Get to know Catherine in 60 seconds with the four questions below, addressing Catherine’s personal opinions on the causes, challenges and solutions around reuse

Here at Unpackaged, we have all been heartily doing our bit for Plastic Free July, but there is no denying how hard it is. Once you take stock of how much single-use plastic you have around the house, it can be very daunting. There is so much of it.

In the midst of all this I realised Catherine was doing this in 2006 when the availability and variety of plastic-free products was extremely limited compared to now, so for a bit of inspiration I thought I’d ask her how she tackled it and how it compares to now.

Q1. What was the first change you made in eliminating single-use plastic from your household?

The easiest thing I found to replace, was all the household cleaners but that was mainly thanks to Ecover refills. That was 20 years ago. It really is amazing how many different options we have now, both in terms of the suppliers and their wide range of products.

After that, it was probably buying loose fruit and vegetables from markets, rather than the supermarket.

Toiletries were a bit harder but thankfully they have become really easy to get in recent times, with the huge growth of plastic free options. I buy all mine from a company online called Shea Alchemy and I just post the pots back for refills.

Q2. What did you find the most difficult product to replace?

Finding the right shampoo to refill was hard. I went through lots of different shampoo bars and had very greasy looking hair until I got it right, but y’know first world problems! I would say to anyone in the same boat to persevere as you will eventually find the right product for your type of hair.

Q3. Are there any products that you use that still come in single-use plastic?

Yes, and it is very frustrating. Yogurt! I keep meaning to make my own but I haven’t quite got round to it.

And toothpaste, I tried the tabs but they made my mouth burn and the block tasted like soap. I know I need to go back and solve it!

Q4. Any advice for anyone attempting to have a go at eliminating single-use plastic?

I would say to start small but be committed! We are the choices we make so try to keep making good choices every time you go to buy something and it all becomes a lot more manageable.


Tamsin Morris – Office Manager, Unpackaged

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