Plastic – when it was first invented it was seen as the miracle material. There was nothing it could not be used for, toys, furniture, packaging of all kinds, clothing, car manufacture the list is endless. Plastic has actually been around for 100 years, Bakelite was invented in 1907. Testament to it’s longevity is the fact you can still find old Bakelite radios and phones in antique shops today. And thereby is the problem with plastic, due to its chemical make-up it lasts a long time!
The ubiquitous single use plastic bag, so favoured by supermarkets was first unleashed on us in 1979. But, It was not until 1982 supermarkets began to offer them free to an only to willing public. In the year 2016 – 2017 in the UK alone, we used 2.12 billion of them! Plastic drinks bottles present us with even more eye-watering numbers. Again in the UK alone it is estimated we use 35.8 million of them a day! By my O-level maths reckoning that’s some 12.77 billion a year
To Solve A Problem, Firstly You Need To Know You Have One.
Fortunately, thanks to programs like the recent Blue Planet 2 series and conservationists, many of us now realise we do have a serious problem. Although if we are honest with ourselves, how often have we all walked along a beach or down a country lane and not failed to notice all manner of plastic bottles, bags, fishing nets etc etc. It’s a problem that has been quietly growing under our very eyes for decades, and we can now no longer ignore it, or hope someone else will clear it up. Luckily in the UK the majority of local authorities offer kerb side recycling of many plastics, but an awful lot are non recyclable. These plastics tend to be wrappers and bags of the type used for foodstuffs like sweets, crisps and even dishwasher tablets.
How Can I Use Less Plastic?
OK, I’ll be honest with you here. I mentioned dishwasher tablets as it is a tenuous link to a way to make your own eco-friendly dishwasher tablets. They do not require little plastic bags that will only end up in landfill or be seen blowing around the countryside. Heck they don’t even need a cardboard box to put them in, although you could use a recycled one to store them if you like. Even better they are cheaper per tablet than the ones you buy – what’s not to like!
How To Make Your Own Dishwasher Tablets
Here’s where I cop out! This was not my “recipe” I found it at Striving for Simple. This is a great site run by Steph Mullen, so to save me getting typists cramp here is a link to her page where you can learn to make your own tablets with everyday cupboard store items.
One thing I will stress to you is do take her advice regarding step 3. I did not and spent some minutes trying (in vain) to stop the mixture erupting from the ice cube tray, typical impatient bloke eh!
+ easy to make using readily available items.
+ cheaper than shop bought, so save you money
+ fun to make, you could involve the kids – though mine thought it funnier to watch me panic due to ignoring advice in step 3.
+ they do work
+ if, like us you are great tea drinkers, they will struggle to remove tannin from stained mugs. This can be easily overcome by giving them a quick pre-scrub.