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Reducing the use of Plastics
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gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 6360
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 18 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reducing the use of Plastics  Reply with quote    

In plural, as there are so many varieties.

Some are not made from oil. Are they just as bad?

How is everyone reducing their personal use of plastic?
Sometimes it can be necessary..but what did we do before plastic?

Please discuss

gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 6360
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 18 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm changing over to glass or metal for storage . However you can't use these to freeze food.
I already use glass (or sometimes ceramic) in the microwave oven.
landfill rubbish goes straight to the bin without plastic bags..

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26621
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 18 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Reducing yes, making it a factor in buying decisions, wondering where the pressure points are? carrier bags got reduced massively so what is the next target?

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14964
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 18 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Plastic bottles, I would think.

I made beeswrap a couple of weeks ago. I’m making some more in a week or two, I’ll try and remember to take pictures.

Fee



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 15902
Location: Surrey Heath
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 18 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think it'll be plastic bottles, since making a more conscious effort again, because it had slipped significantly since Willow came along, I've noticed how many plastic bottles make it into our lives.

One aree that has to be reversed is the shrink wrapping of individual fruit and veg, such as Swedes! That's fairly new, too. I mean, honestly, why on earth did somebody ever think an item such as a Swede needed to have shrink wrapping and where did that decision cone from? I wonder if it was cheaper than the thick label for the bar code that they used to use? Probably.

Our buying habits have changed, Arthur and I go round the supermarket and every item with plastic packaging gets discussed. It's the single use plastics, the film on stuff that can't be recycled. Anyway, we don't buy it if it has it unnecessarily. It means less variety in fruit and veg but so be it.

I appreciate that going round the supermarket is part of the problem, too, but at the present time in my life the supermarket is a necessary evil, I can't be going from shop to shop to get what I need. I've heard Nantwich has a pretty thriving market so we'll use that when we move, if it's right.

On a household level, it helps greatly having a 7yo who declares, "op, single use plastic!" at anything that comes in that has a film. He got really, really upset when he did his last big Lego kit because of all the individual bags inside, all single-use. He thought it meant he wasn't going to be able to have Lego any more and Lego is life to Arthur

I have noticed as shift in people's attitude though, the "blue planet effect" is real. Previous to that episode my comments on plastic use in the fruit and veg aisles were ignored, people would look the other way but lately people are agreeing and entering into conversation about how unnecessary things are, which is great. I've also noticed many friends on Facebook, who I wouldn't have necessarily said were that interested before, talking about it, posting about it, joining in discussion about it. Which is all good if the momentum is kept up.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10044

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 18 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

One thing I do is reuse any plastic bags as many times as I can. We used to use paper bags before plastic came in btw.

Agree about single use bottles. I always put them in recycling, but going back to glass with a deposit if necessary would be a good idea, if a lot heavier. I get my milk by the week, so that would be a nightmare, but would probably buy less more frequently in that case.

Wrapped veg annoys me too. I always wonder what they have to hide. I tend to get my veg at a farm shop or the local greengrocer, so it isn't wrapped and I can take my own bags for the things needed.

We are pushing our county charcoal which has always been packaged in paper bags, like potato sacks, as 'ahead of the game', and someone suggested that we should also push our household wooden items like spoons, spatulas, spirtles, etc. as an alternative to plastic. I am hoping to get round to making gipsy pegs this year too. They use recycled metal from tins and hazel, so no plastic. I know these are longer use plastics, but all help to use a bit less.

Nicky Colour it green



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 8693
Location: Devon, uk
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 18 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I buy my veg loose - the local shop stocks riverford veg and has paper bags if needed, or I buy in the market where they just pile it into my rucksack for me. Or I grow my own obviously.

But I don't think veg is the thing we should be targeting - take a look at the laundry aisle - you cant buy fabric conditioner that isn't in a plastic bottle with a big plastic dispenser.. kitchen cleaners have spray attachments you are supposed to throw away, and some detergents come in one use plastic boxes ffs... People are buying bamboo toothbrushes, but the toothpaste comes in plastic tubes...

