RECYCLING: Say no to the plastic straw, buy recycled shopping bags, do not use takeaway containers, support stores that use biodegradable containers, and support local markets where fruits and veggies do not come in heavy plastic packaging.
DURBAN - If the designers of my small car only knew how much stuff I cram into my tiny boot, I’m sure they’d create a special world record just for my car.

It’s not just extra stuff like an extra pair of heels, an emergency LBD or a jacket.

It’s recyclables. And tons of it.

I ride around Durban like a holy saint of recycling, happiness in my heart, but sometimes with a really bad smell emanating from my car boot (those mango pickle bottles!).

In fact, it irks my husband no end that my car boot has become a recycling “dump”, which has led to endless arguments, with him threatening to present my boot to the judge as evidence for grounds for divorce.

RECYCLING: Say no to the plastic straw, buy recycled shopping bags, do not use takeaway containers, support stores that use biodegradable containers, and support local markets where fruits and veggies do not come in heavy plastic packaging.

It can’t be helped - how does one nonchalantly toss away something that can be recycled?

I would be contributing to the stats: according to the UN Environment Programme, 13 million tons of plastic leaks into the ocean each year.

That could be right off our own eastern shores.

Feeling much like the lady in the video for 2018’s World Environment Day, celebrated on Tuesday, June 5 (check out our AR clip), I too, have had a bad relationship with plastic. It’s everywhere we go, from the bottled water to the straws for the cool drink can, shopping packets - it’s everywhere.

It’s become part of normal life - but should it?

This year’s theme for environment day is “Beat Plastic Pollution” with a very strong call that “if you can’t reuse it, refuse it”.

A strong lesson indeed.

Something that when I start implementing it, possibly won’t result in a car boot full of “crap” - and a saved marriage.

Say no to the plastic straw, buy recycled shopping bags, do not use takeaway containers, support stores that use biodegradable containers, and support local markets where fruits and veggies do not come in heavy plastic packaging.

But what are we doing to reduce all this plastic being produced in our environment in the first place?

RECYCLING: Say no to the plastic straw, buy recycled shopping bags, do not use takeaway containers, support stores that use biodegradable containers, and support local markets where fruits and veggies do not come in heavy plastic packaging.

Albi Modise, a spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Affairs, said the concept of a “circular economy” was being implemented, much like what is being done overseas in countries like Germany, Sweden and France.

“The economy has mainly operated on a ‘take-make-dispose’ model. The circular economy keeps resources within the economy when a product has reached the end of its life so that they can be productively used again and again, and hence create further value. This transition to a circular economy shifts the focus to reusing, repairing, refurbishing, re-purposing, recycling and up-cycling,” he said.

For now, it’s time to clear out the boot, but also to think twice before purchasing something that cannot be reused, and #BeatPlasticPollution.

If you know of creative ways in which plastics are being used, please share your comments, videos and images with us at [email protected]