6 Weeks To Plastic Free
March 4th, 2021

6 Weeks To Plastic Free

Meet Jacqui Scruby. She was a lawyer until she decided a career change was in order. 

She now runs 6 Weeks To Plastic Free online courses for people who want to transition to a plastic-free lifestyle. Naturally, being planet-lovers ourselves, this piqued our interest, so we drilled her on the details.

What do you mean by plastic free?

I live (and advocate through my course) imperfectly plastic free. The 'plastic free' bit means cutting out all single use plastic from the home - no plastic packaging on food, cleaning products, bathroom products etc.  My course and lifestyle focuses on reducing weekly household waste so nothing gets sent to landfill and no plastic in the recycling bin. Accomplishing this is huge and exciting - and if everyone did it would be a significant way to address the global waste problem. Recycling is a myth - our 'recycling' gets shipped offshore where it can be illegally dumped. 
Of course I try to avoid multi-use plastic where possible but often it's needed to function in the society we live in. Additionally if I can reuse old plastic containers or buckets instead of buying new anything then I am comfortable with that. 
The imperfectly bit refers to being human. We are imperfect and it's important not to become anxious about plastic use (a term I've coined plastorexia). With being imperfectly plastic free - you live plastic free but occasionally and mindfully use plastic without guilt. 
Eg. If I'm reducing my waste by 400kg a year - no plastic in fridge, cupboards or under the skin - I'm not going to beat myself up about having an electric toothbrush with a tiny plastic head or worry about a plastic lid on a glass bottle. 

Why should we all go plastic free? 

91% of plastic ever produced hasn't been recycled. There are 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean. But you don't need statistics. You just need a trip to Asia or Europe to see the filth in the ocean first hand. Due to ocean currents Australia has incredibly clean beaches - it hides the reality. 
The reality is ocean plastic is from all of us. 'Recycling' gets shipped offshore at which point its counted as recycling. But there is no accountability and it can easily end up illegally dumped near a water way, ending up as ocean plastic. 
So my mission is to make quitting plastics easy, efficient and aspirational. Our planet needs every household to cut their waste by hundreds of kilograms per year - and it's possible. 
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What does your course teach us? 

Ultimately that a slow, plastic free life is rewarding and the single best thing you can do for the planet.  

My course is a bootcamp for going cold turkey plastic free. It teaches you the most efficient process and method for achieving a zero waste house. Starting with values, mindset and awareness through to a huge kitchen clear out to front end all your waste. Once that is done participants commit to no more plastic entering the house - and are supported in changing their shopping habits to be plastic free. I give specific products, shops and tips for different regions. For anything you can't find plastic free (crackers and tortillas) you learn how to make them. The end of the course delves into easy composting (hello Subpod!) nd looks at  broader environmental issues such as household emissions and how to leverage your spheres of influence to create greater change.


What's the hardest thing about going plastic free and how do you fix that? 

Going zero waste in London three years ago was almost impossible! But due to individual action (see it works) - the market has listened and it now far easier to live plastic free. The hardest thing currently is the time associated with shopping in different places and making some things from scratch. The way to fix that is process, practice and routine. By setting up the systems and processes and creating new habits  something hard becomes easy and streamlined - that's the aim of the course. Over time as more people adopt this lifestyle and companies see the demand, plastic free living will become easier and easier. 

What are three things we can do right now to decrease our plastic usage?

1. Sit down as a household and get clear on your values. Choose as a household that you want to cut your plastic use and commit to giving it a red hot crack for a few weeks to see if you can dramatically decrease your waste. Plastic Free July is a great time to commit. 

2. Do a kitchen clear out! Save a load of jars and then transfer everything in packaging into jars all in one go. This has so many benefits- you really get the ick for plastic as  you see the amount of packaging, you achieve 'shelf goals' with a pantry full of jars - but most importantly the NYC Broken Windows theory - if you don't have plastic in your kitchen you'll be less likely to buy it. 

3. Shop differently for a week - plastic free veggies, bulk food shop and butcher / fish shop. Have a chat to the shopkeepers and find out where your food is coming from. 


How do you stay healthy and balanced? 

Nutrition and diet wise this is easy! Healthy, wholefood eating is a co-benefit of living plastic free.  
It's probably more important to talk about mental health - I have a lot of anxiety. Staying healthy living plastic free is more about ensuring I'm not obsessive, that I'm teaching my kids values but not making them anxious. If I am flat out and have to do a Woolies run to feed the kids, I don't beat myself up. I use it as an opportunity to look at the plastic generated and think how grateful I am that this is a one-off and we don't generally have it in our lives. 

Do you have any fab, easy healthy recipes to share?

Yes! I focus on all the things that are hard to find plastic free.
My cracker recipe is literally seeds and water! Click here to access it and 3 other recipes. 

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