The Plastic-Free Week Challenge

plastic free weekDepressed by images of turtles chewing on plastic bags and mountains of plastic bottles washed up on beaches, one of our team set herself the challenge of going plastic-free for a week.  








Plastic-free meals

My children have packed lunches most days (they’re far too fussy for school dinners). We already have tupperware tubs, so no need for clingfilm or plastic bags thankfully. Their usual snacks have had to be left in the supermarket though, including biscuits, crisps, soft fruit, yoghurts and cake bars. It’s fair to say the kids are not impressed that plastic-free week is also turning into sugar-free week.

If I’m cooking something like a lasagne, I tend to do twice as much, so I can reheat the leftovers the next day. As I can’t use clingfilm to cover the leftovers this week, I end up using foil, which seems just as wasteful. I’ve been looking for an excuse to invest in some pretty Bee's Wrap, and #plasticfreeweek may be just the excuse I need.


Plastic-free home products

I mostly wash with reusable laundry products. Soapnuts, for instance, are all natural, come in a cloth bag, and are allergen-free, so gentle enough for my nine year old’s sensitive skin.

Cleaning products are trickier. Luckily I haven’t run out of anything this week! I buy 5 litre bottles when I can, which last longer, save me money and help to reduce the amount of plastic packaging needed.


Plastic-free smellies

I feel a bit guilty applying my favourite serum. As with most of my skincare and cosmetics, it comes in a plastic bottle. I have thought about only buying products that are housed in glass jars and bottles. However, glass is far heavier and thicker, which means more petrol is needed to transport products. Lightweight plastic-free packaging is generally the best bet. Some brands are really leading the field here. The Solid Bar Company Range, for instance, only uses paper packaging which is 100% recyclable.


Avoiding plastic bags

I’m already pretty good at taking a reusable bag out with me. My local shop only uses donated plastic bags, so when I do forget to take one, at least I don’t need to ask for a new bag, and I know I can take it back to be reused by another shopper.

When it comes to bin bags, there are plenty of degradable options to choose from.  Again, forward planning is needed though, as neither the supermarket nor my local shop sell them.



I was feeling rather smug about how the challenge was going, until I realised we had a delivery. My partner had ordered a bulk-load of toilet rolls. Not only was each pack of nine rolls encased in plastic, but the packs had then been wrapped in clear plastic, before being put in a plastic bag for posting.  #epic fail. From now on I’ll be pushing him towards Ecoleaf toilet rolls, which are made from recycled paper, and come housed in a compostable wrapper, or Greencane’s, which are made from sugarcane.


Hidden plastics

Another fail came when I bought my usual teabags. They come in a cardboard box, but it turns out that the teabags themselves are sealed with plastic. The Co-op is working to develop plastic free teabags, but for now it’s pretty difficult to find any on the shelf of my local shop. Looks like I need to stock up on Yogi whose tea bags are completely plastic-free. 

While they don’t look it, sanitary pads are around 90% plastic. Thankfully I’d stocked up on reusable pads, along with a few Natracare tampons. All Natracare products are plastic-free and biodegradable.


Reducing plastic all year round

My plastic-free challenge has taught me that it’s going to be pretty near impossible for me to ditch plastic completely. However I can definitely cut a lot of it out. I may not be able to quit my tonic water (by Friday night I really do need a G&T), but I can look at ordering milk from the milkman, banning cling film from the house and making a few other small changes that will make a big difference over the year.


Are you taking up the #plasticfreeweek challenge? You can find all of our plastic free products here.