We are writing this post from home, still shocked by the situation.
We know that you are feeling the same way and first of all we want to try and lift your spirits sending you some good energy. We will overcome this crisis, just like we will the climate crisis, we will achieve it together. We are sure of it.
We also suspect that, during this time of isolation there are many questions crossing your mind about how to continue living plastic-free: Is it possible to live through this quarantine period without buying plastic? Is it safe to continue buying in bulk at this point in time? Where can we buy things online without the need for plastic?
Therefore, we have decided to write this article offering you advice to help you to live through this isolation period with as little plastic as possible.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO LIVE THROUGH THIS LOCK DOWN PERIOD WITHOUT BUYING PLASTIC?
The truth is, that the answer to that question depends on your circumstances: Do you live in a town or in a city?, Do you have bulk stores close by or are they far away?, How many basic non-perishable foods (legumes, pasta, rice, tins and preserves) did you have in your pantry before the coronvirus hit and you had to stay home?
In any case, even if it is impossible to avoid plastic completely, we also know that it is still possible to reduce or keep your use to an absolute minimum, even in this situation.
“How?” I hear you ask. To start with, let’s take stock of your actual needs (do you really need everything you buy?) and let’s consider making some of your own products at home.
And when it comes to products you just have to buy, with no other option… please keep reading.
IS IT STILL SAFE TO BUY FOOD IN BULK?
According to this article from National Geographic, the virus survives longer on plastic when compared with other surfaces, up to 3 days. So, it doesn’t really make sense to think that buying food in plastic packaging is safer than buying food in bulk.
The important thing here is to respect and comply with the health recommendations: don’t touch your face whilst shopping, maintain a safe distance between you and others and choose to buy from smaller retailers and wash your hands with soap after doing the shopping (or hand sanitiser if you don’t have access to a tap and soap).
It goes without saying, take your own fabric produce bags. Alhough the virus survives less time on fabric, if you want you can disinfect them with your regular laundry powder or liquid (Marseille olive oil soap works) by setting your washing machine to a minimum of 50ºC. Xavier Abad, Head of the IRTA-CReSA Biocontainment Unit and Associate Professor at Barcelona’s UAB University, explains this topic for us in this article from La Vanguardia.
WHERE CAN I BUY BASIC ESSENTIAL PLASTIC-FREE PRODUCTS ONLINE?
If you live in the city and you can do your plastic-free shopping without any trouble, we encourage you to support small local retailers: spend your money at your closest market or in the bulk corner stores. Small businesses need you more than ever.
If this is not possible and you don’t have shops nearby, or if you live in a town or village inwhich there isn’t even a supermarket, you can do your shopping for staple products online from small businesses and producers that also need your support right now.
Here we have put together a list (and if you know of any others you can let us know in a comment and we will include it):
- Bread: hese days it is possible to buy artesan breads online on many different websites. You just have search the internet for organic artesan bakers near you, you are bound to find one you like.
- Fruit and vegetables: over the last few years lots of options have sprung up online. There are various organic veggie box providers and cooperatives that offer to send your box straight to your home. Given their ideology they too often look to use little if any plastic, and you can always ask nicely if they would be prepared to avoid plastic making its way into your box.
- Tins, preserves and vegetable oils: you can buy tinned beans and legumes and vegetable preserves in jars on the internet. Oils are also easy to get your hands on these days from various producer’s online shops. You can research the products you need and often you find out more about how they are produced when dealing direct.
- Yoghurt: Many small dairy companies offer their products plastic-free straight from their online shops. All you have to do is look for a brand that packages their yoghurts and dairy-based desserts in glass. Then, don’t forget to include a message in the notes/comments section pointing out that you would prefer not to have any plastic included in your order.
- Cheese: Now is the time to look into small local cheesemakers in your region. You may find they can offer you their products online and zero waste. You can consider whether you want organic cheese and/or one that guarantees animal welfare. You may find it is better to buy a whole cheese so that the producer is able to send it to you plastic-free. Remember to specify this is your preference when you place your order.
PLASTIC-FREE HYGIENE AND CLEANING PRODUCTS
- Toilet paper: when buying toilet paper in bulk and free of plastic packaging there are various options. You just need to have a look for a website near you. “Who gives a crap” is one available in some English speaking nations. Get together with your neighbours and family members so you can buy large quanities of recycled toilet paper to offset the delivery. This way you can avoid the fights over toilet paper in the supermarkets we have seen of late 😉
- Personal hygiene: at Sinplástico you will find many essential personal hygiene products such as: solid toothpaste, dental floss and toothbrushes, soaps, shampoos, deodorants, moisturising creams and body oils, brushes and combs, and menstruation products.
- Pet care: You can also take care of your furry loyal friend during this lock down with this shampoo bar made with animal hair in mind, available from our online shop.
- Detergents and cleaning cloths: in our e-shop you will find biodegradable cellulose and cotton cleaning sponges, and also Marseille olive oil soap flakes to make your own homemade laundry detergent and stain removing soaps for clothes and household fabrics, such as the sofa.
PLASTIC-FREE BABY CARE PRODUCTS:
- Nappies: if you need to buy some new reusable nappies (also known as diapers) because your little one has grown out of their current size, or if you are trying to track down some training underpants because the smallest person in your house is just starting to outgrow nappies (these things don’t wait for quarantines to be lifted), now is the time to get online and do some research to find a local eco-friendly brand that can offer you an online service. In order to avoid any plastic sneaking into your order, don’t forget to leave a message in the notes section.
- Reusable wipes and other products: at Sinplástico you will discover nappy rash creams and soaps specifically formulated for sensitive skin, as well as thermometers, glass and stainless steel baby’s bottles and natural rubber and medical silicon dummies.
Remember that Sinplástico is still open and operating (you can read more in our post about how and why), and you can place your order for the everyday staples you need and they will come straight to your door in a matter of days. To compensate you for any potential delays your order may experience during delivery we are offering free delivery for orders over €29.
Finally, we would like to send our encouragement and a big hug to all those who are suffering from this virus, as well as the professionals who are on the front line of this battle (healthcare workers, carers, couriers, and shopkeepers) helping everyone concerned.
Like in the fight against plastic, each and every one of us counts and makes a difference.
Do you need any of your basic plastic-free staples to help you live through the lock down?
Place your order today and you will receive it in the next few days
P.S. If you have found this post helpful, we would really appreciate it if you could share it on social media. Thanks for being there and for trusting in Sinplástico.