This topic contains 14 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  just another Dave 5 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #3327

    nutter
    Participant

    Obviously this problem was highlighted well before BPII, but now that it has had the platform to project this into the mainstream, I can’t see that there is much change at the commercial or legislative level (banning microbeads doesn’t even start until 2018). There is so much big organisations can do… not give out straws to people perfectly capable of drinking from the lip of a cup, not wrap vegetables in plastic, offer only aluminium drinks. I was shocked to read only 7% of plastic is recycled, the rest is buried or swept out to sea. I do as much as I can, take glass bottle to drink at work, try not to buy plastic wrapped veg/food (so hard to do sometimes).

    I’m looking for ideas to help me change my consumer habits – is there anything you do to reduce your plastic footprint? Is there anything your community does that I can adopt in mine?

    • This topic was modified 6 months ago by  nutter.
  • #3328

    gregory
    Participant

    I subscribe to a local organic farm for a weekly veggie box-nothing comes wrapped in plastic (some paper bags) plus they are committed to insect/bee enrichment and their stuff is fab. I dont believe it works out more expensive-I have a £12 veggie box weekly, and the same but with a fruit box on top every other week (£18)-works out enough for the two of us for mains and lunches.

  • #3330

    jack
    Participant

    What’s BPII?

    There is a starch-based replacement for plastic that is used as an expanded foam to replace polystyrene,especially the chips used as loose bulk packing and to replace LDPE in plastic bags (try googling for “thermoplastic starch bags”).

    I try to buy loose vegetables and fruit, packaged in paper bags, that I carry home in reusable bags or in my rucksack. We get some veg each week from an organic farmer who delivers to my wife’s work, similar to what @gregory described, and the paper bags get sent back for re-use.

    I also tend to buy meat from a butcher’s shop, not from a supermarket; so it’s wrapped in paper (either waxed or with a thin film of plastic) and then it goes in a reusable bag.

    Most of our drink, apart from milk (plastic bottles for fresh, cardboard cartons for UHT), fizzy water (plastic bottles) and about 60% of our wine (bag in a box) is in glass bottles or aluminium or steel cans and all that goes into the two recycling bins (one for glass, the other for all other recyclables) that I put out about once every two to three weeks.

  • #3331

    nutter
    Participant
  • #3332

    nutter
    Participant

    What’s BPII?

    There is a starch-based replacement for plastic that is used as an expanded foam to replace polystyrene,especially the chips used as loose bulk packing and to replace LDPE in plastic bags (try googling for “thermoplastic starch bags”).

    I try to buy loose vegetables and fruit, packaged in paper bags, that I carry home in reusable bags or in my rucksack. We get some veg each week from an organic farmer who delivers to my wife’s work, similar to what @gregory described, and the paper bags get sent back for re-use.

    I also tend to buy meat from a butcher’s shop, not from a supermarket; so it’s wrapped in paper (either waxed or with a thin film of plastic) and then it goes in a reusable bag.

    Most of our drink, apart from milk (plastic bottles for fresh, cardboard cartons for UHT), fizzy water (plastic bottles) and about 60% of our wine (bag in a box) is in glass bottles or aluminium or steel cans and all that goes into the two recycling bins (one for glass, the other for all other recyclables) that I put out about once every two to three weeks.

    Our nearest butcher is pretty far away but I’m thinking it’s worth it – good idea!! I don’t eat much meat anyway and prefer to collect game from friends when in season. I hate the fact meat comes in black (not recycled here) and cling film/sealed film.

    Our milk is delivered in glass bottles so feeling happier about that and eggs are from farm down the road. Thinking I might buy bread from bakers too in a paper bag rather than plastic (hovis etc)….

  • #3333

    dave
    Participant

    Someone did mention it was helping a sodastream revival, I think plastic bottled water in countries with good tap water should be banned

    They were discussing it on the radio earlier and I am not sure how we get over the problem of it being mostly down to a few particular countries, and given who the countries are (apart from the US) that a manufacturer led solution might work best.

    I do purchase some plastic-wrapped items because I cannot go to the shops that frequently and need stuff to last the week and modified atmosphere packaging does that. Every time I buy loose broccoli for instance it seems to go limp very quickly and I regret it!

    Re bread bags, it had me think, most of our fresh bread locally still comes in half/half paper/plastic packaging, I guess so you can see it but when it is unpackaged before purchase I don’t quite understand why.

  • #3334

    Mick
    Participant

    Our still water is all from the tap, run through a Brita filter jug, but I rarely drink that.

    I would prefer to buy the water in glass bottles, and if I had groceries delivered more often, I’d do that. And I prefer bottled beer to canned beer, too. I have to put up with canned beer and plastic bottles from Saint-Yorre.

    In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Saint-Yorre in glass bottles in a supermarket or grocer’s shop.

  • #3335

    troll
    Participant

    talking about plastic bottles one of my biggest bugbears is that joggers/runners and cyclists round here, just abandon their plastic water bottles along the road. We live in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, they come round road-racing and training and just leave their rubbish littering everywhere up. We also get divers who bring their lunch, park up to admire the view while they eat it and then throw their rubbish out of the window, even though there are a few bins around.

