It’s a simple challenge this week. All you have to do is, have a look inside your bins and compare them to the photos you took back at the beginning of the program.

How did you do?

What was easy for you and what was hard? Share your wins and your disappointments in the Co-op Community Facebook Group.

I set three goals for myself:

Goal 1: Eliminate snack packaging. Success! I made biscuits and cereal bars (they were a hit and were eaten far too quickly) and made sure the pantry was stocked with packaging-free snacks and dried fruit.

Goal 2: Reduce pet food packaging by 50%. I bought one bag of kibble and one unpackaged chew treat, so it’s kind of a win. I didn’t get around to making any treats and I think it’s fair to say I’m unlikely to in the future. The compromise might be to just buy the biggest bag available direct from a supplier, instead of the little bags at the supermarket, to reduce the amount of packaging overall.

Goal 3: Reduce milk packaging by 50%. Hmm. We made cashew mylk four or five times, which did remove maybe one milk bottle from the waste cycle. Milk in glass bottles was only in stock on one trip to the supermarket, which was disappointing. Luckily the Co-op has just restocked bulk milk so we are able to completely remove milk bottles for the last week of July. So on balance, we will probably almost meet our goal, thanks to the Co-op!

What’s next for you?

Do you think you’ll be able to hold onto the new habits you’ve been practising?

We touched on habits briefly in Week 2 of the program, where we shared how to make habits stick (Refresher: make small changes and stack them onto existing habits). Going forward, we just need to keep going with that.

The first step is to have a look at what worked and what didn’t. What would you change to make it easier for you?

For me, I found that I never remembered to bring a tub to buy plastic-free meat for the dog while I was out of the house. So now I’ve made a plan to put a container in the shopping bag before it is stored. I might also put one in the boot of the car!

If you have a slip up, brush it off and get back on the wagon. One bad purchase or decision does not mean you have failed! You’ve already done remarkably well to reduce the amount of plastic you bring into the world and going forward you will only improve on that in the long-term.

Good luck on your plastic reduction journey!