Challenges

Being prepared to Refuse Plastic!

From personal experience and observations it is clear that people are often left without a choice but to purchase/consume single use plastic. Someone will not decline a plastic fork if the only other alternative is using their hands, or when someone is really thirsty and they haven't brought their water bottle with them, the only solution there for them is to buy a single use plastic bottle. 

What I have learned through my journey of improving my plastic consumption is that I need to be prepared to refuse plastic in many different ways. 

I strategically purchased a (second hand) handbag that was big enough to carry my water bottle (which I resized to a 750ml as 1l or bigger was often too awkward to carry around). In my hand bag I always car a metal fork and metal straw so that I never have to accept the single-use-plastic alternatives. 

These are simple preparations that I have been able to incorporate into my life so that I can easily refuse single use plastic.

But they would not have happened if I did not make the correlation between the size of my bag and the size of my bottle. This shows to me that we need to connect in more with the scenarios and causes of why people still use single use plastic even if they have alternatives. We need to create the infrastructure in our own daily lives to enable us to move beyond single use plastics. 

 

 

Comments (3)

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How can this be improved?
Idoia Letona Castrillo
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  • Great points! more infraestructure that enables sustainable practices are needed. For example more drinkable water fountains, installing water filters... In the case of restaurants and cafes, having sustainable cuttlery options, not just plastic and installing a tax for these last ones. So little by little people change their behaviour towards single use plastic.
    I had an experience at my office cafeteria: I wanted to use my reusable cup for a coffee, but we weren't allowed because
    they claimed that if we get sick we could blame the café company, and it mught have been our fault for using our mugs (catering company policy). So we need to take the coffe in disposable cups.
    If you can use you reusable cu at any coffee shop, why not at the office? It doens't make any sense to me, they are just non sense barriers.
    This type of thing are the ones that need to be changed.

    Meadhbh O Leary Fitzpatrick
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  • Thanks for comments Idoia! Wow that is a really annoying situation about your office cafeteria. Are they worried that the customer might not have a clean reusable cup and then from drinking from their dirty cup, get sick and then blame the company? If so why not offer a place where customers can clean their cups or ask the person working there if they can clean the cup for customer? The situation really makes no sense to me either?

    Idoia Letona Castrillo
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  • I know, it is non sense... we had a canteen where we ate, and we can wash our dishes too. So in terms of infraestructure and facilities it ws ok. It was just the company policy, what I guess it is gonna change soon due to single use plastics normative.