Bristol woman gives up plastic for 40 days and nights

Emily Smith
Image caption Ahead of her challenge, Emily Smith has had to eat the contents of the fridge

A marine environment consultant is going plastic free for Lent.

Emily Smith, from Filton, Bristol, is giving up single-use plastic for 40 days to see if she can live without it.

Ahead of the challenge, the 24-year-old has had to eat everything in her fridge "to make sure it's empty of plastic items".

"I'm going to have to dramatically change my lifestyle to avoid pre-made meals, last-minute supermarket shops and eating on the go," she said.

Ms Smith, a volunteer for the Marine Conservation Society, not only wants to "highlight just how much we depend on the stuff" but encourage people to "think twice abut single-use products".

"It serves one person and goes straight in the bin," she said.

"The result is plastic floating in our seas. It's a bigger problem than many people think - we're not just littering, we're changing the composition of the sea world-wide."

'Going really well'

As part of the challenge of living without plastics, multi-use items such as storage boxes and a toothbrush are allowed but anything packaged or wrapped in plastic is not.

Image caption She is using bars of shampoo, deodorant and toothpaste - but pills and tablets are a "real problem"

"I've put all my shampoos and cosmetics to one side and bought lots of naked, natural products - shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and toothpaste - in bar form," she said.

"And I've been to all the great selection of independent shops in Bristol, fruit and veggie shops, bakery stores and so far it's going really well."

With milk delivered by a local milkman, bin bags replaced with old vegetable sacks and shopping for groceries with re-usable bags, there are only a few products proving to be a challenge.

"Toilet paper has been very difficult, I'm having to buy the two rolls in a paper wrapper," she said.

"And pills and tablets - I've not come across that yet but that's going to be a real problem."

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