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FRANCOBLOGGO V: It’s a wrap!

Having had some space to reflect on our month of plastic free living, it’s time to assess how we, the common every-person, can adapt to lessen our everyday plastic use.

The first observation is that, in spite of there still being a long way to go, there are lots of companies beginning to make a change in their policies. Not just that, but reflecting it in their PR and advertising. My local chain supermarket is soon to be adopting paper based shopping bags. A bar near me is going to sell ring-pull cans of water, rather than bottles, that can be recycled after use. Both these places have big colourful adverts hanging up in their stores boasting about this positive change.

If you think about it – they are still companies who are in need of profit and revenue. They still have to cowtow to their superiors. Us the consumer. They wouldn’t dare alienate their customers by pushing an unwanted agenda. They know that this will get them noticed, get them press, get more people in the door, and land them more money. Cynical thought, I know. But the big positive here is that they are reacting to us the consumer. We are beginning to demand more ethical and sustainable practices in our everyday lives. It’s not that they have just started listening, it is that we have started shouting louder. And that’s great!

Living a plastic free life is challenging to say the least. Our lifestyles have become accelerated, but delicate like a tea trolley with a ferarri engine. We can move fast, but it won’t take much for everything to crash. So we feed this lifestyle with quick things. Quick food. Quick entertainment. Quick conversations. Plastic is perfect for this existence. So we need to address societal pressures and expectations as much as we do the products we use.

We also need to get our facts straight and pay more attention to news that isn’t sexy, and fashionable. Unsexy news is more likely to keep us alive longer. A recent article from Bloomberg stated that the big move to reduce plastic straws in clubs is an ineffective method of reducing ocean pollution, albeit a very easy and virtuous thing for us to get behind. Plastic straws make up 0.03 % of the 8 million metric tons. The biggest plastic pollutant in the water? Discarded fishing nets. So although we can make a small personal difference by changing our habits. The biggest change will come from us as consumers. 

If we can change our demand for things, we will change the supply. It’ll take a while. But it’s worth doing. Let the companies boast about how good they are! And let us show them what we want by buying those things!

Thanks for reading our rants. See you out there in the green! xx

 

 

Check out Francobloggo’s I to IV here.

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FRANCOBLOGGO III: How much plastic do we use every day?

(This is Sean Bean’s second Francobloggo, read the first one here)

Now, I decided to collect all the plastic I accumulated through a single day (buying food, drinks, and products), to raise my own awareness of my waste footprint. I work as a builder/maintenance man when I’m not frollocking about playing music with Francobollo and other people, and as a result (juggling two full time jobs essentially) I have very little time. Cooking for me personally is a luxury and something I love doing when I can but the truth is I’m either on the road or on a worksite and am rarely at home with any downtime. So the only option is unfortunately to buy Tesco sandwiches and fast food when I’m out and about and in this super hot weather we’ve had I’ve probably bought more bottled waters etc than I have otherwise put together in about a year!

So after a normal day of work this is what I ended up with (left). These were just the items with plastic in them! I had about an equal amount in card and paper, which was a minor shock to even myself and i bought it! It’s so easy to neglect and we do it every day! So hey! We need to make more time for ourselves to prepare food and drinks for the day to cut down on a substantial amount of plastic waste (even though that can be harder than it sounds)!

Last but not least I am a major coffee fiend! I have a ritual of buying a chocolate croissant in the morning before work and have been a culprit of getting those non reusable and non recyclable cups (most of which have been commandeered by my girlfriend to be used as plant pots). But in light of embarking on our recent Plastic Diet we decided to try the reusable plastic cups; now here are my two cents on that.

When I went out on a stroll to find myself a reusable cup to take to get my coffee in the morning i realised that the alternatives for people on the same wage bracket i’m on (minimum wage) are plastic and in most cases virgin plastic, which we are trying to get away from right? And my options readily available were either spending £1 on a probably-virgin plastic cup from your standard big chain coffee shop or spending 8-15 pounds on a biodegradable cup or one made out of recycled plastics.

Now as a rather poor person, and especially a poor person in London, I see no alternative there; this has to change. I feel like these changes will only happen if they are made accessible to everyone in a wide scale way and it’s our collective responsibility to make sure that happens.

Get together shout from the rooftops, write your local MP, and above all write strongly worded letters to big corporations and share your thoughts/fears/experiences with them and highlight what the people want! Not what profit wants!

All the love from the least qualified person to speak about any of this in the world! xo

 

PSF note: Wanna know what options are there for reusable coffee cups? Check these out!

 

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