30 Days Without Plastic

While plastics have made our lives easier, cheaper and more convenient, it has also created an environmental disaster. In recent history, we’ve been able to live without plastics of any kind, yet today they are incorporated into virtually everything we buy from household goods to the food we eat. 

The recent debacle over Canada’s waste products from places like Malaysia and the Philipines underscores the seriousness of our situation. If companies won’t stop selling it, then we have to stop buying it.

So how hard will living plastic be? Our official journey into a plastic-free month begins today so we’ll keep you posted! -Stewart & Ray

Thursday, June 6, 2019, Update by Raymond Helkio

Goodbye Supermarket Chains

What I’m learning the hard way is that to eliminate plastic I have to give up shopping in supermarket chains. On the second day of our no-plastic diet, I needed to get paper towels and laundry detergent.

The paper towels were all wrapped in plastic, including the “environmentally friendly” paper towel that was double the price. And despite almost 20 different detergent options, all of them were packaged in plastic, again including the environmentally friendly option.

I have tried shopping at the Carrot Common but the outrageous expense aside, their focus is on organic products so much of what’s for sale there is wrapped in plastic. So far, the bulk food stores (bring your own paper bags) and independent butcher shops and fish stores have been the best places to avoid plastics.

Speaking of plastic, Stewart just got back from going to every grocery store and vegetable market in our area and couldn’t get cherry tomatoes that weren’t in plastic tubs. This Saturday there’s a farmers market over at Withrow Park so we’re going to see if we can get our vegetables and fruits (sans packaging) there.

I know plastic is everywhere but I have to say that starting this process has opened my eyes to just how absolutely everything is wrapped in the stuff, and it’s not necessary the majority of the time. It’s much more convenient for a grocer to put a dozen small red peppers on a plastic tray and wrap it in plastic for a quick sale, but I only want one pepper. And even if I need a dozen I don’t need them to be displayed on a little black tray but in food, presentation is everything I suppose.