Recycling flexible plastics, and other new habits

Today I remembered to verify something I heard a while ago, something that could reduce the amount of waste I send to landfill even more. I know that a lot of supermarkets in Australia have recycling schemes for the plastic bags they hand out. I don’t think it’s widely known however, that it’s not just supermarket bags that you can return. All sorts of flexible plastic packaging can be recycled at the same time. All of the relevant information can be found here, in an article by Rachel Clemons, published on the Choice website (the highly regarded consumer advocate group here in Australia). Apologies to any international readers as this information is only relevant to Australia, but hopefully similar schemes exist wherever you are!

I’ve read a few blog posts and articles about ‘plastic free’ lifestyles or experiments and I love the idea and am a little bit in awe of those who can make it work. For myself (and hubby, who I convince to join me in my new eco-habits!), I’m not quite there yet. Even though I only work part time I’m still too lazy to make my own pasta for instance. So bags of pasta or corn chips, dried fruit, and plastic around boxes of tea bags, and yes even plastic wrapped herbs or vegetables (as much as I’d like to avoid those) are the types of things that contribute the most to the ‘sent to landfill’ waste that we generate. We’ll continue to try and find alternatives to buying these plastic-packaged items but I’m expecting it to be a slow transition and that’s OK.

Plastic from dates and tea

In my last post I mentioned that I’ve been a little unmotivated in general. It’s times like that when any new habits tend to fly out the window. Because I don’t like being a hypocrite, this creates problems. For example, this weekend we took the car out twice, once to a social event and then again to run an errand. This is not something that I’m proud of. It probably seems like such a little thing, but I could have ridden my bike on both of those outings. I’m a believer of ‘little things make a difference’ and that’s why I’m happy to recycle a plastic wrapper here and there. But sometimes the little measures get forgotten, and you take the car instead of the bike. While I’d like the habit of bike riding to be more ingrained, I’m not going to beat myself up that it’s not. Because while I’m feeling negative about using the car unnecessarily, I probably wouldn’t remember to look up the information on recycling my pasta wrappers.

I’ll save up all the packaging in this perfect receptacle, the plastic ‘bag’ that came around a head of celery (from when I didn’t make it to the farmers market)

Changing lifestyles is often harder than we give credit for. So I’m happy to grab hold of those moments of inspiration and to remember that it will all slowly sink in and will feel natural and commonsense in the end. Stashing a few bits of flexible plastic in a new storage destination, I recalled that I had similarly set aside a few other pieces when I had first heard of the idea. So I’m already further ahead than I thought I was! And I’m sure that sometime in the near future, when another inspired moments hits, I’ll take a nice big collection of flexible plastics to the collection point, and I’ll take them on my bike 🙂

And because pictures of my trash are a little boring, here are some pelicans:


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