Plastic Free July: Belated Unboxing of the Dilemma Box

It’s August now, and the Scottish weather has finally granted us a hint of sunshine. Time to have a belated look at the plastic I’ve shamefully bought while claiming to be ‘plastic free’. Of course I don’t have to remind you that we are not perfect and everyone is differently unperfect. So while I’ve had plenty of sucess during July, I’ve also had to accept plenty of set-backs and “F**kit”-moments which added to my plastic pile.

I have to confess that this is not all my rubbish from July (I counted out things I had bought in June); nor is it ALL the plastic I bought (I sometimes forgot to keep it, sometimes there are health concerns e.g. with plastic around meat, and sometimes I bought plastic and reused it).

I was a bit surprised actually by how much it was regardless of the fact that I was over conscious about plastic purchases. It shows again how much we aren’t aware of the impact we have on our planet.

Bring it on, then:Dilemma Box

You can see some avoidable items, such as chocolate bars or convenience food. Some others were financial decisions, e.g. reduced price produce. Others again I simply couldn’t find unpackaged, e.g. dairy or rice. There’s also a plastic fork from street food (I’m better prepared now) and an arm band from an event we went to. The parcel with shrink wrap was my parents’ cheese delivery (I enjoyed ever bit of it).

Plastic Free July has really demanded my highest attention and planning skills, and opened my eyes that there is still a long way to go until I reach zero (or anywhere near) waste. Now I also know where there is room for improvement, and for which foods I need to search unpackaged/paper wrapped versions.

What do you think? Impressive, or rather shameful? How did your ‘dilemma box’ look like; or would if you participated this year?


9 thoughts on “Plastic Free July: Belated Unboxing of the Dilemma Box

  1. Kathryn says:

    You did a great job! I struggle finding non-cow dairy available in glass or at cheese counters. When Dad sends me a wheel wrapped in wax this is totally me “(I enjoyed ever bit of it).”


    • thingio says:

      Agreed. I checked out the cheese counters, but even ‘normal’, cow milk’s cheese is pre-packed now. What happened to the old-fashioned supermarket counters!? How do you dispose of the wax?


  2. Rachelle Strauss says:

    A definite vote for ‘impressive’ from me! I’m glad you enjoyed every bit of that cheese and love that you’ve shared so openly all the plastic you’ve used. You’re right, none of us are perfect, but simply having that awareness helps us make better choices in the future. And I too get the whole ‘price reduction’ thing – I wonder if, by buying reduced items and having to deal with the packaging, we are at least helping to avoid food waste…


    • thingio says:

      I agree on your thoughts about reduced price stuff. Especially with meat and usually expensive produce, the choice is very tough, and one point where financial independence is an advantage for going zero waste. I’m actually planning a post about it! I do hope that I actually reduce supermarket food waste, which is the least I can do.


  3. Brian says:

    Hi! I’ve just stumbled upon your blog, and from this post I see that you are similar in mindset to me ๐Ÿ™‚

    Some of those plastics aren’t so bad – such as the spread tub which can be recycled (although I’d go for a larger tub), and the toilet roll bag (which can be recycled with carrier bags). I wonder what plastic type the disposable fork is, ideally 2 (HDPE), so can be recycled with the spread tub.

    Rice can be found in a plastic bag type that can again be recycled with carrier bags… but not the type you bought there…that along with most the other stuff appears to be the shamefully hard to avoid ‘plastic film’.

    Good efforts though, keep it up ๐Ÿ˜€


    • thingio says:

      Thanks! You reminded me of my greatest miss so far – checking with my local council exactly what types of plastic are recycled on the curbside (their guidelines are rather vague). I despise plastic film deeply, but it does seem unavoidable. I will recycle the tub and similar stuff, and reuse the plastic fork by keeping it in my bag in case I come across street food. I do still need to set up a collection for bags (LDPE if I’m not mistaken) and find out where they’re collected. I also found a shop where I could buy unpackaged rice and other produce, but unfortunately it’s in Edinburgh and I need to plan my trips there carefully. So far, I’ve hoped to eliminate entirely, but it seems I’m still far away from that and need to focus on recycling what I can’t avoid. Thanks again for your comment! ๐Ÿ™‚


      • Brian says:

        Some larger supermarkets take the ‘carrier bag’-type plastic bags… my nearest Morrisons have a collection bin in the entrance – I just have to remember to take the stuff with me >.<


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