After completing a bike ride from Sydney to Cairns in October 2018 and waiting out the wet season in Cairns, Sydney man Ed Philp set his sights on the next journey of his bike across Australia tour.
And as if riding your bike across Australia is not challenging enough, Philp is taking it one step further — he’s saying no to single use plastic and recording a YouTube video diary of the challenges he’s facing along the way.
What does removing single use plastic from a long haul bike ride entail? For Ed it meant removing some of his favourite foods; two-minute noodles, instant packaged pasta meals and energy bars. Plastic packaging issue aside, removing these products is a great move no matter what the motive!
Now that Philp has said no thanks to the above mentioned single use plastic packaged items, what does that leave him with? Fruit and vegetables found at groceries and markets along the way, along with a few items he pre-purchased in bulk, such trail mix he’s repackaged in an old peanut butter jar will be Philp’s dietary staples.
Although he believed food would be the biggest struggle on the journey, Philp was also concerned about travelling with items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo along with any plastic packaged items that one might use on a day-to-day basis.
Why not just use regular plastic packaged items to lessen the burden? Because part of the plastic free commitment involves taking any waste he generates with him on the journey to Darwin. Philp would prefer not to “roll into Darwin with kilos and kilos of plastic rubbish.”
To help make the travel a little easier EORTH supplied Philp with a selection of Plastic Free Travel essentials. One of the best travel companions it turns out is a versatile Bamboo Spork. Lightweight with a spoon on one end and a fork on the other, the biodegradable spork serves as an everyday utensil — perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
EORTH also set Philp up with a bamboo toothbrush and bamboo travel toothbrush holder, some Nelson Natural’s Activated Charcoal Plastic Free Toothpaste and a few other plastic free travel essentials that he’ll be highlighting on his YouTube channel (see link below).
The Plastic Free Travel Journey Begins
Philp departed Cairns on June 1, the beginning of the journey meant cycling up the steep, treacherous Kuranda Range — the beginning of the destination to Darwin.
Not only does Philp’s ride highlight issues surrounding single use plastic, it also draws attention to issues with highway waste. Day three finds Philp picking up a Dyson vaccum cleaner someone had misplaced on the side of the road. Upon arrival at Herberton the vacuum cleaner was safely discarded in a waste bin.
“You see so much weird stuff, along with rubbish, so much rubbish on the side of the road. (It’s) a shame . . . I might start picking some stuff up if I get the chance,” Philp states in Episode Two of his YouTube travel blog.
Ending up in Herberton Philp finds some Tupperware at the campsite which means he’s able to buy some bacon without single use plastic (and he’s now one happy camper). Onto Ravenshoe where the elation of finding plastic free bacon coupled with reaching the highest road in Queensland (1,162m) soon turns to disappointment when a local country bakery is not interested in his plastic free road trip. First he got a no to serving a pie in a paper bag then the bakery refused to sell him a loaf of bread without plastic, despite asking for it to be placed directly in his hand or to place it in one of his own bags.
I think it’s safe to say all plastic free warriors have felt that sheer disappointment at some time (okay on several occasions)! It’s no wonder we’re drowning in plastic.
You can follow Philps entertaining Plastic Free Bike Ride across Australia on the following social media channels:
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/edphilp/
Author Bio - Catherine Anne Earle
Catherine founded EORTH, an online plastic free store in July 2018.
Although she had always considered herself to be fairly environmentally conscious, it wasn't until she participated in a Plastic Free July challenge that she became more aware of how damaging plastics were to the environment.
Catherine has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Management and was the part-owner and founder of Sun Peaks Independent News, a community newspaper based in British Columbia, Canada.
Catherine now resides in her home town of Cairns and operates EORTH in the beautiful beachside suburb of Palm Cove, Queensland.