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  • FIRST POST
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 28th May 19, 3:49 PM
    • 8,739Posts
    • 30,707Thanks
    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 3
    • halogen
    • By halogen 4th Jun 19, 3:37 PM
    • 295 Posts
    • 377 Thanks
    halogen
    I googled various virtuous lists & this is a summary of the first 4
    Carry a reusable bottle
    Originally posted by DigForVictory
    Won't fit in my handbag and therefore I always put it down places and forget it, resulting in my owning many resusable bottles
    Say no to plastic straws
    But paper ones go soggy and you have to remember to carry a steel one
    Take a reusable coffee cup
    again handbag space and memory


    Avoid excessive food packaging
    How? I don't have a choice on what supermarket I use so I have to accept what they offer or go hungry

    Use refill stations for detergents
    How? where? I use pods as they are quicker and go further

    Say no to disposable cutlery (carry your own - but be prepared for eco conversations with security)
    I have been known to carry a fork I spose

    Get your milk delivered (I know, not for everyone, but Greenpeace & WWF both advocate it)
    not an option here.

    Avoid microbeads
    there's no good replacement for them yet. Nut meal is too scratchy, oatmeal not scratchy enough, salt dries my skin out, sugar goes sticky. Flannels need washed and i never remeber so they go mouldy

    Carry a shopping bag
    Never remember to take one

    Give up gum.
    Only use when trying not to eat

    Buy boxes instead of bottles.
    again I'm limited by what lidl's cheapo range offers

    Purchase food, like cereal, pasta, and rice from bulk bins and fill a reusable bag or container. (Waitrose have started in Oxford - but other suppliers are available)
    Not where I live

    Use loose leaf tea with a tea strainer (teabags are plasticised)
    don't do tea

    If you must use glitter, use eco-friendly, biodegradable glitter
    Interesting. I rarely use glitter but when I do it's to mix into polymer clay in the oven. dunno how biodegradeable would cope.

    Ditch the cling wrap (you can make your own waxed cloth with cotton cloth & wax)
    Life is too short to do that. rarely use cling film though

    Become a wine bottle sommelier - choose wine bottles with natural cork stoppers
    only use wine in cooking and then its the cheapest one I can find which is usually screwtop. just as well really as I don't have the arm strength to use a corkscrew anymore

    Carry your own containers for for take-out food and leftovers.
    No leftovers in my house alas and I rarely eat out

    Treat yourself to an ice cream cone (rather than buy the plastic containers, plus inbuilt portion control [soem greens can be body fascists])
    Ice cream cone from shop- 1 portion - £4.50. ice cream shop open only when its sunny, has no parking.
    Tub of ice cream from Lidl 2 portions £1.99.open 8am to 10pm with carpark

    Bring your own container for meat and prepared foods.
    only an option if you shop in posh supermarkets with a deli counter

    Buy fresh bread that comes in either paper bags or no bags.
    pay double the price and eat it twice as quickly as its unsliced

    Buy large wheels of unwrapped cheese. (Eco may also be MS but upfront affordability may be an ulp issue)
    not an option where I am. also I'd eat it all at once

    Clean with vinegar and water.
    House will then smell like a chip shop making me hungry. It's also nowhere near as effective as vim/jif/flash/etc

    Baking soda is a fantastic scouring powder.
    Is it really?


    Use powdered dishwasher detergent in a cardboard box.
    Used to use it but it doesn't dissolve properly and doesn't last as long as a tub of pods

    Hand wash dishes without plastic.
    Not sure this even makes sense. I use the dishwasher ( which attempts to get things vaguely clean after 4-5 runs) as my attempts at hand washing do not result in clean dishes. Also it hurts to stand up long enough.

