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    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 28th May 19, 3:49 PM
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    Primrose
    The War against plastic waste
    • #1
    • 28th May 19, 3:49 PM
    The War against plastic waste 28th May 19 at 3:49 PM
    I don't know if we have a specific thread on here for sharing tips against reducing our plastic use - perhaps we could share them, but here's a current "bee in my bonnet".




    We recently received our National Trust magazine which came packaged in an oute wrapper which said:
    "I am 100% compostable and contain Potato Starch. The National Trust has moved away from polythene wrapping to a more environmentally friendly potato starch film which is compostable.Here are several ways you can dispose of your wrapper:



    1 Add to a well maintined home/garden compost heap
    2. Place it with your garden waste for industrial composting

    3 Use to line your food waste caddy"


    I realised we receive quite a few publications with these plastic wrappers, including magazines issued by weekend paper supplements so my self assigned task is to write to them all asking why, if the National Trust can adopt such a policy, the rest of them can't do the same ?


    Anybody care to join me and do the same?


    And please do share your tips for reducing plastic. The waste is reaching epidemic proportions, isn't it?



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    Last edited by MSE Tine; 18-06-2019 at 8:51 AM.
Page 1
    • firebubble
    • By firebubble 29th May 19, 7:19 AM
    • 87 Posts
    • 830 Thanks
    firebubble
    • #2
    • 29th May 19, 7:19 AM
    • #2
    • 29th May 19, 7:19 AM
    Why not write to the NT and ask them to ditch the outer wrapper entirely, as other companies such as Boden have? The address is printed on the magazine and it goes through the post loose without any problems.

    Or even better, ask the NT to create the magazine online so you can opt out of receiving a hard copy and save all the polluting inks and paper waste entirely, as well as the fuel to transport it and the plastic it's no doubt swathed in on pallets at the printers. There is really no need for anyone to receive brochures as the info is always online.

    Reducing what we acquire to only the very necessary is, I've found, the best step.
    • jwil
    • By jwil 29th May 19, 8:58 AM
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    jwil
    • #3
    • 29th May 19, 8:58 AM
    • #3
    • 29th May 19, 8:58 AM
    The problem is that many councils will not accept compostable packaging in their food or garden waste collections. So the advice from the NT is wrong, and they have switched to using a product for which there are few reprocessing opportunities. They would be better using a paper envelope or as suggested, no envelope at all.

    There are many different types of packaging out there and it's not always easy to distinguish between that which is normal plastic, 'biodegradable' plastic which does not break down, and compostable plastic, some of which will break down in industrial processes. Biodegradable plastic and normal plastic are contaminants, and so the sight of any packaging in the bin may mean it's not collected.

    Compostable packaging is best sent to 'in vessel' composting facilities, not anaerobic digestion or standard composting facilities. Many councils do not use these, so whilst compostable packaging is a good idea in theory, we do not have the reprocessing facilities in this country to deal with it.
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 29th May 19, 12:26 PM
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    bouicca21
    • #4
    • 29th May 19, 12:26 PM
    • #4
    • 29th May 19, 12:26 PM
    Surely compostable bags are fine for the food caddy - they are what my local council recommend, though tbh I have found that they take a very long time to break down and so will no longer use them for my worms.

    What we did have trouble with, was getting all the neighbours in our block of flats to understand that recyclable bags were not acceptable in the food caddies. Council refused to take them, leading to a smelly, fly ridden bin. Still turns my stomach to think of it.
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 29th May 19, 1:11 PM
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    Primrose
    • #5
    • 29th May 19, 1:11 PM
    • #5
    • 29th May 19, 1:11 PM
    I agree that the term capable of being recycled" or words to that effect is very misleading and can mean different things to different people. We have such a plethora of packaging materials these days that it,a understandable how people can get confused.

    I think the national milk supply is one area, given the number of plastic bottles used throughout a year , where we could make massive savings if only the Diary industry could get together with the government and invent a system whereby we drew what we needed from massive tanks in supermarkets in the same way that we obtain our petrol from petrol stations. I accept that there would be issues of freshness to overcome but where are the innovative suppliers trying to get ideas like this off the ground? Surely better not to use make plastic milk bottles in the first place than to spend money and energy having to recycle them?

    As a country we must have hundreds of citizens bursting with innovative ideas. What we need is a government who can harvest the best of our creative talent in the recycling area and support it to bring new ideas into the mainstream. Rant over!
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 30th May 19, 12:02 AM
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    bouicca21
    • #6
    • 30th May 19, 12:02 AM
    • #6
    • 30th May 19, 12:02 AM
    I don’t understand why plastic milk bottles can’t be collected and reused.
    • jwil
    • By jwil 30th May 19, 8:06 AM
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    jwil
    • #7
    • 30th May 19, 8:06 AM
    • #7
    • 30th May 19, 8:06 AM
    Surely compostable bags are fine for the food caddy - they are what my local council recommend, though tbh I have found that they take a very long time to break down and so will no longer use them for my worms.

