The Plastic Industry Wants Us To Be Scared and Silent

Anita Horan with a local growere\ at a roadside stall

I watched a movie recently and there was a scene where a man entered a room, agitated, disappointed and kicking the ground. I said to my husband, “That’s how I felt when the pandemic hit just after we had our ALDI win“. The virus has completely sabotaged our amazing work in our fight against wasteful plastic.

But here we are, the first pandemic in our lifetime, what can we do but navigate this incredibly intense, and unknown territory?

I haven’t posted much about plastic lately, because I think it’s insensitive and inappropriate to use my usually blunt voice, in a time where people are very frightened. And the Coronavirus (COVID-19) does require our respect so I have, like the rest of the world, pivoted to taking about it.

But for today, let’s talk about some of the business issues and opportunities affected by Mr Covid’s arrival. I saw one supermarket has replaced almost all the tissues with their own brand, and I believe, tripled the price. I think that is pretty evil, what about all the other smaller tissue companies out there who suddenly don’t have space on their shelf? Or had they simply run out? I have a gut feeling it’s not the latter.

I saw one supermarket has replaced almost all the tissues with their own brand, and I believe, tripled the price. I think that is pretty evil…

And, in relation to changes, I had been following closely the supermarket’s (primarily Woolworths) desire to shift to home delivery. And their desire to pack heavily in plastic to speed up the buying process and to work with the new automated app, where you simply grab your groceries and walk out of the store. I feel this pandemic is an opportunity for these companies to move forward in their plans, with all social objections gone overnight. People are leaning toward plastic as they prefer their food sealed… the plastic industry, which was reeling under our pressure, is now going to go bonkers, wrapping everything with no one objecting.

So, while the air and water are becoming cleaner, plastic pollution, including medical protective gear, is going through the roof.

I don’t feel this is the time to object, to scream, “Stop it already!” and throw a tantrum. Rather, I feel it’s a time for fluidity. Even many of us, desiring a low waste life, have purchased items we never would have a few months back, we have prepacked food in our cupboard, for fear the supermarket shelves may become empty in a few months. This is no time for guilt, it’s a time for survival.

So, what can we do? Do we simply drop everything we know about the hazards of plastic pollution?

Anita Horan with her homegrown pumpkins and visiting a roadside stall.
During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we can try to grow some of our own food (it’s fun!), plus we can support local growers by visiting roadside stalls.

I personally feel we need to continue buying nude food and cooking food at home that has a low plastic footprint. Here is a little cooking video I made to help inspire you.

 

Plastic Free Lasagna recipe now ready 😁👩‍🍳😍

This video is subtitled.

Posted by Anita Horan on Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Each country has different food items available, but whole pumpkin, nude potatoes and sweet potatoes and any #PlasticFreeProduce is great. Wash it thoroughly and maybe wait a day or two if we’re worried about the virus. But know that the virus survives on plastic too, so plastic packaging itself can be a hazard. Goodness, everything seems to be a risk now.

I believe that while it’s a time for a much gentler voice, we still need to support our beliefs with our actions where possible. Just before all this happened, ALDI promised to no longer have plastic bag rolls with their banana display. We were fortunate to have some very supportive media articles and I saw an overnight increase in people buying nude bananas. Let’s not allow this momentum to dissipate. Let’s keep showing by our own example, as we purchase as much nude food as possible. Maybe a little twist is that we place the food in a bag, box or basket to show other people there are easy plastic free solutions that don’t require the food touching the shopping cart.

Anita Horan shows it is possible to still shop plastic free during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
We can still make an effort to shop for #PlasticFreeProduce during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

For the foreseeable future, you will hear the gentler side of my voice in relation to plastic packaging. But when this is all over, damn we’re going to have a lot of work to do, to undo this plastic pollution mess, and the germ paranoia in the public. But for now, let’s make pumpkin soup, play Scrabble and smile at strangers.

P.S. If you have any suggestions to reduce plastic during this time of crisis, please let me know below.

P.P.S. If you’re bored in lockdown / self-isolation, you could read my small eBooks, Plastic Girl and Is This Me?

One Reply to “The Plastic Industry Wants Us To Be Scared and Silent”

  1. Holy cow I agree. Signs were printed for my local grocery store where customers are not allowed to use their own bags. But the store does automatically use paper bags….. But yes we are backsliding with this dumb COVID

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