We’ve completed Week 2 of the 1MW Plastic-Free Challenge, and it’s been such an eye-opener. I’ve failed some more this week and, similar to last week, have learned some long-lasting lessons. I really am grateful for having participated in this challenge so far, and for the opportunity to challenge my everyday behaviours and assumptions!

Without further ado, here are my latest failures…


Today I was arriving home after a few days away and needed bread at the last minute. I headed to the bakery, thinking I’d pick up a loaf and put it in paper. Due to my being in a rush I ended up grabbing a sliced loaf in a plastic bag – but I did speak to the cashier about my options.

Next time – I’ll know that I can grab a loaf off the shelf, have them slice it, and take it in a paper bag or a bag of my own. I do need to investigate keeping it fresh, however.

Takeaway Thai

Whilst staying with family we ordered Thai food to takeaway. We took it in the traditional plastic containers, but it did give me an opportunity to speak to the restaurant about future options. They were very willing to put our food into reusable containers we provide, in future.

Next time – I’ll ask the restaurant when we’re ordering, whether they’ll fill our own containers. I’ll be more organised, and avoid these plastic containers.


Do you assume you can buy milk in one litre cardboard cartons, should you choose? You can’t, necessarily.

This was the mistake I made last week, thinking I could buy milk (for my son) in a cardboard carton to avoid the plastic. Shopping in Coles, however, I found I couldn’t and so I found myself having to buy the plastic bottle.

Next time – I really don’t know what I’ll do here. I guess I’ll look into whether there are milk cartons available anywhere else.

Here’s What I Refused

There were a few items I would usually have bought this week, that I refused because of the plastic. These included cut watermelon (and no, I didn’t want to buy a whole one), and dip (as in crackers and dip).

I’m learning through this challenge that avoiding plastic sometimes means missing out on stuff. It’s one of the interesting and challenging parts of the experience.

Lessons I’m Learning

I’m finding this whole experience super interesting on a number of levels.

For example, I’m starting to really question packaging. Something might appear to be packaged in foil, but is it really just a foil-like plastic packaging?

I’m also starting to see the challenge of refusing plastics as a different type of ‘diet’, food-wise. I predominantly plant-based in my diet, and until recently have gravitated towards processed meat-free alternatives such as tofu and plant-based meats. But guess what? Those come in plastic. So avoiding plastic is like a whole other diet – one based predominantly on whole foods!

One of the beautiful lessons so far is that change is sometimes only a simple question away. My conversations with the Thai restaurant and the bakery show that businesses are often quite willing to help us avoid plastic, if we only ask, and provide another option.

In any case, the challenge is a great filter through which I’m questioning my own assumptions and the way we live. I have no doubt I will have made permanent changes during this month.

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