Plastic Dilemma

Yesterday turned out to be a bit of a cathartic sort of day for me.  And all because of some net bags.

I’d decided that it was high time I ‘did my bit’ and tried a bit harder to not buy food encased in plastic.  So I jumped onto my Amazon account and ordered some net bags.  I felt a slight twinge that I wasn’t ‘shopping local’, although I wasn’t ‘local’ when I ordered them, and was a little disappointed that the net bags arrived wrapped in a plastic bag (ahhh) but essentially I was feeling quite pleased with myself.

That was until I went shopping. To Tesco (but this applies to just about all supermarkets). There was virtually nothing that I could find to put into my net bags.  Suddenly my eyes were opened to the absolute farce of trotting to a supermarket with a few net bags – EVERYTHING – especially non-fruit and veg items – is covered in plastic; a lot of it not recyclable. Take a walk down the bread aisle.  Absolutely everything wrapped in plastic. The crisps and snacks, bottled water, etc., etc.  The place was simply groaning with plastic – it should be renamed ‘plasticisus’ – but that would need to apply to ALL supermarkets.  And there is the problem.  Convenience, distribution, freshness, profit, will of the customer/companies.

We were in Cyprus a few weeks ago and were told not to drink the tap water so had to stock up on big – plastic – bottles of water.  Just think how many big plastic bottles will be purchased by holiday makers this year all over the world. Absolutely frightening.

Last night we watched a programme about cheese making featuring the redoubtable Gregg Wallace having a lovely time going from meeting the cows to seeing the endlessly refined cheese product being squeezed into tubes – his co-presenter had been to see the cheese tubes being manufactured using a mix of metal and plastic. Are people incapable of getting cream cheese out of glass jars?

My head started whirling – something has to be done about this. Of course there are things going on to look at all this and my goodness me – how very little I actually know about it.  Time to find out more that’s for sure.  Probably the whole way we feed ourselves is completely wrong – we need to get back to taking more responsibility – growing our own food, working with the seasons, understanding the real impact we are having by craving convenience.  Our way of living is so selfish – all about this moment with absolutely no credence given to the future impact.

I woke this morning with my head buzzing.  My first thought was – why on earth did I buy net bags when – as a pretty good crafter – I am more than capable of making them!  Laziness and convenience won out over a small amount of time spent creating what I needed.  Terrible.  So not only will I be making my own bags but some for all the family.  My next post will have full details of how you too can make your own bags (it’s so easy and no plastic delivery bags involved!).

Then I decided that I needed to up my game.  Every year I tinker with growing a few tomatoes, runner beans, etc.  Planted and then neglected resulting in maybe a couple of days when I can honestly say we’ve eaten garden produce – not the best track record.  I am fortunate to have a garden and a greenhouse – so I have ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE for not growing lots of food in my own backyard.  So it’s boots on, fork and spade at the ready, and a list of things to grow.  Yes I have a plan.

I would absolutely love to know your thoughts about this.  Are they there schemes that you are aware of? How do you buy food without plastic being involved? Are you trying to lead a more ‘off-grid’ sort of life? How are you getting on with that?  






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