Talking Tables' Product Developer Lauren decided to undertake a challenge of avoiding buying any plastic for the month of March. She chats through her experience, and how easy this is in today life:
'At the end of February, I made the decision to try and avoid buying any plastic for the entire month of March. In my role as Product Developer on the games team at Talking Tables it has been a priority to explore ways in which we can move away from the use of plastic wherever possible, and I found myself researching the effects that plastic has on our planet more and more; both for work and out of personal interest. From the terrifying information I was reading, and images I was seeing, I made the decision to have a plastic-free month to see just how easy it would be to cut plastic out of my life completely.
To begin with, things seemed pretty easy, I had to make a few small adjustments in the first few days, but nothing too extreme. However, the first time I went to a supermarket to do a proper shop, I was both appalled and completely mind-blown by the amount of plastic being used. This might sound ridiculous, as I probably should have realised before just how much plastic packaging is in use, but it did appear that only when I completely banned myself from buying any plastic were my eyes opened to the extent of the problem. I would challenge anyone and everyone to try and do just one standard ‘weekly shop’ without buying anything in plastic. From my experience, it was impossible.
Thankfully, I was already signed up to a vegetable box subscription, which is a massive help in avoiding supermarket plastic. Unfortunately, some items are still delivered in plastic and, even worse, when it rains, the vegetable company will wrap the box in plastic to protect it, which is understandable but not ideal!
Aside from this, I did experience a fair few other fails. From ordering a birthday present online from a highstreet store that was delivered in a plastic bag, to buying bread that I thought was wrapped in paper but was actually in a material coated in a way that made it non-recyclable. Day to day life was an absolute plastic minefield.
On the upside, I was introduced to some amazing stores and brands, including the Hackney City Farm zero-waste shop, Get Loose. They sell a huge range of dry foods in pick ’n’ mix style dispensers, as well as having big vats of cleaning products that you can refill your own containers with, and the most delicious natural yoghurt and milk that come in glass bottles. I have heard of lots of these zero-waste style independent shops popping up and would thoroughly recommend them for anyone willing to reduce the amount they throw away.
I soon came to realise that this challenge would be a life altering experience. One can’t exactly recognise the immense problem of plastic and then choose to go back to ‘normal’ life once the month is over! While I cannot claim that I will be completely plastic free for the rest of my days, I have promised myself to do everything that I possibly can to reduce plastic consumption, both in my home life and in the products I develop. It is our shared initiative at Talking Tables to reduce single use plastic wherever we can, and on games that means, as a starting point, removing plastic tamper seals, polybags, and plastic lamination where possible.
I am also very excited to have partnered with the charity Ocean Generation on a new range of children’s games for AW21. Ocean Generation have evolved from Plastic Oceans UK, who have an award-winning documentary on Netflix titled A Plastic Ocean. This film highlights the extent of the plastic waste in our oceans, and I would urge anyone with an interest in protecting our planet to watch it. I’m so glad to have the opportunity to support such a charity through these games and can’t wait for them to launch later in the year.
To summarise, going 100% plastic free wasn’t by any means easy, but it was an invaluable experience that has certainly given me a fresh outlook. I would definitely recommend giving it a go to anyone looking for a challenge!'