    Use natural cleaning cloths and scrubbers instead of plastic scrubbers and synthetic sponges.
    When they are 50p for 8 in Lidl then sure


    Wash clothes with homemade laundry soap and stain removers.
    Even brandname super bio products don't get my clothes clean and fresh 1st time round. a few soap nuts ain't going to hack it

    Use natural rubber gloves.
    Allergic

    Check labels of personal care products! No polyethylene please
    only if the polyethylene free option is as good

    Switch to bar soap instead of liquid soap.
    No. it's not as good, never smells as nice and drys out my skin

    Give up shampoo in plastic bottles.
    I have tried the shampoo bars and I wasn't impressed
    Choose lotions and lip balms in plastic-free containers.
    I have sensitive skin and there are a limited range of brands that I can use. I've never seen plastic free containers for moisturisers, let alone ones in brands I know my skin will tolerate.
    Switch from a plastic razor to a second-hand safety razor.
    I don't use a razor.
    Reconsider how you clean your teeth.
    Ahh how I wish I could remember to clean my teeth, let alone be fussy about my make of toothbrush
    Choose toilet paper thatís not wrapped in plastic.
    and pay 4 times the price for paper wrapped brand names?
    Use plastic-free feminine hygiene products.
    I have to use the biggest widest stickiest pads I find to have any hope of protection at all. Limiting that down to all cotton ones... unlikely to find an option that works for me.
    Look into plastic-free sunscreen options.
    Sure find me a waterproof SPF 50 thats affordable and easy to source and I will. I use sunscreen maybe twice a year so I doubt my use will be significant
    Explore plastic-free hair accessories and tools.
    Metal hair clip....plastic hairbrush. 1/2 point
    Keep your own reusable foodware at the office.
    Against policy
    Carry lunches in reusable stainless containers or cloth bags.
    Don't take lunch to work
    Learn to preserve foods without plastic.
    Anything else freezer proof?


    Avoid non-stick cookware.
    Ummm why? we are all contaminated by C8flourocarbons now anyway
    Choose stainless steel ice cube trays and Popsicle molds.
    not a thing I use much- silcone ones are much better

    Acquire necessary plastic items used instead of new.
    not sure where one buys 2nd hand plastic things from
    Repair things when they break.
    I do if its possible
    Avoid disposable plastic pens.
    and use what? fountain pens and ink don't work on whiteboards
    Choose natural cat litter.
    Choose pet toys and furniture made from natural materials instead of plastic.
    no pets but if I have a cat it'd be cat flap not litter tray
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 5th Jun 19, 3:20 PM
    • 9,615 Posts
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    DigForVictory
    I don't think anyone said the war on plastic waste would be easy. Or cheap. Or practicable in all cases for everybody. (Plus the edited lists are a bit Yank in tone, which I agree doesn't read well.)

    Just if we all try a bit, it helps.

    You might even ask work why the policy on not being allowed to keep reusable foodware (seriously - not as much as a mug?)
    And ask Lidl when they'll compete with Waitrose on refillables.

    Life without plastic waste is not cheap, but carrying on as we are will end up costing this species a planet.
    • carrielovesfanta
    • By carrielovesfanta 6th Jun 19, 6:29 AM
    • 2,162 Posts
    • 17,175 Thanks
    carrielovesfanta
    I don't think anyone said the war on plastic waste would be easy. Or cheap. Or practicable in all cases for everybody. (Plus the edited lists are a bit Yank in tone, which I agree doesn't read well.)

    Just if we all try a bit, it helps.
    Originally posted by DigForVictory
    Quite right!

    We (as in the human race) are at the point that we are because we have constantly tried to make life that bit easier and cheaper for ourselves. It's very easy to say that something might be slightly inconvenient for you so you won't bother. But when you multiply that by 6 billion people, even a small effort adds up.
    Some things aren't appropriate for all people - and that's fine. But even if you rethink a few things it could make a big difference as more people commit to it.
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    • dreaming
    • By dreaming 6th Jun 19, 9:10 AM
    • 773 Posts
    • 3,832 Thanks
    dreaming
    My daughter, who has made huge efforts in being plastic free, always says that it is better for a million people to do 1 thing to reduce their waste than 1 person trying to do a million things.
    I do find some of the "virtuous" lists a bit daunting becasue they are so long so I am trying to concentrate my efforts on one or two areas at a time. For Mothers' Day my daughter gave me some waxed food wrappers and I must say I really like them. Cheese, in particular, seems to keep better than when I wrapped it in either cling-film or foil.
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 6th Jun 19, 1:28 PM
    • 9,615 Posts
    • 32,437 Thanks
    DigForVictory
    I found ditching the plastic hairbrush a doddle as soon as I found an ebony & bristle one on a car boot, (and cleaned it carefully).