Then sugar - white sugar comes in paper, so why does brown sugar come in plastic?

Also I think we have to be careful that plastic is not the only thing we consider - you can buy toilet roll that is not wrapped in plastic.. but it is manufactured in and shipped from China, and although it is recycled paper.. each one is individually wrapped in groovy new paper.... so folks coming to your house can see how eco you are...and they are pretty.... it's a clever marketing campaign.

The problem of plastic should not be considered in isolation - recycling food cans and glass uses a lot of energy, paper production has a high carbon footprint. A lot of fruit and veg is plastic wrapped to help it keep - and if people insist on buying out of season fruit, it has to come from far away, and it will need help to keep.

so like I say, I buy veg loose, I dont use bin liners, I am looking into making my own kitchen cleaning solutions to reuse the spray bottles, I try and make balanced decisions about my purchases...

gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 6360
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 18 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Fruit can be barcoded, with veg based food-friendly inks..istr this has started last year,we saw it in NZ. One way to get round those sticky plastic labels. Our local Sainsbugs has started reducing individual fruit,not just that wrapped in plastic.

Fee



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 15902
Location: Surrey Heath
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 18 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I noticed that with Sainsbury's, too, gz, we've started using Morrison's who do have a little more choice of single fruit and veg .

Also, they have agreed that I can take my own container to put neat in instead of taking plastic bags and plastic wrap from the meat counter!

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 6188
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 18 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nicky Colour it green wrote:

Then sugar - white sugar comes in paper, so why does brown sugar come in plastic?


I suspect it's because it's more sticky, so would stick to a paper bag. That's only a guess though.

gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 6360
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 18 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Oil in glass bottles or larger tins is slowly increasing..you can understand the higher price due to heavier goods, but it isn't too much difference.
Not easy when you need to economize

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1956
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 18 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Brown sugar will dry out and get very hard if it is kept in paper.

I look at information on paper and plastic packaging to see how much post-consumer waste was used to manufacture it. Plus, keep in mind that Patagonia turns recycled polyester largely from repurposed PET bottle into fiber for their clothing. And I love their jackets and vests (American outdoor clothing vests, not what you in the UK call vests which we would call underwear.)

Labels on apples and pears are quickly slapped on with a labeling device as the box is opened and fruit unpacked. Printing labels directly onto the fruit would be more complicated. What about bananas? Rutabagas are wax coated, not shrink wrapped.

We tend to shred paper that does not go into the paper recycle bin for every other week pickup. What gets shredded gets tossed it in the compost heap. Envelopes with those little clear windows are my bête noire. Unless I take the time to rip out the glassine window it too gets shredded and lives on forever in compost / garden.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10044

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 18 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I agree we need to look at the overall footprint what we are buying. I don't see the point of shipping things across the world so we can have them out of season, although I will admit to buying apples from New Zealand and Australia out of season. The British season is a lot longer now though; our farm shop has just run out of British apples and sometimes they go on until April.

This is something we push with out products; they are local made and by buying them you are helping the management of a local woodland. Sadly, too many people see the price and are put off because they think they can buy the 'same' thing in a supermarket, only it is imported and machine made. In some cases I realise that the hand made product isn't affordable to everyone, but in some cases people are so used to paying low prices for imported rubbish that they don't know what doing the job properly costs. One reason we have lost manufacturing jobs in the UK.

On the same lines, we rescued some things someone moving out of son's block of flats threw, incorrectly, into the recycling bin. Took most to food bank, but kept the kitchen utensils. They are useful but either made of very flimsy plastic or very poor quality wood. One spoon is a useful shape, and I may use it for a template, but feels horrid compared to the spoon I made specifically for myself for scrambled egg.

gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 6360
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 18 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

JL I'd thought that the windows in envelopes were now recyclable? cellophane from wood?

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3429
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 18 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jam Lady wrote:
Brown sugar will dry out and get very hard if it is kept in paper.

..............................................................


Maybe so, but I remember buying brown sugar and watching the shop assistant weigh it out and pack it in a blue paper bag, and fold and seal the top ever so neatly. How did we manage then?

Henry

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