Eco Tip of the Week: 7 Common Questions for Going Plastic-Free

Congratulations, everyone, we've made it to the end of #PlasticFreeJuly! If you’ve fallen of the wagon, don’t worry. We are here for you! Let's get back up and try again. Your plastic-free journey does not need to end here.

Being involved in discussions about the challenges of reducing plastic consumption, there are many common questions that we see repeated often, especially by those who may be only just tuning in to the idea of kicking the plastic habit! Don’t worry, friends, we’ve compiled and answered a few of those questions. We hope you find this list helpful. And if you can’t find what you need here, please reach out! We’re all in this together.

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So, what's the problem with single-use plastics? The Top 3 Problems are:

  1. Plastic components leach into our food and water and are a threat to our health.
  2. Plastic is choking up our oceans and has a grave effect on marine life.
  3. Plastic in landfill degrades, releasing its toxic components into our soils and groundwater.

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How can I go plastic free when everything around me is plastic?

Remember it is a challenge, not a competition. The challenge is intended to make you think about all the single-use plastic you consume every day. Whatever you can cut out is a job well done!

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But what will I use for a bin liner?

A lot of people either buy bin liners or use old shopping bags, which is what I used to do until we researched a neat trick of lining the bin with several layers of newspaper. Then you can simply wrap it up and put in your outside bin. If you don't have access to newspaper use a paper bag or collect your food scraps in a container to compost or save up until bin day. 

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Does this mean I have to throw away all the plastic things I have and replace them with something else?

Not at all! Replacing a perfectly serviceable item with a non-plastic alternative for the sake of reducing plastic in your life isn't very environmentally sound or fair. Try upcycling and don't forget recycling. Unless it’s necessary, if something is broken or lost for example, then that’s your chance to opt for an earth friendly replacement. It is very important to keep in mind what you throw out and how you do it! 


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How do I get meat, chicken and fish that is not in plastic bags/wrap?

You can bring your own container or simple ask for it to be wrapped in paper instead. Don’t worry, most shops are happy to do this for you!

Are cans okay to purchase? I hear they're often lined with some kind of plastic.

Nearly all tin cans are plastic lined with some kind of plastic. These coatings make it possible for food products to maintain their quality and taste, while extending shelf life. In most cases it is best to assume that your can has a plastic liner. If you have cans at home, please recycle them! 

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How do I manage if I'm the only one in my household participating?

Don’t fret! Take it as a good opportunity to start the conversation and simply explain what you are doing. After that, remember that actions speak louder than words! Your behaviour may inspire others.