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  • FIRST POST
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 28th May 19, 3:49 PM
    • 8,686Posts
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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 4
    • archcherub
    • By archcherub 10th Jun 19, 6:07 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    archcherub
    Paper bags are not a green alternative.
    They take more resources to produce than plastic and give off harmful gases during production and decomposition. Re-use is more limited compared to plastic.
    They don't pollute/harm marine/wild life as plastic does though.
    Personally I don't feel the positive outweighs the negative.
    Originally posted by KxMx
    thank you! i have been in dilemma on either plastic or paper.
    i guess the best way is still to reduce as much as possible. its been difficult for me to remember bringing a reuseable bag to the stores.
    got to try harder!
    • MoneySeeker1
    • By MoneySeeker1 10th Jun 19, 6:27 AM
    • 36 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    MoneySeeker1
    As regards bags, the last time I was "having a scout" in a local Oxfam shop I noticed a few nice fold-up type cloth bags for sale there. They have labels on them saying "I was a sari". About £4 each from memory.

    I hadn't spotted that before and think they might be a new thing Oxfam shops are selling.

    Saw one in just the colours I've been wanting and bought it. I always carry a fold-up shopping bag around in my handbag anyway in case of need and do find it very difficult to find ones in a colour/colours I like. Most of the ones on sale are not my definition of stylish. So I was very pleased to see one I actually liked for once
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 10th Jun 19, 8:58 PM
    • 24,812 Posts
    • 28,858 Thanks
    Fire Fox
    I will not be waging war on plastics on any more Monday evenings.

    A suburban street of families and couples only (the voiceover represents all households. Except the quarter ** of single person households and people in very rural areas ....

    Hugh poncing around China wringing his hands. Inane Anita pretending to be a radical yet caring journo.

    Apparently I should have tap water instead of bottled water (already do), should recycle recyclable plastics (OMG), get milk delivered to the doorstep ( high rise city flat), drive around trying to get my water bottle refilled (no car).

    No practical tips, and not even because I am already well informed.

    **According to the ONS.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ Trainee Rosie the Riveter.
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 11th Jun 19, 9:21 AM
    • 8,686 Posts
    • 30,565 Thanks
    Primrose
    Yes I watched the Hugh FW programme. I was appalled at the kitchen and bathroom oneuse plastic containers. I try to be very plastic aware but our bathroom and kitchen is, I,m ashamed to admit, a similar case.

    I think Hugh FW deserves a lot of credit for his efforts to publicisr these issues.

    We are too affluent a society now and we have too many choices between almost identical brands. Maybe we should offer the population a choice of being able to opt for a national "Utility" brand as they did during the last war where big tanks of single formula laundry fluid, washing up liquid, hair shampoo, bathroom cleaner etc are available in supermarkets for individuals to fill up from their own containers.

    I imagine this would drastically reduce the profits of some of our big manufacturers (in whom, we need to remember the contents of our pension funds are invested) so this solution would be a double edged sword, but we at least need to be thinking outside the box for other solutions to what is a very real and urgent problem.
    Last edited by Primrose; 11-06-2019 at 9:25 AM.
    • cherie1122
    • By cherie1122 11th Jun 19, 10:45 AM
    • 430 Posts
    • 1,715 Thanks
    cherie1122
    I watched the part about bottled water and cancelled the 24 bottles of water on my Tesco order due for delivery today. My grandsons like to take a bottle of water to school every day and I have them here once a week so I decided not to give them bottled water but a refillable bottle of tap water when they stay with me.

    When my Tesco delivery saver runs out on 20th June I'm not renewing it as everything is delivered in plastic. If I go and do the shopping myself I can get unwrapped fruit and veggies.

    • pelirocco
    • By pelirocco 11th Jun 19, 3:09 PM
    • 7,716 Posts
    • 8,659 Thanks
    pelirocco
    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!
    Originally posted by Primrose

    or you could just use a milk man?
    Vuja De - the feeling you'll be here later
    • pelirocco
    • By pelirocco 11th Jun 19, 3:11 PM
    • 7,716 Posts
    • 8,659 Thanks
    pelirocco
    Have you watched Stacey Dooley investigates , are your clothes wrecking the planet ?
    Vuja De - the feeling you'll be here later
    • pelirocco
    • By pelirocco 11th Jun 19, 3:20 PM
    • 7,716 Posts
    • 8,659 Thanks
    pelirocco
    I will not be waging war on plastics on any more Monday evenings.

    A suburban street of families and couples only (the voiceover represents all households. Except the quarter ** of single person households and people in very rural areas ....

    Hugh poncing around China wringing his hands. Inane Anita pretending to be a radical yet caring journo.

