As you all know, we are in Bali. We got here about a week ago and finally found a flat and moved in. We are so excited to be able to cook our own food and have a decent work space! So, obviously, one of the first things we did after settling in was to go shopping. Here is our adventure on our first plastic free shopping in Bali.
RATING: Difficult. But not impossible.
First thing first…most supermarkets in Bali are made for tourists. At least the ones that look more similar to western grocery stores. Also, they don’t sell real food in real quantities; they mostly sell noodles, sunscreen, shampoos and some packaged drinks, snacks and fruit (if you are lucky!). Obviously, we’ve decided to avoid those; it’s simply a combination of plastic with unhealthy stuff we don’t want to eat anyway.
Then, onto fruit. That was an easy one; we’ve been very lucky and we have a local fruit shop about at 3 minute walk from our house. We decided to give it a go and it turned out to be cheap and the fruit is really good. Yay! Only one thing to take into account: The Balinese tend to put everything in little plastic bags; watermelons, mangos, grapes,..there will even be some pre packaged fruit with plastic. Managed to avoid them and say no to plastic bags; we just got everything in our tote bags.
Next stop, vegetables. Nowhere to be found in the supermarket. Found one little local place with some vegetables; tomatoes, carrots, eggplant and other local vegetables. We forgot about the plastic bags for a second and boom, 7 tomatoes were in a tiny bag; reacted quickly enough to avoid having anything else in bags and kept going. Partial success. PS: We are now reusing that plastic bag the tomatoes were in for different things, so it hasn’t ended up in a landfill.
Eggs: Unfortunately, they came in a plastic egg container. Not great, but reusing it now every time we go and by them.
Finally, supermarket. We found a local supermarket for coffee, milk, sugar, mosquito repellent etc. No success in refusing plastic here. All Indonesian coffees, milk and sugar come in plastic containers and so does the mosquito repellent. Given that we don’t have a way to avoid it just yet, we are buying the biggest possible package in order to reduce the amount of times we buy them.
So, basically 4 products out of everything we bought is non reusable plastic. We’ll keep trying to get better and avoid it, until we get to a point where we are happy with the progress. But once again, just like @zerowastechef said, we don’t need a few people doing zero waste perfectly, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly.
We are not perfect, but we keep trying to get better. Have you started your zero waste journey?