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13 ways to use less plastic AND save cash

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13 ways to use less plastic AND save cash

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
20 replies 7.1K views
MSE_LukeMSE_Luke
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edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
'Plastic waste has been in the headlines recently, with the PM proposing plastic-free aisles in supermarkets, Scotland planning to ban plastic cotton buds and Iceland stores aiming to slash plastic use. And it’s with good reason – shockingly, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation predicts there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050...'
Read MSE Kelvin's full blog: '13 ways to use less plastic AND save cash'

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  • minislimminislim
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    i think partly the companies responsible for the products are at fault. it seems far to easy to just package it in plastic.
    a simple way to sort part of this problem is to revert back to glass bottles like we used to get things in.

    another thing that needs resolving is local councils accepting all plastics in their recycling collections.
    most accept the bottle element but not the tops and caps.
    i always put all my plastic waste in the recycling bin. in this day in age you can recycle all plastics in some way or another.
    seeing as i pay for this service in my council tax and they've cut my bin collections to once every three weeks they can do their bit!
    i suspect its just councils being lazy and not wanting to separate the different plastics.
  • EctophileEctophile
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    My local council takes all sorts of plastics for recycling - bottles and their tops, tubs, trays, plastic bags and other plastic wrap. Pretty much anything except foil-plastic mixes and hard plastic items.

    But given that China has just banned the import of unsorted mixed plastic, I suspect an awful lot of it is going to end up stockpiled somewhere or burned to generate electricity in incinerators.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • edited 17 January 2018 at 3:50PM
    SystemSystem
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    edited 17 January 2018 at 3:50PM
    We started on a bit of mission early 2017 after realising we were filling our blue plastic bin within a week, this is what we did and are still doing a year on.

    Milk from a milkman - glass bottles, rinse return and the quality of milk is far nicer, slightly more expensive but not having to dash out for milk is nice and support local.

    Brita tank. 20l tank for the fridge and the filters are dropped off at tesco when we pass. 2 nice bottles to take water in no more bottles in the bin.

    Tupperwear for meats. We go to our local butcher for whatever we need, he weighs it and it goes into the boxes (we already owned them) so no waste, just wash and take back, i also take back the plastic boxes the takeaway uses and they refill them.

    I also buy Barr softdrinks from my local shop, they are more expensive but they are glass.

    Visited the Eden Project last year and found their bar soap is brilliant, so this has replaced my shampoo and facewash and has helped clear my lifelong skin problems.


    We are trying to adopt the mantra of not letting plastic things into our house but it's so difficult. Wish everything came in metal, glass or paper, hopefully things are changing
  • 1. SOME fruit and veg is cheaper without plastic…
    I reuse my clear vegetable bags many times, even though they are very thin. In Tesco using Scan and Shop, I use the labels from weighing fruit and veg to patch old bags for life.
    2. Refill your water bottle for FREE
    I use three bottles three times a week each. If you buy standard 3/4 litre plastic bottle with a sport cap (a bit over a pound in total), just reuse them. I bought a pack of 6 a couple of years ago and still use 4 of them - the other two snapped their caps after all that use.
    3. Buy refills of coffee, soap, herbs and spices etc
    Be VERY careful. I have NEVER found coffee refills to be cheaper. Often the bag for the other items is NOT recyclable whereas the original is.
    5. Get a REAL bag for life
    This is NOT recent. I was using them at least 5 years ago, could be much longer. I have them from Morrisons, Lidl and Asda in addition to those you mention. My longest lasting was 2 1/2 years for a Sainsbury's Christmas bag that I eventually used to take some items to a friend. As mentioned, use sticky labels from other purchased goods to repair them.

    NB Tesco Extra near is does not have anywhere to recycle the bags that say "recycle this with carrier bags at larger stores".

    PS I was horrified to find that MSE has signed up with Facebook to manage logins to its news stories.
  • sevenhillssevenhills
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    MSE_Luke wrote: »
    'Plastic waste has been in the headlines recently, with the PM proposing plastic-free aisles in supermarkets, Scotland planning to ban plastic cotton buds and Iceland stores aiming to slash plastic use. And it’s with good reason – shockingly, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation predicts there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050...'

    The issue seems to be the plastic floating in the ocean.

    Will banning reducing plastic carrier bag use and plastic straws, plates and cups have any affect on this?
    What items have been found floating in the ocean, I didn't realise plastic floated.

  • EctophileEctophile
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    Plastic bags do float. And then get eaten by turtles, which mistake them for jellyfish.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • sevenhillssevenhills
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    Ectophile wrote: »
    Plastic bags do float. And then get eaten by turtles, which mistake them for jellyfish.

    We are a very long way from banning them, we just pay 5p at the shops.
    We buy millions of them everyday. Same with dog poo bags.
    Nearly all species of sea turtle are classified as Endangered. Slaughtered for their eggs, meat, skin and shells, sea turtles suffer from poaching and over-exploitation. They also face habitat destruction and accidental capture in fishing gear. Climate change has an impact on turtle nesting sites.

    I know Google can be wrong; but the above is the cause of turtle decline, no mention of plastic.

  • Martyn1981Martyn1981
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    sevenhills wrote: »
    I didn't realise plastic floated.

    It depends on the type of plastic and its relative density v's water. For example:

    Polyethylene floats, as does polypropylene which is used for many items such as plastic bags. Obviously expanded polystyrene floats as it's used for buoyancy aids.
    sevenhills wrote: »
    We are a very long way from banning them, we just pay 5p at the shops.

    True, but the number issued each day has fallen massively, and the policy also helps to educate, spreading a better understanding. Plus of course, larger re-useable bags are far easier to use.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • sevenhills wrote: »
    I know Google can be wrong; but the above is the cause of turtle decline, no mention of plastic.
    Not sure what you Googled, but there is plenty of mention - take your pick. https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=is+plastic+endangering+turtles&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab&gfe_rd=cr&dcr=0&ei=NB9rWo-YOufv8AefkLaYDQ
    August GC - Food £55.56/£80 Alcohol £17.24/£20
    Bulk Funds - Food £19.73 -
    Save 12k in 2019 £1,300/£5,000 - #155
  • sevenhillssevenhills
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    Save_Dosh wrote: »

    Discarded fishing gear was the main culprit, according to your link that goes to the Independent.

    Turtles were also found trapped in "six pack" beer can holders, plastic chairs and balloon string. I have not heard anyone proposing a ban on 'six packs' which are usually aluminum.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/plastic-pollution-turtles-dying-oceans-worldwide-tangled-waste-study-a8107616.html

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