So I did hear about this challenge at the beginning of the month and did a bit of research about it. I used the Plastic Free July website to read up all about the project they’re doing. We’re all guilty of not really thinking about the single use plastics that we use in everyday life. From bin liners to cleaning products, food packaging to drink bottles. And you do think to yourself, ‘well it’s just one straw, or just one drink bottle.’ But if 1 million people think that, it’s just going to make the problem worse.
I recently watched a video of someone pulling a plastic fork out of a sea turtles nose and you see all these images of beaches covered in debris and plastic. Every piece of plastic ever made, is still on Earth with us right now. And if we carry on like we are, it’ll completely take over and that’s not what we want for generations to come.
This month I’ve realised how hard it is though! Especially living here in Thailand. They aren’t as conscious here about not using plastic in major stores and supermarkets.
So I decided that every month I’m going to be doing an update about how I’ve done this month trying not to use as much single-use plastic!
- The first thing we tried to cut down on were plastic water bottles. It’s almost impossible to get rid of them altogether though because here in Thailand you can’t drink the tap water so buying water is the only option, unless you can afford water purifiers. Originally we were buying a pack of 12 small bottles of water every 3-4 days which amounted to so many plastic water bottles going to waste! In our old place in Hua Hin they had a recycling bin, but our new place in Bangkok doesn’t. So now instead of buying a 12 pack of small ones we buy one of the huge 5L bottles and fill up glasses and 1 water small water bottle instead. This month I’d love to buy a reusable water bottle and cut down on the little ones completely.
- Another thing we tried to use less of is plastic carrier bags. They give carrier bags away when you buy anything here and we found ourselves collecting a lot of them up. The only things we use them for in the house is to fill our kitchen bin so we had loads lying around. When we go shopping now we try to take backpacks and bags with us so that we can fill them instead of using carrier bags. At some Thai supermarkets they have people who pack your bags for you and it’s been quite hard to get them to pack our backpacks instead but we try when we can. This month I’d just like to try and carry on with what we’re doing.
- I’m so guilty of using plastic straws! I did used to use them a lot here in Thailand, especially when you’re drinking a ice cold drink because it helps my teeth. Then this month made me thinking about all the ones I’ve used and just thrown away. So I stopped using them in the house, and if we went out to a restaurant and gave me a straw still in its paper, I didn’t use it. When we stayed in Anantara in Phuket they went to give me a straw so I politely declined but he told me it was paper, so I was pleasantly surprised. They do great things for the environment there and raise money to help the sea turtles that lay their eggs on the beach behind the hotel. This is the first instance I’ve seen of hotels and restaurants over here using paper straws. This month I’d like to carry on not using them in restaurants and maybe buy a metal or bamboo one for around the house if I really needed it.
So that is how we’ve tried to cut down on our plastic this month in Thailand, and I plan on carrying it on through the next month too. Even the littlest thing can help each month, you don’t need to go completely plastic free because it might be too hard, I know it would be for me! By doing it step by step you can slowly get used to not having single-use plastic in your home. If you need any tips or tricks the Plastic Free July website is great, you can sign up and it will help you see where you can cut down on the plastics you don’t need to use.
If anyone else has any more tips for me I’d love to hear them in the comments, or let me know how you’re going to use less plastic over August!