    I happily stopped using a plastic razor once I found a traditional double edged safety razor like my dad & granddad used to use, (and I note my sons have found their gfs appreciate the results of a proper wet shave as opposed to a quck swipe with the electric thing!)

    Biros are easier to live without if you have and carry everywhere a really nice pen (I'm told engraved ones are less attractive to steal as well), plus the fun of a choice of inks (which are still sold in glass!).

    Indulge daughter's drive - invite her to startle you with a range of cleaning tools that all meet her standards. Alongside some beauty products likewise?!

    We have a board of OS (Old Style) threads on canny ways cleaning with vinegar, soda and so forth - use the accumulated experience!

    And of course, share it. Starting with daughter, that some of those million can find & try a new thing, and maybe another...
    • Icey77
    • By Icey77 6th Jun 19, 3:07 PM
    • 1,220 Posts
    • 4,406 Thanks
    Icey77
    My daughter, who has made huge efforts in being plastic free, always says that it is better for a million people to do 1 thing to reduce their waste than 1 person trying to do a million things.
    I do find some of the "virtuous" lists a bit daunting becasue they are so long so I am trying to concentrate my efforts on one or two areas at a time. For Mothers' Day my daughter gave me some waxed food wrappers and I must say I really like them. Cheese, in particular, seems to keep better than when I wrapped it in either cling-film or foil.
    Originally posted by dreaming

    Ohh does it Dreaming?
    I'm not sure I like the 'feel' of the waxed food wrapper but I would give them a serious go if they keep the cheddar and parmesan nicely.

    I am trying to find a way of freezing bulk bought chicken breasts individually at the moment that maximises freezer space - the raw breasts squish together well and don't get freezer burn when wrapped in sandwich bags.
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    • dreaming
    • By dreaming 6th Jun 19, 5:15 PM
    • 773 Posts
    • 3,832 Thanks
    dreaming
    Ohh does it Dreaming?
    I'm not sure I like the 'feel' of the waxed food wrapper but I would give them a serious go if they keep the cheddar and parmesan nicely.

    I am trying to find a way of freezing bulk bought chicken breasts individually at the moment that maximises freezer space - the raw breasts squish together well and don't get freezer burn when wrapped in sandwich bags.
    Originally posted by Icey77
    I've definitely noticed the difference with cheese but must admit I haven't really used them for much else. Daughter uses them for her sandwich packe-lunch, and to cover bowls of food in the fridge. They are not suitable for meat so I am looking out for alternatives, although I am also trying to reduce the amount I eat and switching to pulses instead. I still have a fair few lock'n'lock boxes and will keep them whilst concentrating on the single use plastics first. Years ago I used to be much better and have always made and used my own shopping bags, but since living on my own I think I have just gone for convenience, but with the example of DD I am trying to be more thoughtful about things again and take a few small steps at a time.
    • tboo
    • By tboo 6th Jun 19, 5:53 PM
    • 935 Posts
    • 4,625 Thanks
    tboo
    I did find the responses to the vast list from halogen rather sad- the idea is to change to avoid unnecessary waste and not poopoo the suggestions

    I find some people who don't change are those on a limited budget, those that can't be bothered and the elderly.


    On a side note



    Mcdonalds have introduced paper straws and some people are trying to sell the old free plastic ones as rare items for £1000's (even though some sold for £10.50) so expect to see some in a museum in the near future
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    • Soworried
    • By Soworried 6th Jun 19, 8:09 PM
    • 2,146 Posts
    • 19,960 Thanks
    Soworried
    Any one want to join in the plastic free one month challenge?

    https://www.mcsuk.org/plastic-challenge/
    £84.01/£240
    £5380
    One step must start each journey
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    • POPPYOSCAR
    • By POPPYOSCAR 6th Jun 19, 8:23 PM
    • 12,447 Posts
    • 27,548 Thanks
    POPPYOSCAR
    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?

    Originally posted by Primrose
    English heritage do the same.

