Low waste living = zero plastic right? Well, not always. I know some people in the community who have plastic as their main focus, and others who are more aware of diet, and on and on. We all have different priorities, and though plastic is a big one for us, it is never black and white (hint: almost nothing in life is). If any of you follow us on Instagram you may have heard us talk about this before, or seen plastic in our grocery hauls, so here is why:
There are certain situations where we feel comfortable and can justify the use of plastic, and in this particular case it is because of food waste. One third of all trash in landfill in Hong Kong is organic waste, and this is a big problem. Though organic waste decomposes, it actually can't do so organically (sorry I know) in landfills, and in the process releases huge amounts of methane. Methane is an extremely powerful greenhouse gas and it bad for both our health and the health of the planet. The positive message here is that we don't need to be producing this, in fact we can totally avoid sending ANY organic waste into landfill, and not only is it better for the environment but we can actually make really good use of it too. Of course the best way to do this in a household is through composting, but there are other ways to lessen general food waste around the world too. One of these ways is buying 'just about to be thrown out' food from the supermarket. I will be the first to tell you that more often then not expiry dates are stupid, but many supermarkets need to throw out food as soon as it hits it. Most of this food is totally safe to eat, and definitely doesn't need to be thrown out. So what can you do to help? You can buy it.
This is the one place in which we justify buying plastic; if we can save food from going to landfill, properly dispose of plastic, and at least get some use out of the damn thing before throwing it in the trash, then we don't mind buying it. Every time we are at the supermarket (esp if you go late at night and at the end of the week which is often when the discount items are out) we keep an eye out for massively discounted items, mainly produce. One time we got organic raspberries, originally $70, for $20! It was crazy, and the smoothie I made from them was delicious. Not only is this a great way to save some cash, but it is also helpful to the environment, and forces you to get a little creative in the kitchen! Even if you can't afford living 'the zero waste life', you can do this, and you can save yourself even more cash in the making. In many places in the world there are also whole STORES dedicated to discounted products, or companies like imperfect produce which send you 'the stuff the supermarkets don't want'. There are options all around that you may already be doing, except now you can be aware of the sustainability aspect of it too.
So yes, sometimes plastic does come into our house, but sometimes (at least for us) that can be the more eco-friendly option.