Towards Plastic Free

The first two months of 2018 has seen me focusing on waste. It frequently permeates my consciousness here in Thailand, with pollution omnipresent and use of convenience containers and carriers rife. Starting with There’s a Fraction too Much Plastic I explored the downfalls of plastic-use and its prevalence in my lifestyle, culminating in an analysis of my plastic consumption over 31 days in January and February. Whilst plastic gets a lot of bad press (and rightly so), many people are taking action to consciously reduce their use of plastic and the amount of waste they produce. I celebrated some great stories from around the world in Waste Free People and even found an inspiring eco-friendly place not far from here, which (among other things) uses reusable metal straws to serve delicious smoothies.

After a short analysis and reflection, here’s some goals to reduce my plastic footprint. I’d love to become plastic free – but feel this may be currently unrealistic where I’m living in Thailand, as plastic-free options are often limited.

  1. Reduce breakfast packaging – I have started substituting yogurt with coconut milk, which I can buy in large containers, therefore reducing packaging waste. I’ve also heard it’s possible to make coconut milk yoghurt – any recipe tips would be appreciated! The coconut milk I buy is made in Thailand, which in theory supports the local economy. I have no idea how sustainable the production of coconut milk is compared with dairy-based yoghurt (the yoghurt brand I have been buying seems to be Japanese, but I’ve not learnt much else). More research to be done here…
  2. Toiletries – I will investigate toiletries with reduced plastic packaging and non-plastic toothbrushes. I don’t fancy my chances for easily finding such things easily in Ranong, so may have to look further afield.
  3. Cold drinks – I’m unlikely to totally stop going to cafes to drink fruit frappes, as it may cause me to melt in the heat and lose the will to live. I plan to prepare more iced teas at home, so I have something cool and refreshing to sip when I arrive home wilting from cycling through the hot, humid streets. This will reduce the frequency of my cafe-bought straw-protruding drinks.
  4. Plastic bags – I tend to only use these when I can’t communicate that I don’t want one, or I’ve forgotten to bring my own bags. I hope to continually improve my basic Thai-language skills so I’ll be able to express myself more fully. Satisfyingly, the lunch-lady-on-the-street-corner, where I often buy lunch snacks is already getting used to my plastic bag-free ways.

Aside from this, I’ll persevere with trying to buy fewer products that come in plastic. The battle continues. These are the things I’ll try to do. What about you? How could you lower your plastic footprint?

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