One of the many interesting things about trying to live without plastic is the balance of the big plastic things and the little plastic things.
Big things are the everyday things, like not taking plastic bags when I’m out shopping, finding plastic-free food, or shampoo that doesn’t come in a plastic bottle. And in lots of ways they’re easier to solve than the little things. Once I’ve given them up or found an alternative, that’s pretty much it - well, theoretically at least.
The little things are those items that I don’t use very often, or need only occasionally. New knickers, for instance. I have to buy them singly now, rather than in a pack, because packs tend to come in plastic bags. Or they do in Marks and Spencer’s, which is my staple underwear-buying destination.
This week is a typical example of one of the little things. It is portfolio time on my MA course. That means writing up, printing out, and handing in a big chunk of coursework. Said coursework is expected to be presented in a certain way, all of the pages held together in a nice, neat folder. But could I find a cardboard folder for my work? Could I, heck. Or, where I was lucky enough to track one down, they were in a pack of five that’s sealed in plastic, which rather defeated the object of the exercise.
The solution? No folder was the only solution I could find. I resorted to backing the pile of pages with a piece of plain card, threading the pages together with a piece of ribbon. Hopefully my tutors will find it acceptable… I thought ribbon was prettier than string anyway.