  • #3336

    sar
    Participant

    talking about plastic bottles one of my biggest bugbears is that joggers/runners and cyclists round here, just abandon their plastic water bottles along the road. We live in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, they come round road-racing and training and just leave their rubbish littering everywhere up. We also get divers who bring their lunch, park up to admire the view while they eat it and then throw their rubbish out of the window, even though there are a few bins around.

    I hate littering. I was brought up in a philosophy of trying to leave a place better than the state in which I found it.

    But many people seem to not care about the environment, although they seem care about being seen to care. By that, I mean that they will wear a “save the whale” T-shirt or carry shopping bag emblazoned “100% recycled”, while littering (I had written something else) on their own doorstep.

    The only way to make people pay attention to consumption and waste is to make it visible in the price of stuff that they buy. I’d like to see a 50p returnable deposit on plastic half-litre bottles. It’s not a great inconvenience to crush the bottle down and stuff it in a pocket until the next day.

  • #3337

    katy
    Participant

    I think the take away coffee cups that are paper covered in a film of plastic are dreadful, they are almost impossible to recycle. Plus those coffee machine pods .
    I think the waste that ends up in landfills / the sea would be better being incinerated and used to produce power (though better not producing waste in the first place).
    I gather that washing clothes made from synthetic materials like fleece also produces more tiny fibres that end up in the sea.

  • #3338

    nutter
    Participant

    @katy Yes I think companies need to start taking responsibility too. There’s only so much the public can do as some plastic use seems completely unavoidable.

    I’ve now ordered my first veg box from riverford because I can’t stand the packaging used in supermarkets. I’ve also just found out from a friend who worked in Tesco Supply Chain that most of their “fresh” veg is kept in nitrogen warehouses for anywhere up to a year! That’s just disgusting to me.

    Burning plastic is highly toxic so I’m not sure about incineration…. maybe others know better.

    I’ve written to my council about plastic use in supermarkets. Especially since most of it is black plastic, not currently recycled in my area. So they never hit their recycling target. If they put pressure on the giants to reduce plastic use, it would help.

  • #3339

    erick
    Participant

    I think the take away coffee cups that are paper covered in a film of plastic are dreadful, they are almost impossible to recycle. Plus those coffee machine pods.

    Malongo coffee pods are supposed to be compatible with Nespresso machines, and are advertised as 100% compostable or recyclable. I sometimes buy supermarket own brand pods that are described in the same way. But most of the time I drink the Senseo coffee that is in the same kind of paper as a tes-bag.

    Yes I think companies need to start taking responsibility too. There’s only so much the public can do as some plastic use seems completely unavoidable.

    I’ve now ordered my first veg box from riverford because I can’t stand the packaging used in supermarkets. I’ve also just found out from a friend who worked in Tesco Supply Chain that most of their “fresh” veg is kept in nitrogen warehouses for anywhere up to a year! That’s just disgusting to me.

    Burning plastic is highly toxic so I’m not sure about incineration…. maybe others know better.

    I’ve written to my council about plastic use in supermarkets. Especially since most of it is black plastic, not currently recycled in my area. So they never hit their recycling target. If they put pressure on the giants to reduce plastic use, it would help.

    The problem with incinerated plastics is, I think, the presence of chlorine (PVC is polyvinyl chlorine). If this is incinerated at too low a temperature, dioxins are formed. These can apparently be formed by burning driftwood on a beach (by the sea, not a lake) because of salt (sodium chloride) that has crystallized in the wood.

    So, burning plastic rubbish in your back garden is much, much worse than sending it for incineration at a proper waste-incineration plant.

    But all in all, I think we all agree that reducing the amount of plastic packaging we use has got to be better than trying to find less toxic ways of dealing with the waste.

  • #3340

    dave
    Participant

    Was in Morrisons earlier getting some mince pies (I think they have the best – their shortcrust is divine) and anyway… walking past the expensive “cooler vegetable racks” the ones with mist over the top, and noticed every single thing in there was wrapped – what is the point of the mist???

    The only things I saw that were loose were tomatoes, peppers, sweet potatoes and broccoli. Everything else was either shrink wrapped, bagged or black tray with cellophane. This is just veg aisle btw….

    I think most things were plastic packaged…. literally row upon row of plastic. You know when tv does that special effect where they zoom in fast to make a shock effect… well it had that effect on me today!

  • #3464

    kal
    Participant

    I’ve recently become aware of how much cling film I use, and I have made myself cover things (bowls of food etc) with plates instead. I bought my mum this thing from John Lewis that is an alternative to cling film. It’s a big disc of floppy rubber (tarted up to look like a cut watermelon) that apparently creates a seal when you put it over a bowl. I’m going to get one for myself I think.

    I also despise the supermarkets for their plastic use, especially with fruit and veg. Why individually wrap a swede? It’s all well and good these charities or NGOs telling the public about reducing their plastic waste but they should be pressurising the supermarkets to change their practices. Is it Asda that recently stopped selling loose fruit and veg so you have to buy a bag or carrots or a bag of apples instead?

    Don’t even get me started on take-away coffee cups and those coffee machine capsules. Raaaaaaaaarrrrrr!

  • #3545

    just another Dave
    Participant

    1+ I think they should MUST ban plastic as it is making the whole food chain toxic.

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