Keynsham Voice March column: My zero waste journey, Erica Davies

In case you missed the Keynsham Voice this month you can read our column here:

I first heard about Zero Waste when I watched the film Trashed. What it showed me was so shocking that I decided, from then onwards, to try and live my life without generating any plastic waste.

I realised quite quickly that this was completely impossible, so instead I decided to avoid any plastic which I couldn’t recycle and try to put as little rubbish in my black bin as possible. Even that hasn’t been easy. The biggest change has been to alter the way I think when shopping. Rather than just thinking about the item I need, I also think about the packaging it comes with, and what I’m going to do with the item when it is no longer useful to me.

We’ve had some laughs along the way. I sent a machine back for repair (having debated long and hard about the economics of repair vs buying new) only for it to be returned in more packaging than you would believe possible. And Ryvita’s customer care suggested I save up all the black plastic from their products and take it to friends who live in council areas that do recycle black plastic!

Like anything new, it’s hard at first, but once you’ve found new ways of doing things it’s not that difficult. I now buy my milk in glass from the milkman. I have a local veg, fruit and meat box, and I use our local shops, which are great places to buy what I need with minimal packaging. I sometimes get things wrong, and there are items that I can’t currently find a way of buying without plastic packaging. But I’ll keep trying, looking for alternatives and emailing producers and retailers. Who knows, one day I may achieve my goal.

In the meantime, you can drop your plastic milk bottle tops off at Keynsham Town Council for Keynsham in Bloom’s art project on the impact of plastic. (


  • Buy local, bring your own bags
  • Ask shopkeepers – local and national – to change their packaging
  • Use scoop & weigh shops (like G&D); bring your own container
  • Invest in glass storage – or reuse jam jars (you can even freeze stuff in them!)
  • Buy a bamboo reusable takeaway coffee cup (Oxfam sell them)
  • Think: Repair first, then recycle.
  • Use the City to Sea refill app to find places to refill your water bottle
  • Online retailers offer non-plastic alternatives like reusable straws, bamboo toothbrushes & loofa scourers

Published in Keynsham Voice, March 2018,

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