Realistically speaking…

The Great Plastic Disaster!

How many plastic bottles are there in your house? Go on, open your cupboard doors and count… it’s not a judgement, more a why? When we know it’s not good for us or the planet – when we know it’s in our food as well as in our oceans and seas and that it endangers wildlife - and more recently that Microplastics have also been detected in live human lungs. (Hull York Medical School and University of Hull). Yet it’s still there on our shelves, in shops, at home, staring us in the face, daring us to do something about it.

But what? When realistically speaking until industry tackles this issue seriously, it won’t go away. Will it?

Never Underestimate People Power!

Let retailers and producers know what you think, keep the pressure up, by writing letters, signing petitions, or, if you’re feeling particularly brave, unpacking extra plastic packaging in-store and leaving it with the help desk staff or cashier. Less embarrassing, if you can afford to buy ‘plastic free’ do.

Buy in bulk and dispense into smaller containers (that you’ve saved from previous purchases) – do this with other people to make it more affordable, also means you don’t have to turn your living space into a mini warehouse! Suma Coops are great. If you don’t know of one locally, think about starting one:

This bulk shampoo container will fill this bottle 30 times.

Bulk shampoo container
Bulk shampoo container

Make your own! From, shampoo to ketchup, you’ll find simple recipes online for just about anything you use in the home.

Here’s a couple to be going on with. Plus, it’s a perfect rainy-day activity for bored children in the holidays…

Make your own at home
Make your own at home

Basic Recipe for Shampoo:

  • ¼ cup distilled water
  • ¼ cup castile liquid soap (or similar).
  • ½ teaspoon jojoba or grapeseed oil or even a light vegetable oil
  • Mix together and bottle in a dispenser you’ve already saved.

Nb: you can buy these ingredients in any health food store/chemist and some general supermarkets. Online Castile soap £11.11 at time of writing:

Find more recipes here:

Ketchup Recipe:

  • 8oz chopped onions
  • ½ pint malt or white spirit vinegar
  • 8oz chopped apples
  • 2lb tomatoes (I have used tinned shopped tomatoes here)
  • ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
  • 8 – 12 oz sugar depending on personal taste.

Simmer all ingredients, except sugar, in a large pan until soft. Add sugar and reduce until thickened to a runny sauce. Cool for 10 minutes. Whizz up with a stick wand or in a blender. Bottle and keep in cool dark place. Although the sugar and vinegar are preservatives, I like to play safe, especially in summer and keep in fridge once opened.

I don’t always have a ketchup bottle but use old jam jars or whatever I’ve got handy and spoon out instead of all that shaking and squeezing, which incidentally is far more economical than the inevitable splodge!


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