    Apparently I should have tap water instead of bottled water (already do), should recycle recyclable plastics (OMG), get milk delivered to the doorstep ( high rise city flat), drive around trying to get my water bottle refilled (no car).

    No practical tips, and not even because I am already well informed.

    **According to the ONS.
    Originally posted by Fire Fox
    although , getting milk delivered in glass bottles solves the plastic bottle recycling . By not drinking milk we would be doing more to saving the planet , 1000 litres of water to make litre of milk , that really makes no sense at all
    Vuja De - the feeling you'll be here later
    • chanie
    • By chanie 11th Jun 19, 10:08 PM
    • 2,303 Posts
    • 12,548 Thanks
    chanie
    I thought it could be intersting to move this topic onto what we do and donít do to cut plastic consumption on a daily basis and why.

    Today, I had a takeaway coffee on my way to work, but used my reusable cup. I was working from a different office today, so thought I would treat myself and planned ahead, by putting my cup in my bag. My does take up quite a bit of room in my bag, so I can see why people donít like them.

    I popped to the shops at lunchtime and bought a couple of items. I used my fold up bag, so I didnít need the paper bags the shops were offering.

    Lunch was an ITSU noodle pot, which I guess are similar to coffee cups. Have only just thought about this. The guess itís a bit fat fail!,

    OH popped to Lidl with DD, but forgot to take the shopping bags, so he grabbed a box. DD has claimed the box foe now, but it will go in thr recycling when she has finished with it.
    2019 savings on purchases £3250.63
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    • cherie1122
    • By cherie1122 12th Jun 19, 6:20 AM
    • 430 Posts
    • 1,715 Thanks
    cherie1122
    Chainie you are not failing. I see the recycling bags lying in the streets round here full of plastic wrapping from stuff that I can't figure out why people buy. You are trying to reduce your use of plastic like a lot of us on here.

    My cat will be fed on cans of food from now on instead of those convenient plastic pouches. He might not like it but that's tough. I've yet to find out what cat biscuits I can get for him that aren't packed in foil/plastic bags. He is nearly 17 so I don't want to mess with his feeding too much - I currently feed him on Purina One for sensitive stomachs. Has anybody any ideas?

    • Vanlady
    • By Vanlady 12th Jun 19, 6:55 AM
    • 49 Posts
    • 508 Thanks
    Vanlady
    Cherie1122, you could ask your local vets if they take cat food pouches to be recycled. I also have an elderly and frail cat who is much better for eating specialised food from the vets. I have recently been informed by the vets that I can take the used rinsed out pouches and foil/plastic bags that contained dry food back to them. What they do with them I don't know (I will try to find out next time I go ), but im hoping that at least there's a chance they might not make it to landfill.
    • MoneySeeker1
    • By MoneySeeker1 12th Jun 19, 7:08 AM
    • 36 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    MoneySeeker1
    Yes and Stacey Dooley has a point.

    I certainly hadn't realised the clothes industry is one of the most polluting there is. Certainly one of the main aspects is the way so many clothes these days are only made to last such a brief time.

    I sat down and worked out an exact wardrobe plan as a basis for dressing from here on in and one of my decisions was that I am going to buy normal quality clothes as far as possible (ie what would be described these days as "very good quality") and base my wardrobe round classic (but modern and informal) dressing.

    It does take some hunting to find clothes retailers selling normal quality clothes these days at what I regard as "payable" prices. Two I've found that merit mention so far are Johnstons of Elgin and I duly bought 2 lambswool jumpers from them. Those jumpers cost me £99 each - but they are my normal quality and should last years and do look "quality".

    The other one is "Country Collection". It's necessary to "pick and choose" style-wise from them, as they are for an older age group. But I got two plain merino wool cardigans (£59 each) from them and the firm says their clothes have a "lifetime guarantee". Again, I anticipate having them for years.

    Both firms have their clothes made in Britain still.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 12th Jun 19, 8:17 AM
    • 66,305 Posts
    • 389,836 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    A suburban street of families and couples only (the voiceover represents all households. Except the quarter ** of single person households and people in very rural areas ....
    .
    Originally posted by Fire Fox
    Nobody gives a flying f*** about singles. They really don't. Surplus to requirements, let's pretend they don't exist, let's actively disenfranchise them from everything.

    Families, couples, pensioners, are the only legitimate households in the UK. Singles/The Alone are treated like lepers
    • Georgiepie
    • By Georgiepie 12th Jun 19, 11:17 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 47 Thanks
    Georgiepie
    Me and DH use oat milk but they come in cartons that cannot be recycled!

    We try to buy only loose fruit and veg but, as shown on the programme, the loose is often quite a lot dearer than the packaged.

