The 18th March Project – Post 8

Plastic Free July part 2

Medicine comes in plastic. I don’t only mean pills, I mean the ingredients for ‘natural’ remedies too.

Maybe not if you have your own kitchen garden, or frequent a grocery store where the grocer funnels your purchases into a little paper cone that he ties up with string.

I’m recovering from an allergic reaction to something – I don’t know what the trigger is yet – and I chose not to go to the doctor unless I really felt terrible.

Why? Because I pop a lot of Panadol, for my rather frequent headaches. I figure, at least once in a while, I owe my body a chance to eliminate the problem without the aid of something synthetic.

So I drank kokum juice, a remedy people from the Konkan coast recommend. The syrup came in a plastic can.

I made a decoction of jeera aka cumin. Again, the ingredients came in plastic.

I slathered Lacto Calamine on the bumps. Guess what kind of bottle that comes in? (Alright, hardly a ‘natural’ remedy… )

The good thing about using these ingredients is none of them will go to waste even if I never again need them to calm my skin. And I suppose I can recycle the bags, etc. that they came in.

Please don’t misunderstand me- I’m not saying one should put oneself in harm’s way just to cut down on the amount of plastic one brings home.

I’m an adult who monitored her state closely for the duration of the reaction, and one who is lucky enough to live in a place with good emergency services.

It does make me think, though. If I’d been ill enough or scared enough to go to the doctor, would I have verified with the doctor if I actually needed all the medicines prescribed? Would I have considered asking the pharmacist to give me only as much medicine as I needed instead of the whole box? Would we have discussed what I could do with the ‘extras’, how to dispose of them properly?

Probably not. Maybe I should. Next time.