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  • FIRST POST
    • 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 6
    • Lance De Boils
    • By Lance De Boils 20th Jun 19, 12:12 AM
    • 176 Posts
    • 1,127 Thanks
    Lance De Boils
    I still use the real nappies I had for my sons. They are now late 20's.
    They are great cloths, very absorbent. A couple of then I've hardly used as keeping them for when the others wear out. Doesn't look as if it's happening any time soon.

    The plastic windows in envelopes really annoy me. I shred the envelopes but have to pull the plastic out first and then the plastic can't be recycled.
    Originally posted by villagelife
    Do you think it may be time to think about potty training your sons?
    • jwil
    • By jwil 20th Jun 19, 9:25 AM
    • 10,775 Posts
    • 39,029 Thanks
    jwil
    Whilst on my mission to reduce and recycle i came across Terracycle and a lovely local lady that goes to a lot of effort to collect loads of different items that wouldn't normally be recycled but they take them back and transform them into many different items and the collectors raise money for charity in my local area a Primary school.
    Items include crisp packets, chocolate wrappers. coffee pods.List is endless.
    Originally posted by never too old
    I can see why Terracycle are popular, but I am very unconvinced of the benefits. They 'recycle' the stuff they collect into low grade materials like fence posts. These are not recyclable at the end of their life, so it's not really recycling, it's delayed disposal.

    These materials are classed as not recyclable because no one is able to economically make them into anything worthwhile. 'Recycling' them probably expends more energy than it saves, and Terracycle only succeeds because the companies pay it for its services. Businesses are doing this to make it look like they are green, rather than working on producing packaging that can easily be recycled.

    As soon as we drive to a collection point, the emissions from our cars will far outweigh any benefits from 'recycling' these materials, that is assuming there are actually any benefits once they are all transported to the bulking up points and the reprocessors. From an environmental perspective we'd probably be better off incinerating it and getting some energy benefit.

    Terracycle acknowledge that this is not a long term solution and they are moving into working with these companies to produce reusable packaging, working along similar lines to a milkman, ie. you pay a deposit and return the container when you are finished with it. This is a much better solution in my opinion.

    That said, I have recently started using my local Terracycle collection point - but only because it is right next door to somewhere I go regularly. If I had to make a special trip, I would not bother. I consider it a charity donation rather than recycling as the charity is raising funds from it.
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • never too old
    • By never too old 20th Jun 19, 1:15 PM
    • 2,941 Posts
    • 31,154 Thanks
    never too old
    I can see why Terracycle are popular, but I am very unconvinced of the benefits. They 'recycle' the stuff they collect into low grade materials like fence posts. These are not recyclable at the end of their life, so it's not really recycling, it's delayed disposal.

    .
    Originally posted by jwil
    Afternoon all
    The way i look at it is if i and everyone else can make small changes to shopping habits and recycling its got to help even if it is only a short term solution(until better systems are in place) Its got to help.

    I still need to drive my car,heat my home and shop and buy mass produced products at the best possible price i can find and no doubt i will still go in an aeroplane or a boat.My life still goes on but even if i can make a few small changes i t does make a difference.
    £2019 in 2019 challenge no 18
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    • halogen
    • By halogen 20th Jun 19, 2:25 PM
    • 295 Posts
    • 377 Thanks
    halogen
    I agree. There were a lot of excuses here. I would add, why buy straws? Take pack lunches. Don't buy coffee on the go. Get a bigger bag if you can't stand holiding your reusable water bottle. Etc etc etc.
    Originally posted by falcieri
    I don't buy straws but I have a friend who uses them for plant labels. Papper won't cut it there. yes you can by plant labels but they are also plastic and more expensive.

    I don't actually eat lunch at all

    I don't buy coffee on the go except when travelling when the problem of carrying around a reusable cup would be worse.

    I would love to have a bigger handbag but it's already bigger than I can comfortably carry.


    I wasn't actaully making excuses. Just pointing out the flaws in some of the apparently 'easy' suggestions that people make.


    Take recyling... My council won't take anything contaminated with food.
    All plastic used to wrap/transport/protect food will be contaminated with food so as far as I'm concerned they can't go in the recycling.
    I have enough problems getting day to day dishes clean without the added problem of removing food contamination from plastic, which I don't think is actually even chemically possible.


    I'm happy to reduce plastic waste where possible but if it costs a lot, reduces the function of an item or involves a lot of extra work then it's always going to lose.
    • dreaming
    • By dreaming 20th Jun 19, 2:48 PM
    • 773 Posts
    • 3,832 Thanks
    dreaming
    I don't buy straws but I have a friend who uses them for plant labels. Papper won't cut it there. yes you can by plant labels but they are also plastic and more expensive.

