Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Illustration by Rebecca Snotflower

Illustration by Rebecca Snotflower

Plastic Free July 2013

In the past, I would say I have been a pretty eco-conscious sort, or more precisely, waste-conscious. Like lots of people I know, I give some thought about how a product and its packaging is made before I buy it, thoughts like “where has it come from”, and “where is it headed after I’m done with it?” HOT reporter Rebecca Snotflower reflects on the over-use and environmental hazards of plastic, and how these might be addressed.

Plastic comes from oil… oil is one of the reasons why we fight wars. Wars suck… and the plastic will probably end up in the sea as part of the Pacific Trash Vortex. Just some of the cheery thoughts when I look at a plastic bag. Here’s more about the Pacific Trash Vortex, and it’s really horrible.

Plastic Free July 2013

Plastic Free July 2013

But lately I have been slacking off. Yes, I’ll admit it, I have been buying dirty pork pies wrapped in plastic from petrol stations because I can’t be bothered to cook. I have felt overwhelmed with environmental concerns, and I’ve just given up a little bit.

However, all is not lost… I recently read a newspaper article about a man who is living without plastic, calling himself a plasticarian, and he is completely boycotting plastic products. Good on you mate. I find this totally inspiring and an enormous challenge, and something I would like to try. Here is the article.

I then found this website for the Australian Plastic Free July challenge.  The challenge is “to consume no single-use plastic during July.” You can either choose to do it by refusing all single-use plastic goods, or refusing the top four which are straws, plastic bags, plastic bottles and coffee cup lids. The rules on the website say that this is a challenge, not a competition, so it doesn’t need to be perfect. Participants are asked to keep a “dilemma bag” where all the bits of plastic you have consumed throughout the month are collected and you can share the contents on the website when the month is up.

I reckon, even if a whole month is impossible, any contribution is a start, and I think this will give me a greater understanding of what plastic I use without thinking, what I can give up, and what I can’t do without. I hope you will join me and register for the challenge too, you can do it as individuals, businesses, groups and schools.

I will do a follow-up report at the end of the challenge and I’ll show you my dilemma bag and I hope you will all show me yours too.

Posted 06:11 Friday, Jun 14, 2013 In: Campaigns


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  1. Rebecca Snotflower

    Thanks Susie B- if you know of any school classes or groups that are signing up please let me know, maybe we can make this quite a big effort locally in Hastings.

    Hi Zelly, you have described exactly how I feel about living in a throw – away culture and sometimes it feels like too much to think about. That’s why I’m into this challenge because I think I need to put some silliness back into my environmentally friendly efforts. I am thinking of things to make from the “dilemma bag” plastic, like jewellery or plastic knitting yarn or something like that, I’m glad you are into this idea and I hope we can get others to join. x

    Comment by Rebecca Snotflower — Saturday, Jun 15, 2013 @ 15:02

  2. Zelly Restorick

    Hello Rebecca, i share your concerns and too feel very strongly and heart-ily about what’s happening environmentally. I walk around every day aware of waste, consumerism and resources running low, etc and it affects me very much. Great initiative to write about and awareness raising, caring article – sharing your own feelings, motivations and thoughts. Thank you. Plasticarians unite!

    Comment by Zelly Restorick — Saturday, Jun 15, 2013 @ 09:02

  3. Susie B

    A great idea. One that could be used by school classes or school perhaps? I want to have ago at this myself. Thanks

    Comment by Susie B — Friday, Jun 14, 2013 @ 19:04

  4. Rebecca Snotflower

    Hi earthcarers, thanks for reading- I will send photos of the Dilemma Bags of Hastings town.

    Comment by Rebecca Snotflower — Friday, Jun 14, 2013 @ 18:08

  5. Chris Cormack

    We have received a message of support from our Australian comrades:

    Hi Rebecca

    Thanks for the great article, we were thrilled to read it. We’d love to hear how you go – send us a photo and any info and we will share on our website to inspire others!

    Good luck.

    Rebecca Prince-Ruiz

    Comment by Chris Cormack — Friday, Jun 14, 2013 @ 06:15

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