So it’s August now and time to evaluate how #plasticfreejuly went… I made it through with the coffee jar – not a single takeaway cup was sacrificed for my coffee habit in July 2019, yay! Feels like I am in the groove now, but as always I will have to be mindful not to let it slide as time goes by.

Meantime here is my entire landfill output for the month of July, business as well as personal. Not too bad I think, when I see some of the overflowing wheelie bins on the street each week, although now I am into it I would like to see it getting smaller and smaller each month… I do generate a lot more rubbish than this, but there are many waste streams involved:

Recycling: I do quite a bit of recycling – Greenspace deliveries usually come in cardboard boxes, and unless a keen gardener comes by to use them for mulch, and after my daughter has built herself a house or few, I take them down to the transfer station. I don’t use a recycling bin any more – I found out that one of the main problems with co-mingling is that by the time the waste gets to the sorting centre the glass gets smashed into the paper, and then neither paper nor glass is fit for recycling at all (check out Xtreme Waste in Raglan). So now I sort it myself into the big bins at the tip. This is a great way to get to know your rubbish! I am pretty slick at the job now, and pop in a couple of times a week so it’s a fairly minimal job each time.

Soft plastics: now that Jerome Wenzlick is making BioGro certified organic fence posts out of plastic I take my softies to the bin at the hypermarket.

Compost: the other main place my rubbish goes is back to the earth. I am not an organic composting purist at the mo as I don’t have a major garden going on. My compost is definitely an experimental landfill diversion rather than a high end garden-ready product, but theoretically it will all eventually break down – waste paper goes in, tissues, paper towels etc, and the new home-compostable plastics (and a bunch of takeaway coffee cups from my former life). If I did have a lovely garden I wanted to produce compost for, I would probably do a smaller, more boutique setup and keep it more organic.

So half a red bag to landfill this July – let’s see how #plasticfreeaugust goes!