    I wasn't actaully making excuses. Just pointing out the flaws in some of the apparently 'easy' suggestions that people make.

    Take recyling... My council won't take anything contaminated with food.
    All plastic used to wrap/transport/protect food will be contaminated with food so as far as I'm concerned they can't go in the recycling.
    I have enough problems getting day to day dishes clean without the added problem of removing food contamination from plastic, which I don't think is actually even chemically possible.

    I'm happy to reduce plastic waste where possible but if it costs a lot, reduces the function of an item or involves a lot of extra work then it's always going to lose.
    Originally posted by halogen
    Re using plastic straws for plants labels vs. plastic labels - why not use (suggest friend uses) wooden lolly sticks. These are widely available. And it isn't difficult to wash plastic food trays etc. If I use one I just throw it into a bowl of water while I eat then scrub it a bit and most food comes off quite easily.

    I don't think anyone is expecting that all of the suggestions could be implemented by everyone. As I mentioned before - if everyone does a little bit, it is just as effective as 1 person doing everything. I am trying to concentrating on single use plastics at the moment and focussing on 2 or 3 areas at a time, and I must admit I can find it a bit overwhelming. Once those 2 or 3 things are embedded into my life then I move on to another couple of things. I am also trying to be mindful when purchasing new things (not that it happens very much as I hate shopping).
    It isn't easy - I have been just as guilty as rushing into the supermarket and picking up a couple of bags of pre-packed fruit and veg etc. because it is easy - but really, how hard is it to take a couple of cotton bags in and pick your own?
    • halogen
    • By halogen 20th Jun 19, 3:29 PM
    • 295 Posts
    • 377 Thanks
    halogen
    Re using plastic straws for plants labels vs. plastic labels - why not use (suggest friend uses) wooden lolly sticks. These are widely available. And it isn't difficult to wash plastic food trays etc. If I use one I just throw it into a bowl of water while I eat then scrub it a bit and most food comes off quite easily.
    Originally posted by dreaming
    I can't even get dishes clean enough to use. There's no way I can get any plastic free from food contamination- thats simply isn't chemically possible as plastic absorbs from its contents.

    Plastic straws come in many colours so you can colour code plants easily and are reusable.
    • dreaming
    • By dreaming 20th Jun 19, 4:04 PM
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    dreaming
    I can't even get dishes clean enough to use. There's no way I can get any plastic free from food contamination- thats simply isn't chemically possible as plastic absorbs from its contents.

    Plastic straws come in many colours so you can colour code plants easily and are reusable.
    Originally posted by halogen
    I'm not sure you have to get the plastic forensically clean. Our council certainly doesn't mention that in their instructions, but maybe your is different. I just make sure any "baked on" food has gone. Obviously I don't know your circumstances and maybe you don't have easy access to hot water (as was the case for my eldest when she was living in a hostel) , or maybe you have a disability, in which case then obviously you can only do what you are able.

    Regarding the wooden lolly sticks - these are also available in colours (just do a web search for coloured wooden lolly sticks) and can be written on quite easily. The price in't too bad either - 200 for £5.50 - although of course everything is relative so that may be out of your friend's budget.
    • Tink_04
    • By Tink_04 20th Jun 19, 8:44 PM
    • 1,071 Posts
    • 5,561 Thanks
    Tink_04
    I know everyone on this thread is having a bit of a rant about what they cant do and how hard things are to change because of the cost and way things are packaged but some thinking outside the box sometimes helps.

    Today when discussing shops that let you fill you shampoo bottle up for a cost i started thinking about a friend who is a hairdresser. She goes to the wholesalers and get a huge 5L bottle of generic shampoo for hair washing at the salon for something like £7.These are still nice quality as are for a business but are large in size.

    This may not be great for everyone to use as coloured hair or specialist shampoos may be needed, but would be a great generic for hubby and kids and me every other wash. I can decant into smaller bottles - a conditioner too and that would do us months with only one larger plastic bottle and be MSE friendly.

    I know there is still plastic involved but is an idea? There must be other things you can buy like this which could help too?

    Tink
    Living the simple life
    • villagelife
    • By villagelife 21st Jun 19, 6:54 AM
    • 1,788 Posts
    • 20,184 Thanks
    villagelife
    I use wooden lolly sticks as plant markets and they work well and weren't expensive. There is enough plastic used in the horticultural industry. I will reuse plastic pots until they are beyond use. I also make paper pots for seeds. The advantage though is I'm reducing my plastic packaging for fruit and veg.
    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 21st Jun 19, 7:12 AM
    • 1,173 Posts
    • 8,833 Thanks
    PipneyJane
    I know everyone on this thread is having a bit of a rant about what they cant do and how hard things are to change because of the cost and way things are packaged but some thinking outside the box sometimes helps.

