On Wednesday I was working for ecoACTIVE in a primary school in Hackney with a new volunteer called Kate. We were having the usual 'how green are you?' question and answer conversation before the workshops started when she came out with a proclamation that staggered me. I'm not sure if she is religious and I can't remember how we got to the point of discussing this, but she made the following statement: 'I'm giving up plastic for lent!' 40 days and 40 nights without buying any plastic, or any products wrapped up in plastic, what a challenge!
She did not qualify her statement with an allowance for the use of pre-existing plastic products, or plastic that she already owns, but I think she will have to, otherwise how else will she clean her teeth, use a computer or flick a light switch. Even with this qualifier it is a phenomenally difficult task.
I can get fruit and veg delivered to my doorstep (it doesn't always make it in through my door thanks to the network of East London thieves) in a reusable cardboard box, but I'd struggle to find milk in a glass bottle and cheese in anything other than plastic. I could get bread from a bakers in a paper bag and drink tap water, so I won't starve! But, what about shampoo, toothpaste, razors, newspaper with plastic wrapped magazines, bottled drinks, book covers with plastic coatings, CDs and DVDs, crisps, moisturiser, chocolate bars, sellotape, guitar plectrums, pens, washing up liquid, lip salve and recycling bags?
All I can say is good luck to the girl, I hope she writes a daily blog about it, it would make a very interesting read! It's one thing giving up plastic bags, its another thing entirely giving up plastic altogether!