Living Low Waste
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Plastic Free July …the weighing in

This is just a quick post to report on how much waste we produced in the month of July. I have weighed and counted all items.


You might think I have too much time on my hand to sort and weigh all the rubbish  but my aim is to be able to look back and see how much we actually produce and also I am hoping to be able to host some talks on reduced waste- waste free living, so I need some numbers to show people what is possible.

We had to buy a few new things in July so they came in some packaging. I hope that this is not going to be a regular occurrence. We bought a new lawn mower and a shelving unit for making a pantry. There are no pantries in these housing estate houses which is a shame, so we reserved a corner of the office to keep all our preserved food in a shelving unit (it has a door) I was searching online for weeks to see if I can get a second hand one, but no luck with anything in reasonable distance.

So, let’s see how we did in July:


14 Tetrapack milk cartons

1 small Tetrapack cheese carton

It is very difficult with milk here in Ireland, because it seems impossible to buy milk in glass bottles, let alone bottles that can be returned. This is crazy, since there are cows all over the fields and there are lots of dairy farms according to the internet. There are lots of small farms that make their own cheese etc…but none of them in a distance that I would like to drive every week. So until this changes we have to buy tetrapack. Tetrapack is recyclable but as far as I know it is a very costly and complicated process. I have no information on how much of the cartons that we bring to the recycling centre will actually be recycled. One can only hope.

Some would ask why we don’t give up milk altogether. I know that there is a huge environmental impact of animal agriculture, but at this stage we  don’t want to give up on milk or any other dairy products completely. We have reduced our dairy consumption somewhat already. I have been trying to research plant based milks, but they also come in tetrapack. And because nuts are not locally grown here I wouldn’t like to buy more to make nut milks. Then I heard/read about oat milks and this is what we are going to try.


10 brown beer bottle

1 white bottle (whiskey)

I am OK with bringing the beer bottles back to the recycling centre.

The rest of the glass that we buy gets reused for preserving and storing food.



In the paper bin there are miscellaneous pieces of paper, soft cardboard. Most of the brown cardboard gets torn up and added to our compost.



I have separated the plastic into two groups. Old, that have been in the house and usually pre zw purchases; and new that we bought or received (gifts etc…) in July.

Old plastic: 295g

New plastic: 33g

And then I separated the non recyclable plastics:

non recyclable plastic: 81g

recyclable plastic: 247g

Please note that I have no information on whether the recyclable plastic actually gets recycled or not. It is brought to the recycling centre anyhow.

And this leads to the final group which is the

landfill waste: 290g


Still there are lots of receipts and stickers. There was one toothpaste tub that M used up. We are not going to buy this or any other mainstream brand anymore. I have found one brand that is organic and uses no palm oil or microbeads in their toothpaste which is great.

So this is us in July. I hope we can further reduce what we can in August.



  1. Thanks for sharing the results of your Plastic Free July, it looks like you did a marvelous job at reducing your waste. This year was the first time I committed to PFJ and I was relatively pleased with our efforts. We joined a local organic home delivery service which has solved many of my shopping packaging problems. We still have way too much plastic coming into our house however I will take on one product at a time and either drop them or find package free alternatives. It’s good to have these challenges and great that many more people are becoming aware of the need to reduce plastic use.

  2. timikonya says

    Thank you Rhinophile. I agree this is great that more and more people are becoming more conscious about their purchases and waste.

    • timikonya says

      Thank you. We are delighted too. I got ours from Green People. Really good organic company. And the toothpaste is really nice.

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