    Today when discussing shops that let you fill you shampoo bottle up for a cost i started thinking about a friend who is a hairdresser. She goes to the wholesalers and get a huge 5L bottle of generic shampoo for hair washing at the salon for something like £7.These are still nice quality as are for a business but are large in size.

    This may not be great for everyone to use as coloured hair or specialist shampoos may be needed, but would be a great generic for hubby and kids and me every other wash. I can decant into smaller bottles - a conditioner too and that would do us months with only one larger plastic bottle and be MSE friendly.

    I know there is still plastic involved but is an idea? There must be other things you can buy like this which could help too?

    Tink
    Originally posted by Tink_04
    Tink, I do this already but for money saving reasons. Large bottles of shampoo, hair conditioner, body wash and lotion are decanted into pump action bottles in my bathroom. All the better to control the amount used. Anyone can visit the hairdressing suppliers to stock up, although I just buy the 1L bottles of Lidlís finest when it is on offer.

    I do the same with washing up liquid, which I buy in 5L bottles from a Chinese supermarket.

    - Pip
    "Be the type of woman that when you get out of bed in the morning, the devil says 'Oh crap. She's up.' "

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    • JackieO
    • By JackieO 21st Jun 19, 7:57 AM
    • 16,780 Posts
    • 143,698 Thanks
    JackieO
    Am I odd in that I have never bought or used plastic straws for anything my DDs had small cups with a lip lid when little but then when they were old enough they just drank normally from a cup.

    I get far more cross about unnecessary plastic packaging on food. So much seems to be a complete waste of time and just clogs up the bins, then gets exported to somewhere else to ruin their country. Man will turn this beautiful planet into a huge landfill rubbish site at this rate.
    Quot Libros,Quam Breve Tempus.
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 21st Jun 19, 8:04 AM
    • 5,107 Posts
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    Nick_C
    I get far more cross about unnecessary plastic packaging on food. So much seems to be a complete waste of time.
    Originally posted by JackieO
    Although some plastic packaging seems unnecessary, most of it extends the shelf life of food or protects it from damage. It reduces food waste, makes food cheaper, and prevents us from having to shop three times a week.
    • Farway
    • By Farway 21st Jun 19, 1:41 PM
    • 7,386 Posts
    • 14,073 Thanks
    Farway
    I use wooden lolly sticks as plant markets and they work well and weren't expensive. .
    Originally posted by villagelife

    I tried the wooden labels but found them completely useless because they just rotted after a year. I now use metal scratch on ones for more permanent plant marking and reuse the plastic ones I already have
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 21st Jun 19, 4:34 PM
    • 20,530 Posts
    • 34,248 Thanks
    Spendless
    I'm a bit late to this party and I think I've missed a huge debate about plastic straws, but this is my reason for turning up. I was wanting recommendations for a good reusable one for DD to put in her stocking this year.

    Though I'm a similar age to many O'stylers, I had my kids at a slightly older age and as such I'm at a different lifestage to many on here. DD only left school last week. She's involved in a lot of extra curriculm classes in a subject she wants to study at college and as such we eat on the hoof quite a lot. Example on Wednesday we were out all day attending 2 different interviews for college, we were back home for 30 mins before having to go back out for DD's class. She likes using straws for drinks, and some of the drinks like smoothies are better with one. Some places the paper has a 'strange' feel to it, or collapses mid drink. I don't want to not have straws at all, I'd just like to have our own which will last a good long time
    • dreaming
    • By dreaming 21st Jun 19, 6:24 PM
    • 773 Posts
    • 3,832 Thanks
    dreaming
    I'm a bit late to this party and I think I've missed a huge debate about plastic straws, but this is my reason for turning up. I was wanting recommendations for a good reusable one for DD to put in her stocking this year.

