Saturday 3 June 2017

My shopping trolley - a plastic reducing challenge

Throughout June the Marine Conservation Society UK is organising a #PlasticChallenge, encouraging everyone to reduce how much plastic they use, especially single use plastic.  You can find more details and how to sign up here.

Over the years I have gradually worked at reducing how much waste we, as a family produce, although I know I have a long way to go to become zero-waste (more of that in another blog, shortly) ... but I thought I would share this week's shopping trolley with you complete with my failures and successes, and some ideas on how I could further reduce my plastic consumption.

How much plastic is in your shopping trolley?

My Plastic Failures

  • 2 packets of Wasa crackers with plastic in the wrapping - I need to work out how to make a similar cracker at home.
  • Plastic wrapped spaghetti - time to dust off our pasta making machine.
  • Smoked fish - I need to make a smoker and then get fish from the market in my own bags.
  • Spuds in a plastic net - hopefully this will be the last bag I need to buy before I am harvesting my own crop ... which in a good year will see me through to March the following year.  I did however go for the largest bag possible to reduce the amount of net per kilo.
  • Butter in non-recyclable paper - I have made butter in the past but it was time consuming.  At least as I am trying to lose weight I am eating less of it at the moment! 
  • Bread sticks - I am sure they will be in a plastic bag inside the cardboard box although I felt this would give me less plastic than those totally in plastic wrapping.  Time to find a recipe and make my own.
  • Tetrapaks and plastic lids - I can recycle both these in France although not the plastic lid on the glass coffee jar.  I did opt for one glass jar of juice too as glass is better recycled than any other product.
  • Corks - I had hoped these were real cork but it turns out the rosé had a plastic one and I have not drunk the others yet. 

My Plastic Successes

  • Tinned fish, sweetcorn, cat food
  • Dog food in a paper sack
  • Tomatoes in my re-usable bag
  • Root ginger - loose
  • Wine, coffee, cheese cubes, mayonnaise and one fruit juice in glass containers
  • Animal feed - not in the image but both 25kg bags of animal feed this week were in paper sacks.  

This ended up being quite a small shop as I didn't actually need much.  I also got more salad things from the market in either paper bags, my own re-usable bags (see the tomatoes in the picture above) or simply loose.  But I didn't need things like toilet rolls that come plastic wrapped and in other weeks I suspect my levels of plastic would be higher.

Would you be willing to post your latest shopping trolley and your plastic failures and successes?  It is a good way to identify where most of your plastic comes from and maybe you can see ways to change to plastic free products.  Every time we reject one piece of plastic we are doing the planet a favour.  I'll add this to my Green Rosie Life Facebook page so it you want to add your trolley pictures you can.

And if you want to make your own produce bags have a look at this wonderful idea using old doilies from Compost and Cava.

Together we can all do our bit to reduce plastic waste.


  1. I have reusable bags for my fruit and veg at times it is hard to get things that are not packed in plastic

  2. I have stop using plastic as much as possible but to completely eliminate with all the plastic used in store bought items it almost impossible. I usually buy things in bulk or locally when possible so that helps. Visiting from #GoingGreenLinky Have a healthy, happy & blessed day!

  3. I will give this a go! I think I will fail spectacularly! I still rely on the grocery store for everything as I am only just starting my own veggie garden. Plus with 2 little ones I don't have the time or patience to shop somewhere to get groceries and somewhere else to get fruit and vege. But still, I will give it a go. :) Visiting from the #goinggreenlinky

  4. Isn't it crazy how much plastic we find once we start looking! You are doing great, keep it up! Thanks for sharing on the #wastelesswednesday blog hop.

  5. HI Rosie,
    There is so much plastic out there, but all we can do is work at cutting down our consumption as much as we can. You have had quite a lot of successes and I am sure you will have many more Congratulations on being featured on #WasteLessWednesday . Have a healthy, happy, & blessed day! Pinned & tweeted!

  6. Oh I wish this was easier. Supermarket shopping here, as you pointed out last time you visited the UK, involves an awful lot of plastic, almost all of it unnecessary. But much as I dream of a lifestyle where I wander to the bakery and farmer's market every morning it is so unrealistic in my current life. I do do what I can, but definitely need to find ways to buy less plastic. Wish the damn manufacturers/supermarkets would do more too!


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