…..is hard. Here’s an update. So far we are totally about 4o items that contain some plastic and 4 plastic wrappers each.
It has been pouring down here (with a light dusting of snow – sigh!), so we have been sitting in a lot of cafes in an effort to keep warm and sometimes try to log on to what they advertise as wifi but is in fact an exercise in optimism. Something I am rapidly running out of.
When we sit we have to buy a drink. Here they serve milk tea. A confusing name because it contains no tea at all. It is a dash of milk a lot of hot water, a dollop of grease (butter?) and enough salt to make your lips twist. It tastes…..another sigh! I’ve tried, I really have – but I don’t like hot milk at the best of times. And these are most definitely not the best of times!
So we have been drinking a lot of plastic related beverages. Never a beverage from a plastic bottle! I’ll never sink that low but glass bottles with plastic lined lids, plastic lined cans and the occasional tea bag (which of course contains plastic). You can find out more about these sneaky plastics here.
This adds up to around 2 items a day each.
When we have access to hot water we are making our own tea with loose leaves we bought in China.
For water we are using our Steripen to sterilize tap water.
But we have been trekking and camping in yurts so have had to buy some of our food. Outside of Ulan Batur the choice is poor. There are markets but they sell mostly pre packed processed food – plastic packed sweets, plastic wrapped processed sausages, instant noodles and packet soup. The only fresh food is weird buttery cheesy stuff that looks like grimy wax and tastes mildly yet unpleasantly of rancid butter. There are a few shriveled fruit and veg that are extremely expensive and meat. And lots and lots of meat. All around sheep are being skinned or carved up into bloody chunks. Furry feet are discarded on the floor, and once a sheep head staring up from the park bench where it had been absently left.
But we have had to eat something while huddled in our yurt and so we have bought 3 plastic wrapped loaves of bread and 3 packets of biscuits. Rather then leave them out in the national park rubbish bins I burnt the wrappers on the fire. There were simple polythene and so (it is claimed) safe to burn.
Back in Ulan Batur and our hotel gave us a sandwich for breakfast. It was included in the price and made as we thought in house. Today they served it in a plastic box. I ate it anyway. And I bought another packet of real coffee. Plastic packed of course.
With all this plastic packaging hardly surprising then that there is quite a lot of plastic trash. Everyday we litter picked in the national park collecting huge amounts of bottles.
Waste disposal methods in the city also leave a lot to be desired. Plastic bags are dumped in the street to to be collected by truck at some point. Stray animals scrabble through it looking for food. Then bin men go through the garbage first looking for cans. Inevitably some plastic rubbish escapes in the process.
Check out our FB album for updated photos.
CAMFORR Keep It Real Keep It Clean
So for Plastic Free July I am begging everyone to join in campaigning for real rubbish. You can read about it here.
Keep Our Glass
And asking folks to sign the petition asking Dairy crest to keep their refillable glass milk bottles.
In the pack
Rummage in our plastic free backpack here