Plastic…Part 11…Are we really doing enough?

Good morning for sunny Thailand and it is a glorious day …At the moment …I say that as it is the low season which means sunshine and tropical storms and boy when that rain starts the heavens just open…It is also why everything is so gloriously green here…

Curry plant in bloom

My curry tree…

It makes you feel that all is well with the world but don’t be fooled it appears it is NOT!

I have written much about the billions of tons of plastic which affect the health of our seas…and Planet …landfill…Plastic is everywhere …

But how does it get there?

But I  always dispose of my waste properly! I always recycle when possible!”, We all say it! But, if no-one is responsible, how does so much end up in the rivers and the ocean?

But I always put my trash in the bin!

overflowing waste bins

Photo credit: habeebee on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

How many of us are guilty of adding our waste to that overflowing bin? Then walking away satisfied that we have done OUR bit?…

The problem doesn’t end here either because next, we need to move the garbage to a more permanent location. Before you say recycling, remember that, worldwide, less than 10% of all waste is recycled which means that the majority of your rubbish ends up as landfill or incinerated.

I see rubbish and bins everywhere like that here…So what is generally the first few things that happen before the rubbish is collected…

The wind picks up and blows the plastic bags everywhere...The dogs, cats and even the man who trundles along with his little trolley and goes down the bin…splits plastic bags open to see what is inside… This is life this happens, this is the reality!

street lady going down a waste bin

Photo credit: drpavloff on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC

All true...That is life …We may not want to admit it …But it is what happens…I see this every time I go for a walk but haven’t yet plucked up the courage to ask if I can take a photo…

This part of the story is probably the one we are most aware of. But there is another side of the story that we are less aware of but equally responsible for… I hear you…Loud and clear!

But how can I control illegal dumping of rubbish? Am I responsible for the actions of people who throw away their cigarette butts which are washed down the drain directly into the oceans? These actions do have an impact but it is not the biggest problem. It is also something we have no control over anyway.

In fact, the other side of the story is caused by us…Again! It has been estimated that of all the plastic and rubbish in the oceans, 90% of it comes from just 10 rivers.

Now if you were to look at where those rivers were located you would notice a link… it is those countries which most likely to manufacture many of the cheap, disposable plastic items. Items that are typically found as landfill and littering the oceans, such as plastic bags, toys, toothbrushes, straws and bottles.

They also happen to be the countries most likely to have inadequate waste management facilities. This means rubbish is much more likely to end up being lost to the environment.

We go shopping and often pick up things without a thought…I know I do… I consciously do try really hard but also if it is a product I buy…  I sometimes still buy it and dispose of it correctly of course I do but honestly, I don’t do enough … I really don’t!

I need to be more conscientious… Here’s what I think…

Refuse – Whenever you can, say NO to plastic bags, straws, cups, forks and spoons! And ask yourself, do I really need this?

This one I do…I have bamboo straws and we take our own cups for a refill I also refuse any cutlery or bag as always have a cloth bag with me…This I can honestly say I have perfected.

Reduce – When you cannot refuse, use less of whatever you can!

Truly I need to be better at this one...I need to decide and ask myself do I need to buy something then take the decision to try to find and buy a product marketed as sustainable and manufactured with consideration of the environment…Like these…I love them… banana leaves are used to make little baskets to hold tomatoes or other vegetables the bamboo containers holding tomatoes are emptied into a paper bag at the till and reused…

This is such a simple use of natural packaging and is what I buy when I can but I do need to think before I buy any imported items as that is where my problem lies. I need to think about packaging and the air miles even more …Think before I buy! Buy local …

Reuse – Fill up your water bottle, take cutlery out with you, reuse that plastic bag over and over.

Waterbottle √ Take cutlery with you × reuse that plastic bag √…2 out of 3 most of the time as sometimes I forget the cutlery…My bad…

Repair – If it breaks, don’t automatically throw it away, check if you can fix it!

I do now and that is because Thais are really good at that…Not much gets thrown away they always make do and mend…

Thinking about packaging in the home as I often do…

I have come across these great platinum silicone products which have many uses for the freezer, the oven and taking your food to work or play…It seems there are no known problems at the moment and that although they are not compostable they are fully recyclable where there are facilities.

While not a “100% natural” material like rubber, food-grade silicone is a non-toxic polymer mostly made from silica (sand). It can withstand heating and freezing without leaching or off-gassing, hazardous chemicals – unlike plastics, which contaminate food in these environments.

I like the way that the top seals and they fold flat I am thinking I could use them when I buy meat to save on a plastic bag and for me they would be better in the freezer than glass as I don’t have a very big freezer and glass is rigid and takes up more room.

And if you are short on smiles today then watch this video and I dare you not to smile…

However to keep on believing that throwing our trash in the correct bins and recycling is going to help our planet is wrong. we need to change not only our ways but our thinking…

The Bottom Line…

It is up to us as individuals to take a stand and start changing the way we look at our trash and the things that we buy.

Will you???

Thank you so much for reading this post and if it made you smile please share and or comment on how you deal with plastic xxx

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:

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Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you are all having a great week xx









10 thoughts on “Plastic…Part 11…Are we really doing enough?

  1. purpleslob

    I just saw that commercial yesterday!! I thought what a great idea. Local fruit/ produce stands here use wooden baskets, sometimes that they reuse. The strawberry flats are cardboard.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: CarolCooks2…Weekly Roundup…Recipes, Your Brain, Climate Change and Healthy Eating… | Retired? No one told me!

  3. tidalscribe

    We have a little Boots chemist next to our doctors, handy for getting your one off prescription and also for many people collecting their repeat prescriptions. Those shelves full of prescriptions are depressing enough anyway – don’t we all hope we will never have to collect a huge bagful every month? Anyway, they used to be in paper bags, now each person’s is sealed in yards of plastic. I think I have already signed someone’s petition on this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      That is dreadful as Boots have and I quote..” Louise Edge, Greenpeace UK’s head of plastics campaign, noted the recent releases of international reports making clear the “catastrophic implications of single-use plastic for both the climate and human health” and accused Boots of displaying “not only corporate incompetence, but a complete disinterest in upholding promises made to their loyal customers.”
      Last August, Boots signed up to the UK Plastics Pact, a voluntary pledge by the retail industry to cut single-use plastic packaging. Wrap, the body that leads the campaign, said on Friday it was “engaging with Boots on this and other topics in relation to their contribution”. Apparently there are many disgruntled customers I hope they walk and find somewhere else to get their prescriptions and anything else they need to buy …Although if people are ill or infirm that is not always possible is it? The government should make these pacts arbitrary and not voluntary…


      1. tidalscribe

        On my Facebook post my Australian sister-in-law commented they use their chemist’s reusable bag with brand name on it. She also suggested ripping off the packaging in the shop. You would need to take a knife with you to penetrate the package and probably accidentally stab other customers crowded into the little shop!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. CarolCooks2 Post author

        A bit dangerous is there no other way or ask the assistant to remove the plastic they can’t refuse if you all asked that would hold them up.. Just a thought

        Liked by 1 person

  4. petespringerauthor

    Thanks for a great article, Carol. I’m inspired by your passion in protecting the environment that we all have a responsibility to take care.

    Liked by 2 people

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