    What we did have trouble with, was getting all the neighbours in our block of flats to understand that recyclable bags were not acceptable in the food caddies. Council refused to take them, leading to a smelly, fly ridden bin. Still turns my stomach to think of it.
    Originally posted by bouicca21
    People should always check with their local council as to whether they are acceptable because otherwise just using them might result in a refusal to take the bin like you've mentioned. They need to be easily identifiable for the bin men as well, otherwise they will just leave them if they can't tell they are the correct material.
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • jwil
    • By jwil 30th May 19, 8:08 AM
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    jwil
    • #8
    • 30th May 19, 8:08 AM
    • #8
    • 30th May 19, 8:08 AM
    I donít understand why plastic milk bottles canít be collected and reused.
    Originally posted by bouicca21
    They wouldn't survive the transportation and washing. It's different if they are being shredded and flaked, they can be recycled. Glass is better for reuse, but is heavier and costs more in emissions to transport.
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • katiepants
    • By katiepants 30th May 19, 3:43 PM
    • 179 Posts
    • 975 Thanks
    katiepants
    • #9
    • 30th May 19, 3:43 PM
    • #9
    • 30th May 19, 3:43 PM

    I think the national milk supply is one area, given the number of plastic bottles used throughout a year , where we could make massive savings if only the Diary industry could get together with the government and invent a system whereby we drew what we needed from massive tanks in supermarkets in the same way that we obtain our petrol from petrol stations. I accept that there would be issues of freshness to overcome but where are the innovative suppliers trying to get ideas like this off the ground? Surely better not to use make plastic milk bottles in the first place than to spend money and energy having to recycle them?
    Originally posted by Primrose
    Going back to doorstep milk in glass bottles would be an easy first step.
    Sealed pot challenge 11: number 594
    • chanie
    • By chanie 30th May 19, 8:08 PM
    • 2,326 Posts
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    chanie
    Another problem is that the ‘greener’ alternatives are often a lot more expensive. For example my reusable cotton wool pads are 60p each compared to 3p for a disposable. I’m lucky, because I can afford the initial outlay, but many people can’t. Ithink the governrmt should offer incentives to encourage people to switch to greener products.
    2019 savings on purchases £3707.55
    My spending diary - Spend Less, Live More - a spending diary
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5576179
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 30th May 19, 11:27 PM
    • 3,532 Posts
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    tori.k
    Another problem is that the Ďgreenerí alternatives are often a lot more expensive. For example my reusable cotton wool pads are 60p each compared to 3p for a disposable. Iím lucky, because I can afford the initial outlay, but many people canít. Ithink the governrmt should offer incentives to encourage people to switch to greener products.
    Originally posted by chanie
    But thats only if you want to be a bit hipster about it, a cut up old towel would do the same job.
    Some incentives are great like cheaper coffee if you bring your own mug but a lot would probably just increase waste.
    There is no easy way, recycling is as naff as landfill reduction is the only way it going to work the onus has to be on manufacturing to limit their packaging and on the consumer to except more limited products lines.
    Plastic is a ingenious product but like most things we've abused it.
    For years now i've tried to minimise the amount of plastic that enters our home (selfishly its more a stop buying plan to overpay the mortgage) i've got enough butter tubs and storage containers to see out my lifetime but never felt the need to purchase green things like stainless steel straws I just drink out of the glass.
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 31st May 19, 5:21 AM
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    Fire Fox
    Going back to doorstep milk in glass bottles would be an easy first step.
    Originally posted by katiepants
    Not for those who don't have an accessible doorstep (student halls/ apartments/ HMOs etc). A quarter of all households are single person now, many couples and young families live in such accommodation too. I doubt it would be economic to deliver milk to the many households in rural areas either.

    Easy for suburbanites perhaps, if a choice of morning or evening delivery was offered. Otherwise frozen milk in Winter and sour milk in Summer.

    Maybe the roles of the milkman and the postman could be combined.
    Last edited by Fire Fox; 31-05-2019 at 5:23 AM.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 31st May 19, 6:55 AM
    • 8,812 Posts
    • 31,128 Thanks
    Primrose
    Why not write to the NT and ask them to ditch the outer wrapper entirely, as other companies such as Boden have? The address is printed on the magazine and it goes through the post loose without any problems.

    Or even better, ask the NT to create the magazine online so you can opt out of receiving a hard copy and save all the polluting inks and paper waste entirely, as well as the fuel to transport it and the plastic it's no doubt swathed in on pallets at the printers. There is really no need for anyone to receive brochures as the info is always online.

    Reducing what we acquire to only the very necessary is, I've found, the best step.
    Originally posted by firebubble

    Unfortunately the NT, like many other organisations use these mailings to enclose other materials like local supplements and other advertising flyers.
    • Spider In The Bath
    • By Spider In The Bath 31st May 19, 6:58 AM
    • 1,497 Posts
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    Spider In The Bath
    Not for those who don't have an accessible doorstep (student halls/ apartments/ HMOs etc). A quarter of all households are single person now, many couples and young families live in such accommodation too. I doubt it would be economic to deliver milk to the many households in rural areas either.

