Plastic or matka

Living in a place of perpetual rainbows and breath taking views, the plastic in our lives in jarring. We’re not going to start wearing clothes of hemp (just yet). But in a way to ditch the artificial, we made a small change. We went MUD.

Every so often we end up going to someone’s house and they have a colourful array of Tupperware water bottles in their fridge. We come home and look at our old and worn PET bottles and immediately buy new ones. Not Tupperware, but the cheaper stuff. And in a year or two, with every house move and transfer we ditch our PET bottles, buy new ones and the cycle repeats. And then there’s that murky debate about BPA (bisphenol A) leeching out over time.

My aunt and uncle have used glass bottles for years and the best quality ones are alcohol/wine bottles. So we decided to do the same. Unfortunately, since we cut drinking like we used to do, it’s just really difficult to accumulate a lot of bottles! At least I try to make my way through a bottle of wine over a few days, when we have access but my DH is no help. So the glass bottles failed to be a viable option.

When we made the 1600KM drive from Mungeli to Coimbatore we accumulated a lot of cheap plastic water bottles. Brands you’d only encounter on the highway – Majestic Water etc. When we reached our destination a pile of road-trip garbage and debris included  empty water bottles, sandwich crumbs, chips packets, and dog hair – oh a carpet’s worth. And we continued to fill up these bottles until they crumpled in on themselves.

Then we came across Mrs.Mallaiamma (not real name) and the terracotta bottles she sells.

She and her husband buy terracotta from a mass producer in Kerala. She is one of 4 sellers on a stretch of main road near Saibaba Colony in Coimbatore (11.027,76.95122).

Saibaba Colony

She helped us ditch the plastic and turn to mud.

After a few days of use and washing, the graininess goes and the water is cool and tastes clean. No breakages so far but at Rs.120 a bottle, we can afford to break a few. I encourage you to turn to mud.

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About nonsense girl

Galley slave, qualitative researcher working in development, married my best friend, writing about my life, my family, my dog, TV, Indian culture, astronomy and my garden. www.nonsensegirl.wordpress.com
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2 Responses to Plastic or matka

  1. Ganesh Gopalakrishnan says:

    The galley slave has left one at home and will now try to use it. I wounder if Malliamma will make the mud water jugs of a design that can be store in the fridge to make it super cold water.

  2. Wonderful. Love the beautiful pottery. Was at R station today and every single shop on the platform has a few dusty matkas stored on their shelves. I asked for a cup of whatever they sold in it but sady they all refused saying we don’t use them now.
    Have you encountered the Zero-Waste lifestyle movement?!

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