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July - it's that time of year - Plastic Free!

This is my third Plastic Free July. It might be the types of places where I shop but I noticed that this year, the idea of going plastic free for July seems more widespread (no hard data, just a feeling). More and more I see takeaway places and festivals using Vegware or other compostable packaging. I definitely felt less alone in my choices this year. 

Being further along in my plastic free journey meant that the major changes have already become habits so the shift to a fully plastic free month wasn’t as extreme. 

This year, for the first time, I made a video of all my plastic waste from the month of June.

Here it is: 

Back in Edinburgh this year, we were incredibly lucky to have plastic free assistance from the amazing Eco Larder, a zero consumer waste store very close to where we live. It’s an amazing place. All the dry goods I could possibly want can be bought in bulk and put directly into my own containers, as well as runny stuff like olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, honey and soy sauce. They also do a range of fresh foods (love the freshly squeezed orange juice machine). My absolute favourite thing though was the introduction of the milk vending machine. Milk has been consistently one of the most difficult things to obtain plastic fee, when you live in a city centre apartment or tenement. Thanks to the Eco Larder, it changed my July. 

Waxed ‘wrapped’ Isle of Arran Cheese was easy to get from the Castle Terrace Farmers’ Market as well as some sausage rolls and fresh fruit and veg. 

My major ‘fails’ this year was eating out a lot, which I’m certain contains a lot of hidden plastic. I also ended up using two plastic straws (I’m just not used to saying no straw on ordering), there were some bottles of milk when I needed it out with Eco Larder opening hours and a couple of plastic bags and bubble wrap encased envelopes from online ordering. Overall, not too bad. 

The Edinburgh Festival preview events kicked off at the end of July and I was concerned. I’m pleasantly surprised to report that most of the outdoor venues sold beer in cans as well as on draught into plastic cups (sometimes compostable plastic but I’m dubious as to exactly where they end up) and will fill my collapsible cup with gin and tonic. Bar staff are less keen on filling my cup with draught beer but at least the cans were an option (and Assembly are more accommodating than Underbelly…). 

So armed with my beeswax wraps, my Jerry water bottle, my spork, collapsible cup and collapsible bowl, I’m both festival ready and single use waste ready (most of the time). 

My next challenge is to try harder at cutting down the single use waste, regardless of the material it’s made of. 

The challenge for the world’s governments is to make society wide changes to reduce our reliance on the petrochemical industry but that’s a different rant.

About the author

Simone Gribble

Simone is controlling, in the best way. She keeps track of our sustainability on all fronts - financial, environmental, and social. The key instigator for the intense collaboration sessions that bring our distributed team together, Simone ensures we are always raising the bar to meet our mission.

If she's not running a finance report, you'll likely find her dancing, cycling, or sprinting across far-flung locations (and occasionally closer to one of her two homebases, Edinburgh and Melbourne).