Is disorganisation the real reason for plastic waste?

In my case, yes.

I have very good intentions. I want to grow all my food from scratch, then make delicious meals from it that I take to work every day. I want to only ever drink tap water from my reusable bottle. I want to avoid ever buying convenience food when I’m out and about.

This is the aim but sadly I’m falling short of the plastic-free perfection I’d like to be.

And it’s because I’m disorganised.

Over the past four weeks we’ve had:

  • 5 nights in Centre Parcs
  • 1 night in Bridlington
  • 2 nights in the Lake District
  • 2 nights in Ipswich

Ignoring the horrendous carbon footprint of these trips (something I’m trying to offset by walking or getting the bus to work), the by-product of time away from home seems to be single use plastic waste.

Just some of the plastic aftermath of our trips away. 90% of it from vegan wrap packaging alone I’m sure.

More specifically, eating meals from service stations, supermarkets and places like Gregg’s (is it a cafe or a sandwich shop or a pastry shop?)

Long journeys in the car means inevitably stopping off at one of these places for food. And that food is usually wrapped in plastic.

On the way it’s not so bad. We pack a lunch box full of snacks, some healthy, some not so much. On the way back though, tiredness, self-catering fatigue and the need for easy, quick meals results in a lot of plastic waste.

Is it actually possible to avoid this? I feel like that any time I’m tired or don’t have the time or energy to shop for actual ingredients, buying plastic wrapped food is inevitable.

Sure, there are sandwich shops that use paper bags, but being vegan means the options are usually limited to ready salted crisps (plastic) and a teacake with jam and no butter. Maybe one way to save on plastic waste is to not be vegan? But that argument is for another time.

The only way out of this is to spend more time prepping food before a big drive. Or only eating fruit maybe.

I’ve recently been watching The War on Plastic on the BBC. This has confirmed what I always knew, supermarkets wrap stuff up in plastic so that they can sell more of it. There is an argument that it saves on food waste. But I’d counter that with if something has to be shipped so far across the word that it’s going to shrivel up on the way unless it’s cased in plastic, perhaps we shouldn’t be eating it. Bye bye baby corn.

I feel like it’s time to take more control. I’m so fed up of companies not taking responsibility for what they produce,or how they sell to us. The onus is always on the customer to deal with waste.

So what if we don’t buy it in the first place?

Plastic-free July here we come.

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