A year on…. A month of rubbish

Right at the beginning of my journey to a plastic-free lifestyle, I started by noting down everything that I threw into the landfill for a month (excluding kitchen waste, as I wanted to start with household – specifically toiletries). A year on, I decided that a great way to tell how far I’d progressed would be to do the exact same thing again, and compare the two results……

Cotton buds (with plastic rod): 65 reduced to…. 0 (I now use compostable, cardboard Q-tips)

Sweet wrappers: 52 reduced to…. 0 (I don’t eat these anymore)

Cellophane: 19 reduced to…. 0 (I now use a lunchbox and don’t clingwrap my food – however the lunchbox is still plastic and I’m looking to replace this with a light-weight metal one)

Cellotape: 4 reduced to….. 0 (I now use string to tie presents and then decorate with fabric ribbon)

Hair bundle: 10 reduced to….. 4 (I tried putting this out for the birds to take for their nests… although this has worked in previous houses, unfortunately there are no suitable nest sites around and so the birds weren’t collecting)

Biscuit wrapper: 33 reduced to….. 0 (I don’t eat these anymore)

Fabric: 4 reduced to …. 0 (I have located fabric bins in my local area and use those instead)

Pens: 11 reduced to….. 0 (I’ve started using my computer more, especially for editing work)

Pencil: 1 reduced to….. 0 (more a coincidence)

Plaster: 2 increased to ….. 3 (this is more of a coincidence, I’ve been unable to find an alternative)

Sharpenings (from full sharpener): 2 reduced to….0 (more a coincidence)

Finger/toe nails: 11 reduced to….. 4 (more a coincidence)

Hair tie: 2 reduced to…. 1 (I’m planning to find a alternative to this by the time I run out of hair ties!)

Plastic spoon or fork: 28 reduced to…. 0 (I now carry around my own spoon and straw which are both metal)

Polystyrene cup: 8 reduced to…. 0 (I now carry around my own reusable cup)

Envelope window: 6 increased to…. 7 (more a coincidence)

Misc plastic: 13 increased to…. 21 (as I reduced plastic packaging by buying DVDs second-hand, that increased the misc plastic as every DVD has 2 stickers – the same occurred when buying second-hand books and clothing)

Metal packaging: 2 reduced to….0 (I’ve not had anything in metal packaging this month)

Plastic packaging: 26 reduced to…. 3 (I always try to buy items specifically without plastic packaging now)

Staples: 45 reduced to….3 (I don’t use staples anymore, instead I use paperclips which are reusable – the staples I have thrown away have been from junk mail)

Cotton ball: 13 reduced to….1 (I now no longer use cotton wool balls for make up and hence only use them to remove nail varnish)

Crisp wrapper: 8 reduced to…. 0 (I don’t eat these anymore)

Tablet packet: 7 reduced to…. 2 (as far as I can see, there is no alternatives to this)

Travel ticket: 1 reduced to …. 0 (I purchased a plastic card travel ticket which lasts for the year, rather than monthly ones)

Plastic bottle: 3 reduced to…. 0 (I now carry around my own metal reusable bottle)

Plastic cup: 3 reduced to … 0 (I now carry around my own reusable cup)

Carrier bag: 3 reduced to …. 0 (I now carry around my own reusable non-plastic bag)

Aerosol can: 1 reduced to…. 0 (I’ve found solid deodorant that I can use without creating any plastic waste)

Make up remover wipe: 4 reduced to…. 0 (Instead of throw-away wipes, I’ve started using liquid remover with reusable fabric pads)

Extras: 1 make-up brush (the bristles fell out of it, and I was unable to find a non-plastic alternative), 1 cable tie (that my maintenance left in my room).

It’s amazing how much rubbish I have been able to reduce from my life! So pleased with how well this has progressed!


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