    Easy for suburbanites perhaps, if a choice of morning or evening delivery was offered. Otherwise frozen milk in Winter and sour milk in Summer.

    Maybe the roles of the milkman and the postman could be combined.
    Originally posted by Fire Fox
    We still have a rural milk round near us. It is delivered along with the newpapers and other items such as orange juice and yoghurt (from a local farm)
    • chanie
    • By chanie 31st May 19, 7:16 AM
    • 2,326 Posts
    • 12,708 Thanks
    chanie
    But thats only if you want to be a bit hipster about it
    Originally posted by tori.k
    I have never been called hipster before

    I have no desire to have milk delivered. We buy milk along with our weekly shopping, so having a separate process for purchasing milk is just not necessary. I would buy glass bottles if they were available in my local stores.
    2019 savings on purchases £3707.55
    My spending diary - Spend Less, Live More - a spending diary
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5576179
    • THIRZAH
    • By THIRZAH 31st May 19, 11:29 AM
    • 1,433 Posts
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    THIRZAH
    A couple of magazines-W.I.Life and the B.M.C. magazine do come in the compostable bags now. It's a start and perhaps other organisations will follow their example.


    We used to have a doorstep delivery of milk from a local dairy but they got taken over by a larger firm and deliveries used to come after I'd left the house in the morning so we started buying milk from the supermarket.


    I did buy some stainless steel straws last year but haven't used them yet. Every now and then DH's back goes and he finds it hard to sit up properly so has to use a straw when he has a drink.
    • Spider In The Bath
    • By Spider In The Bath 31st May 19, 11:40 AM
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    Spider In The Bath
    ...I did buy some stainless steel straws last year but haven't used them yet. Every now and then DH's back goes and he finds it hard to sit up properly so has to use a straw when he has a drink.
    Originally posted by THIRZAH
    Off topic.

    I have a really bad back (fused bones and prolapsed discs) so when mine goes out fully I cannot even get out of bed.

    I have one of these drinks bottle:

    Not the cheapest (you can usually get them on sale if you don't mind the colour). But you cannot spill the drink and you can control the flow of liquid too. Beware they keep hot drinks warm for a very long time so you may need to add a splash of cold to the drink. Also good at keeping drinks cold too.

    I have found them to be much better than a straw.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 2nd Jun 19, 4:11 PM
    • 13,369 Posts
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    greenbee
    I've recently gone back to using the milkman (I'd been meaning to for ages) as my erratic work lifestyle with a lot of travel means shopping can be difficult. The milkman is one of the services that will leave food unattended on the doorstep. Milk & juice are left in a polystyrene cooler, and I leave a cold back out in the same crate for yogurt etc if I'm expecting to leave before he delivers (6.30am) or not getting back from a trip until late.

    Milk, juice and yogurt now come in glass bottles/jars. Veg is in string bags. Cucumbers are sadly still plastic wrapped, and bananas are in plastic bubble wrap. But the contents of my recycling and ordinary bins has definitely reduced.

    RHS members magazine comes in a paper wrapper, which is much more sensible than 'compostable' plastics (at least until there is an agreed recycling option for them). We don't have food waste collections here which is a huge source of frustration. Apparently kerbside glass is next on the priority list, despite having a bottle bank in the village.

    Keeping out of supermarkets seems to be the best way to avoid plastic. My local farm shop uses paper bags for veg, and says you can take your own containers for meat & deli counters so I may try that. We have no 'zero waste' shops locally, which would be my preference for refilling pulses, grains, nuts, dried fruit etc. Sometimes I can get paper-wrapped (e.g. porridge oats, muesli) but otherwise I just end up getting the largest pack to minimise waste.
    • K80 Black
    • By K80 Black 2nd Jun 19, 7:04 PM
    • 415 Posts
    • 855 Thanks
    K80 Black
    If you're worried about the environment, it doesn't really matter HOW you get your milk - the fact that you're drinking it at all is the issue. Cows produce a lot of polluting gases like methane. If you switched to a non dairy alternative you'd be making a much bigger impact than anything mentioned thus far.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 2nd Jun 19, 8:25 PM
    • 13,369 Posts
    • 226,896 Thanks
    greenbee
    This thread is about plastic waste - most plant milks come in tetrapaks so don't solve that problem, unless you make your own or don't use them at all.

    It's better that everyone does something - we could all say that our individual contribution makes no difference, so let's not bother. Telling people that their efforts aren't worthwhile is unproductive. Suggesting ways that they can reduce plastic waste would have been supportive and helpful, and who knows what steps they would have taken next. Being dismissive of their efforts and attempting to evangelise a major lifestyle change unrelated to the topic is likely to alienate them.

    So what positive suggestions can you make about how we can reduce plastic waste?
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