Try The Challenges

We are addicted to disposable plastic trash. It is a problematic pollutant in our societies that is solve-able with effort. It is great to see more governments banning or adding a tax on disposable shopping bags:

France is trying to be free of plastic cutlery/tableware by 2020. San Francisco has already banned selling plastic water bottles and am sure there are more initiatives in our world.

The plastic chain
– we continually put it down our waterways with micro-beads
– we throw it away believing it is no longer our responsibility or we think we are doing good by recycling plastic
– recycled plastic eventually ends up in our environment. An example: Fleece is plastic. Fibers from fleece wash into our waterways and our animals are consuming those micro-plastic particles.
– local governments may or may not dispose of it correctly…too many illegally dump
– animals eat it, plants absorb it causing problems to other animals
– ….and we eat it causing a number of problems to ourselves.

But with a bit of effort we can change our habits. If you want to support the Tyre Lady, start by reducing the amount of plastic you use.  Here are the challenges:

Level 1 Challenge: Refuse single use plastic by bringing your own reusable (BYOR):

  • Plate and cutlery to canteens and parties that serve plastic
  • Cup as many places serve plastic.
  • Cloth bag
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Take away containers for restaurants

Refuse to purchase or accept items that will be sold in plastic (such as those served from drink dispensing machines).

Refuse products that contain micro-beads. For a list of those products see here:

Level 2 Challenge: Reuse & Refuse

  • For bin liners consider reusing the empty plastic food bags if you purchase foods with plastic packaging.
  • If you are at this level, then consider finding places that require you to BYO “packaging” to reduce plastic food packaging. This is a great article for those wanting to “kick the plastic habit” and there are shops (though rare) that sell goods in zero packaging. The web is your friend to find these places 🙂
  • Freecycle ( stuff
  • Lots on the web for craft and ways to reuse plastic, especially plastic bottles

For women – consider “reusable sanitary ware” such as a menstrual cup and/or cotton cloth pads that can be washed (web searches will tell you what you can get locally)

For people with babies – consider elimination communication to ditch the nappies, save money and have a closer relationship with your child 🙂

Level 3 Challenge: Repair and Upcycle

  • Learn to fix stuff and upcycle. Lots of resources on the web to show you how.
  • Repair cafes are popping up around the world. The USA and UK have Repair Cafe. Singapore has Repair Kopitiam.

Level 4 Challenge: Request

  • Request the government installs water dispensers in public places like air ports and train stations so that you can fill up your own bottle
  • Request events like marathons to consider encouraging participants to bring their own bottles and provide water dispensers at tables.
  • Request organisations package goods in environmental packaging.

A final on types of packaging as there is confusion between the terms Degrade-able (and some companies mean this but call their packaging bio-degradeable) vs Biodegrade-able vs Compostable:

Thank you if you have gone all the way to level 4. Collectively we can make this a better world.

What happened to Recycle? Plastic is a low priority to many municipals around the world. So get this: glass, metal, cardboard has a recycle rate of about 99%; plastic on average around the world has a recycle rate of 10%. That means over 90% of the world’s plastic is landfilled / illegally dumped / incinerated. We can stop this.

Look at what’s in your bin and be responsible for what you throw away.