    Within the last 6 months two places near me have started selling loose dry foods where you take your own container. They have things like rice, cous cous, lentils, muesli etc. I think this is great but makes me laugh really because we used to have weigh and save years ago and they all closed down.

    One of the places is a nursery and they also sell fruit and veg all loose and at very good prices. I bought a cucumber there for 60p and they were 50p in M&S but wrapped in plastic! Why do they wrap things like cucumber in plastic.

    Both places seem to be doing a roaring trade and customers are happy to shop in both of them. Also means you can buy the exact quantity of rice, pasta etc that you want.

    I live fairly rurally so am actually surprised at having 2 places quite close by. Hopefully more and more will open across the country
    • Kunoichi73
    • By Kunoichi73 12th Jun 19, 11:41 AM
    • 70 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    Kunoichi73
    I treat myself to a jacket potato for lunch once a week. I get it from a small van near to where I work and I've started taking a reusable plastic box for the chap to put the potato in, rather than the polystyrene container that he normally uses.
    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 12th Jun 19, 12:21 PM
    • 1,115 Posts
    • 8,461 Thanks
    PipneyJane
    What a fascinating thread!

    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.
    Originally posted by Spider In The Bath
    Vouch! Slightly cheaper, but by the same people, are the Avex brand of travel mugs sold occasionally in Costco. They're not as stylish but in all other respects are virtually identical. Ours cost £14 for two and are our regular travel mugs, used at least 3 times a week. The mechanism is the same. (I have both Contigo and Avex mugs.) They NEVER leak. Take the lid off first before handing it over to be refilled in a coffee shop.

    Back on topic, the old mantra of "reduce, re-use and recycle" still holds true in my opinion. Plastic isn't the cause of the problem; the cause is human behaviour and we can all make a difference. There's no need to get rid of your stash of Tupperware or Lock-n-Lock, just look after it well and, when it breaks, recycle it. Here's a few things we do:-
    1. We refill disposable plastic water bottles with tap-water/squash. We've been using the same bottles for years, when they get too battered they go into the recycling.
    2. We take our lunches to work. We each have insulated lunch-bags and bring our own cutlery, too. Lunch is usually a Lock-n-Lock box of leftovers from the night before plus a yoghurt.
    3. The yoghurt comes in 450g thin plastic tubs with a cardboard sleeve, so I decant it into small Lock-n-lock boxes. The cardboard gets recycled, while the tubs get saved to be used as pint glasses for parties or as pots for pot-plants, before being rewashed and recycled.
    4. I travel a lot for work and always take my lunch with me for the first day of the trip (unless flying).
    5. Since it takes almost as much energy to manufacture a small plastic bottle as a large one, we buy large bottles of toiletries and decant them into smaller ones to use (recycled pump action soap dispensers for the bathroom and 100ml travel bottles for the suitcase).
    6. Our council does not segregate recycling into categories. It all goes into the one bag, for sorting at the depot. They even accept shredded paper, plastic bags and foil trays so, if I'm not sure something plastic is recyclable - say, old Tupperware - I'll still include it.
    7. We take most of our rubbish home because we can recycle it.
    8. Most of our veg is bought loose from a local farm shop and all the trimmings are composted. We buy our eggs from there, too.
    9. Most of our meat comes from a local butcher who knows the farmers who raise the animals. Yes, it costs more than supermarket meat, but the quality is superior.

    - Pip
    Last edited by PipneyJane; 12-06-2019 at 12:24 PM.
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    • Crafty Lisa Hampshire
    • By Crafty Lisa Hampshire 12th Jun 19, 1:04 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 610 Thanks
    Crafty Lisa Hampshire
    This is a very interesting and timely thread to start. I have been attempting to be more eco-friendly for about a year now. To begin with it seemed very daunting but as I have done things gradually it has been surprisingly manageable and in fact I have saved money rather than spent more. Here is a list of the things I have done:


    Replaced shower gel with natural bar soap (with no palm oil).


    Buy my shampoo and conditioner from the bodyshop who take back all packaging once finished with.


    Used up all my bathroom products before replacing with more eco-friendly options but only after I have researched whether they are really necessary, i.e. I don't buy facial moisturiser now I just use a sunscreen.


    Started using a flannel instead of the plastic body puff things.


    Buy a charcoal floss which comes in a glass bottle and for which I can buy refills.


    Bought a glass dispenser for liquid hand soap for the kitchen and bathroom and refill it at a refill shop.


    I clean the kitchen and bathroom with a diluted version of white vinegar and peppermint essential oil instead of buying all the different cleaners you can get.


    I buy an eco-friendly washing powder now instead of liquid and use less than it says on the pack and it is cleaning everything fine.


