This week’s campaign blog features the reflections of Plastic Free Ambassador Rebecca Howarth. Rebecca is a legal secretary and works in Worcester.
WHILE I am trying to stay as proactive in my campaign against the use of plastic, sometimes life takes over. Although it is an important cause I still have to juggle other things, such as work, around it.
Even though the restraints of work can take priority, a difference can still be made with lifestyle changes to recycle and avoiding buying plastic.
But how hard is it to stay motivated? I did some campaigning in my home town of Worcester and I wasn’t sure how helpful it was and whether it would make a difference. For now, while I find a balance between work and campaigning, I am trying to fight the cause via my lifestyle.
It can be frustrating, it feels very difficult to change a structure that has been set upon us by previous generations. I used to go to ASDA and get plastic-free red cabbage, only to now find it is wrapped in clingfilm plastic.
So when you go into the supermarket with the aim of avoiding an item covered in plastic you can feel a little bit helpless. It feels like the dependence on plastic which has been created is so enshrined in society now that it is difficult to be heard.
For me, I know where I can go to pick up my plastic-free items and, like many others, I get in to a routine of taking that ten minute bike ride to certain stores. However, it is frustrating to see one supermarket change their packaging for a certain item and your whole routine is thrown off. Do you give in and buy the broccoli which was once plastic free, or do you turn around and seek to build a new routine? There is definitely an element of feeling trapped by the generations before us who have moved into this plastic culture. Supermarkets quietly changing things suddenly can be demotivating, because it is those quiet little things that stack up.
Is the plastic packaging used for vegetables designed to make them safe? People are unsure about how much difference the packaging would make to the health and safety of these things.
One thing that can disrupt my routine and my ideology to avoid plastic is the price difference.
It does make you feel a bit trapped. Should I buy the cheaper ones or not? You do get it out of principle, but then you think what sort of message are you sending to the supermarket? That is why A Plastic Planet’s campaign for a Plastic Free Aisle is so important.
For me it is important to offer the choice for shoppers who want to avoid food which is wrapped in plastic. At the moment it seems the shoppers are so far removed from the decision makers in supermarket packaging it is difficult to know if thought is being placed into avoiding using plastic.
While these are frustrating thoughts, I think you can still affect change with people around you and that’s a start. My efforts to reduce plastic in my lifestyle have been noticed by people around me, and they have also taken measures to stop their reliance on plastic.
With that in mind the frustrations and set backs are worth it, even if the change is not on a corporate level, there is still change happening.