my fridge…), more observant and more creative with polite excuses.
Yes, yes, yes… I know…
However, one of the biggest obstacles is that despite the ”You will not believe your eyes” clip about is going viral on social networks at the moment, some people repeatedly try to convince me my project is hopeless and ineffective. Their main argument is that there are things I cannot possibly avoid or influence – water coming through plastic pipes, the seats on the tram or the bus being made out of plastic, the veggies I buy from the market being presented in plastic boxes, the bread I buy being transported in plastic containers, my dentist using latex gloves, the medicine I hopefully won’t need during my quest being wrapped in plastic and so on – according to that I’m not only cheating by still using buses, trams etc., but my 40 days without plastic are also a big waste of time.
Someone also raised the matter of glass bottles and jars containing invisible plastic layers inside (Not only in the lids, but also inside the bottle), which is something I could not really find out about online, so I don’t even know if it’s true, and if so, if it actually goes for all jars and bottles. But even if it did, as I said, glass bottles are reusable and can be used lots of times before the actually have to be melted again (I’m referring to the German ”Pfandflasche” here that might lack an equivalent in other countries) and glass jars are at least reusable for personal use at home. Of course and unfortunately all the mentioned examples represent something I can’t do anything about unless I move to the woods, stop writing this blog and start growing my own food (But I bet someone could still come up with something made out of plastic I would or could use if I did so.). But I CAN reduce the amount of plastic waste I produce!
So once again, this blog is about raising awareness for reducing packaging. Plastic pipes don’t get thrown out right after setting them up, tram seats don’t get thrown out after the first ride, plastic boxes transport more than one portion of bread, medicine is something healthy people don’t take everyday and all those who have to take it everyday don’t have other choices. And this is what this blog is about: choice. Sometimes I don’t have one. If I do, I try to make the right one. Everyone has to find out which choice is the right one for them. But this is the right one for me. Sorry this had to be said again – Official end of my rant 🙂
By the way, to all my German or German speaking friends: There is a documentary about plastic packaging on ZDF at 22:45 tonight. It’s called ”Abgepackt und eingeschweißt”.
Lesson learned: I’m sticking with it!