    I refill my washing up liquid at a refill shop


    I buy bread from a baker and ask for it in a paper bag. It keeps for about 5 days as long as you only slice off what you want when you want it. I use it for toast towards the end of the time.


    I buy my veg either from a veg box company or from the local market stall and I also try to buy only seasonal veg and fruit.


    Whenever I need something I see if I can source it at a charity shop. That can mean that I wait until I see it in a charity shop and then I just put it in my bag rather than having lots of packaging.


    I batch cook meals and put them in freezable portion size containers. Some are plastic and I have found some glass ones which I admit I did buy new.


    I made my own dishcloths, handkerchiefs and "unpaper" towels which can all be washed and re-used.


    I bought beeswax wraps to use to wrap up sandwiches and the like instead of using cling film and foil.


    I have stopped using greaseproof paper for cake tins. I just grease them with butter and flour it - works every time so far.


    I buy butter now instead of margarine.


    I buy all my vegetable oils etc in glass bottles rather than the plastic options.


    I crocheted some make up remover pads which can be washed and reused instead of using cotton wool.


    I buy less meat.


    I have found and buy yogurt in glass jars.


    I have still got a way to go but I am quite proud of the progress I have made. I watched "War on Plastics" programme and I think it is a little uninformative for someone like me who has been researching and trying to do this already but it is good that it is now out there to try and get more of the general public engaged with this topic. I am single and have no children or pets so it is a bit easier for me to manage this journey but anything that anyone can do is a start.
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 12th Jun 19, 9:05 PM
    • 24,812 Posts
    • 28,858 Thanks
    Fire Fox
    We try to buy only loose fruit and veg but, as shown on the programme, the loose is often quite a lot dearer than the packaged.

    One of the places is a nursery and they also sell fruit and veg all loose and at very good prices. I bought a cucumber there for 60p and they were 50p in M&S but wrapped in plastic! Why do they wrap things like cucumber in plastic.
    Originally posted by Georgiepie
    Cucumbers and their shrink-wrap have been all over the media.

    Significant increase in shelf life: reduces food waste during transportation, in the store AND in the home. SIngle person households notice the shorter life more than families.

    Inane Anita briefly mentioned that some plastic packaging is important for shelf life, but completely failed to inform watchers as to which fruit and vegetables.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ Trainee Rosie the Riveter.
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 12th Jun 19, 9:28 PM
    • 24,812 Posts
    • 28,858 Thanks
    Fire Fox
    I clean the kitchen and bathroom with a diluted version of white vinegar and peppermint essential oil instead of buying all the different cleaners you can get.

    I have still got a way to go but I am quite proud of the progress I have made. I watched "War on Plastics" programme and I think it is a little uninformative for someone like me who has been researching and trying to do this already but it is good that it is now out there to try and get more of the general public engaged with this topic. I am single and have no children or pets so it is a bit easier for me to manage this journey but anything that anyone can do is a start.
    Originally posted by Crafty Lisa Hampshire


    Diluted vinegar is NOT a safe and effective household cleaning product. There are many bacteria and yeasts that thrive in acidic conditions. The full-strength vinegar that you are using was made by such microbes!

    Effective cleaning or degreasing products tend to be alkaline and/ or contain detergents which help break down microbe colonies or cell membranes and their fatty food sources. That is why there are modern detergents or traditional alkaline agents in body wash, shampoo, bar soap, toothpaste, washing up liquid ....

    Peppermint oil smells nice but has limited other benefits, even in a well formulated properly tested commercial product. Concentration, distribution, pH and many other factors are relevant. Please consider using your washing up liquid diluted to clean your kitchen and bathroom.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ Trainee Rosie the Riveter.
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 13th Jun 19, 7:09 AM
    • 5,010 Posts
    • 7,739 Thanks
    Nick_C
    Interesting thread. But single use plastic is not bad.

    Plastic bottles are much lighter than glass, and therfore reduce the amount of fuel required to transport liquids.

    Single use plastic bags are better than single use paper bags for similar reasons. Bags have to be delivered to retailers. The lorry delivering the bags can carry far more plastic bags than paper ones, and they weigh less. And less energy is used in their manufacture.

    Plastic packaging extends shelflife and reduces food waste.

    The problem with single use plastics is that we are not disposing of them properly, and councils have been encouraged to attempt to recycle materials which can't be recycled easily and for which there is no demand / end market.

    We should only be trying to recycle plastic bottles, almost all of which are type 1 or 2 (PET or HDPE). Other single use plastics should go into residual waste and be incinerated with energy recovery (generate electricity and capture the heat for communal heating systems and hot water). We should be incorporating small scale incinerators in residential areas, reducing the energy wasted in collecting waste from our homes and transporting it to a disposal facility.
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