New Zealanders of an older vintage will remember when milk in towns was delivered in glass bottles, and goods weren't multi-layered in plastic. Those days may be making a comeback of sorts with an official attempt to put some plastic in the rear-view mirror.
Kiwis have an ignoble record on waste-creation. On average, we each throw away an estimated 159g every day. Our households go through about 1.76 billion plastic containers annually, and nearly 100 million plastic drink and milk bottles end up in rubbish bins.
And we are not great at food waste either - we bin $2.4 billion of food waste annually.
Government moves to ban hard-to-recycle products by mid-2025 will cull common items such as plastic cutlery, cotton buds, PVC meat trays and polystyrene takeaway containers. Drink stirrers, plastic plates and bowls, straws and fruit labels will be phased out.
It has drawn criticism from Greenpeace for overlooking plastic drink bottles, while supermarket chains say they are already phasing out single-use plastics. Countdown sustainability general manager Kiri Hannifin told RNZ "we do need help with innovation ... it's not just the packaging, we also urgently need to sort out our recycling infrastructure".
The new programme follows the ban on single-use plastic bags. People have quickly got used to paper and reuseable carry bags. Environment Minister David Parker said the 2019 move meant more than a billion fewer plastic bags have ended up in landfills or the ocean.
It's among a range of environmental actions that have fanned out to impact on everyday lives.
It wouldn't meet with the approval of the Auckland man who famously likes berms to be mowed, but letting green areas resemble hay paddocks has become a growing trend in England.
The No Mow May effort to help plants, insects and animals has, for instance, been adopted by Salisbury Cathedral with a decision to stop mowing the lawns once a year during May. Part of the area will be left unmown year round.
The Australian Capital Territory is also taking aim at plastic with the first phase of its single-use plastic ban starting this week.
Environmental issues are increasingly coming down to personal and mundane levels.
Plastic has long been emblematic of throwaway, disposable societies, yet the phase-out plan is also good news for people frazzled by how much rubbish accumulates in their homes. The quick, easy plastic option tends to stick around.
It is also welcome for those who like items with a bit of permanence and character rather than functional but meaningless. Even old nick-knacks our grandmothers owned tended to be made of metal, china or wood, while finer things such as plates and cups held their good looks for generations. It takes a bit of effort to find similar items these days that are worth keeping.
As with health problems, the key to avoiding plastic is prevention - providing better alternatives to going down the cheap, thoughtless and bad path.
Just like reusable shopping bags, the only time we'll remember our addiction to single-use plastics will be to wonder why we didn't change sooner.