    Though I'm a similar age to many O'stylers, I had my kids at a slightly older age and as such I'm at a different lifestage to many on here. DD only left school last week. She's involved in a lot of extra curriculm classes in a subject she wants to study at college and as such we eat on the hoof quite a lot. Example on Wednesday we were out all day attending 2 different interviews for college, we were back home for 30 mins before having to go back out for DD's class. She likes using straws for drinks, and some of the drinks like smoothies are better with one. Some places the paper has a 'strange' feel to it, or collapses mid drink. I don't want to not have straws at all, I'd just like to have our own which will last a good long time
    Originally posted by Spendless
    I think most people (including my youngest) use stainless steel straws, which are easily obtainable online. Youngest also has a stanless steel coffee mug for out and about but she has always carried a big bag so it fits in easily. I prefer to use a small bag with just my keys, purse and wallet inside but I don't buy "takeaway" drinks. If I want a cup of tea when I'm out I prefer to sit down somewhere and have a piece of cake too, but I am retired so my time is my own.
    • maryb
    • By maryb 21st Jun 19, 8:30 PM
    • 3,990 Posts
    • 49,547 Thanks
    maryb
    I have started using Faith in Nature shampoo which I like for its own sake but what really swung things was that I can get my bottles refilled at a local health food shop, the same one that does Ecover refills.

    I also bought some sugar free cordial in Waitrose recently by a French company called Tesseire. It came in an aluminium bottle with a plastic cap. At first I was appalled by what seemed like wasteful packaging but actually I think it's not at all bad. The contents are very concentrated (which took a bit of getting used to) so it lasts a long time and recycling aluminium is more energy efficient than generating new products
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
    • TheBanker
    • By TheBanker 22nd Jun 19, 11:20 AM
    • 652 Posts
    • 1,643 Thanks
    TheBanker
    Food waste has a much higher environmental impact than plastic. The rush to get rid of plastic on everything could have unintended consequences which are far more harmful - more food waste, more emissions from transporting heavier and bulkier packaging (glass)

    If we all start replacing plastic with paper and cardboard items, can we cope with the demand for wood? Or are we going to increase deforestation?
    Originally posted by jwil
    I think this just proves there is no simple answer. I just went to Tesco to buy some peppers (yes I know I sound like the case study on the TV!). 48p each lose, or a pack of 3 wrapped in plastic for 91p. I only actually wanted two (a red and a green!) but it was cheaper to buy 3. I won't waste the yellow one, I'll find a use for it, but how many people would chuck it in the bin?

    So in certain cases the plastic might be preventing food waste by extending shelf life, but it might be creating food waste by encouraging people to buy more than they will use. In this specific case I wonder if the shelf life argument applies at all, given Tesco are quite happy to sell lose peppers.
    Make £10 a day challenge: Jan-18: £330 / £400
    • dreaming
    • By dreaming 22nd Jun 19, 12:37 PM
    • 773 Posts
    • 3,832 Thanks
    dreaming
    I think this just proves there is no simple answer. I just went to Tesco to buy some peppers (yes I know I sound like the case study on the TV!). 48p each lose, or a pack of 3 wrapped in plastic for 91p. I only actually wanted two (a red and a green!) but it was cheaper to buy 3. I won't waste the yellow one, I'll find a use for it, but how many people would chuck it in the bin?

    So in certain cases the plastic might be preventing food waste by extending shelf life, but it might be creating food waste by encouraging people to buy more than they will use. In this specific case I wonder if the shelf life argument applies at all, given Tesco are quite happy to sell lose peppers.
    Originally posted by TheBanker
    I agree with this totally and think it will need a concerted effort to address the problem. The government (if they ever get back to governing the country) need to look at what they can do. The plastic bag "tax" did a great deal to help change retailer's and customer's habits. Supermarkets/retailers need to look at ways to reduce their use of plastic so the choice is easier tfor consumers. I know some have made some improvements such as Morrisons now using paper bags for self-selection items, and recycling areas for plastic wrapping being provided but this only goes so far. However we, as consumers, also need to think about what we can do by putting pressure on those further up the supply chain to look for alternatives, and trying where possible to not buy the plastic-wrapped items. This is difficult I know when we are all looking at ways to save on our grocery bills. I too would have had to think hard about whether to buy the cheaper pack of 3 peppers or the more expensive single items, and as a single-person household on a limited income I struggle with this often as I try to use my food purchases as economically as possible. The advantage I have of course is that I don't have to take other people into consideration when I make my choices.
    So no, there are no easy answers but if we all do what we can (even if it is just a little thing) then hopefully things will start to change.
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 22nd Jun 19, 5:37 PM
    • 9,615 Posts
    • 32,437 Thanks
    DigForVictory
    Just to say I found a pair of brand new in gift box horn combs in a charity shop, so I can migrate from plastic to horn for some of my hair care!

    I must ask the local barber if she'd sell shampoo &/or conditioner by the pint or however works best for her.
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 22nd Jun 19, 6:01 PM
    • 5,107 Posts
    • 7,944 Thanks
    Nick_C
    I know some have made some improvements such as Morrisons now using paper bags for self-selection items...
    Originally posted by dreaming
    Although this is not an improvement as plastic bags, disposed of properly, are more environmentally friendly than paper bags!
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