Re John Vidal’s article (The solution to the plastic waste crisis? It’s not recycling, Journal, 15 January), after his earlier article on plastic (The plastic polluters won 2019 – and we’re running out of time to stop them, 2 January) I pledged not to buy any plastic for a week. This was eye-opening, as my family discovered that all the apples (and most of the other loose fruit) in our supermarkets had plastic stickers on every piece of fruit. Milk bottles were out (plant milk cartons have plastic tops); as was bread, salt, pasta, cereal (plastic inners) and tofu (entirely encased in plastic). On our second trip out we finally hunted down non-plastic-wrapped yeast to make our own bread. It opened our eyes to what a mountain of plastic we normally cart home in our eco-friendly cloth bags.
This inspired some changes around the house, which has reduced our consumption dramatically. It has had the added benefit of our food being healthier and cheaper. We now shop at Unboxed, a local store selling most essentials – including herbs and spices – without packaging. We make our own plant milk in the blender and bread in the bread maker (this all takes an average of 15 minutes every evening), and tofu with soy beans grown by a local farmer. We now stop before buying anything, and consider the packaging options.
The shift hasn’t been easy, but it hasn’t been impossible. If we all make small changes to day-to-day life, a plastic-free world is within reach.
Dr Yoriko Otomo
• Good to hear about the two Clean Kilo shops in Birmingham (Letters, 17 January). Here in the Derbyshire Dales we have a brilliant mobile shop that visits all the local markets and villages, selling stuff to put in your own containers, as well as a range of eco-friendly products. Even in the countryside we can make it happen!
Darley Dale, Derbyshire
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