    I am surprised this is not used for a lot more things.
    • Soworried
    • By Soworried 8th Jun 19, 8:23 AM
    • 2,146 Posts
    • 19,960 Thanks
    Soworried
    Sainsburys 5p reverse recycling scheme sounds great.

    Can't wait until it is rolled out.
    £84.01/£240
    £5380
    One step must start each journey
    One word must start each prayer
    One hope will raise our spirits
    One touch can show you care
    • falcieri
    • By falcieri 8th Jun 19, 3:04 PM
    • 113 Posts
    • 72 Thanks
    falcieri
    I was only thinking the other day how great it would be if they brought back those stores which we had (maybe in the 80s?) where you could fill your own containers from big tubs of things like flour, muesli etc. I am certain they had a shop like this on Coronation Street for a while but I can't find anything about it, and now all my friends think I have imagined it.

    Anyhow - this turned up on today's local news. One of the Waitrose stores in Oxford is trialling "fill your own containers" for pasta, wine, beer and detergent :

    https://metro.co.uk/2019/06/04/waitrose-takes-battle-plastic-next-level-bring-boxes-9795533/
    Originally posted by C J

    Fill your own is becoming a bit of a thing in Wales. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-46574402 I'd like to see Morrisons giving it a go, especially for things like pasta and rice.
    • falcieri
    • By falcieri 8th Jun 19, 3:14 PM
    • 113 Posts
    • 72 Thanks
    falcieri
    Ohh does it Dreaming?
    I'm not sure I like the 'feel' of the waxed food wrapper but I would give them a serious go if they keep the cheddar and parmesan nicely.

    I am trying to find a way of freezing bulk bought chicken breasts individually at the moment that maximises freezer space - the raw breasts squish together well and don't get freezer burn when wrapped in sandwich bags.
    Originally posted by Icey77

    At least you can wash and reuse your sandwich bags. I have lots of things that aren't recycleable like tupperware but I get years and years of use from them so I think that's probably better than buying yet another once use item.
    • falcieri
    • By falcieri 8th Jun 19, 3:17 PM
    • 113 Posts
    • 72 Thanks
    falcieri
    I did find the responses to the vast list from halogen rather sad- the idea is to change to avoid unnecessary waste and not poopoo the suggestions

    I find some people who don't change are those on a limited budget, those that can't be bothered and the elderly.


    On a side note



    Mcdonalds have introduced paper straws and some people are trying to sell the old free plastic ones as rare items for £1000's (even though some sold for £10.50) so expect to see some in a museum in the near future
    Originally posted by tboo

    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.
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 9th Jun 19, 2:41 AM
    • 24,851 Posts
    • 28,923 Thanks
    Fire Fox
    I don't think anyone said the war on plastic waste would be easy. Or cheap. Or practicable in all cases for everybody. (Plus the edited lists are a bit Yank in tone, which I agree doesn't read well.)

    Just if we all try a bit, it helps.

    You might even ask work why the policy on not being allowed to keep reusable foodware (seriously - not as much as a mug?)
    And ask Lidl when they'll compete with Waitrose on refillables.

    Life without plastic waste is not cheap, but carrying on as we are will end up costing this species a planet.
    Originally posted by DigForVictory
    I feel quite strongly that we need government (international/ national/ local whatever) and stores/ companies to push forward on the plastic waste that the vast majority of us really don't need, that is clearly wasteful. Carrier bag charging has been effective. There has been no popular uprising.

    The whole take-away drinks with plastic straws and disposable cups epidemic is shocking. Tap water is free and very widely available. All we need is a container (equivalent to a carrier bag surely?). Obviously straws should be available 'behind the counter' for the minority of people who actually need them.

    I am in need of alternatives for storing food so it lasts well (frozen or fresh), not least because I am 'Cooking for One'. Intend to watch the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall TV thing, the adverts suggest singles/ couples are represented not just larger households.

    Struggling to see how refillables is going to end up mainstream/ majority. But maybe that is my lack of creative thinking!

    It would be a PITA for those of us who use public transport for grocery shopping. In my city using (expensive) daily bus tickets to hit several shops or to run several errands is commonplace. Plenty of bus users are juggling kids, without 'refillable empties' adding to that. Can't imagine too many rail or tube commuters playing sardines with 'refillable empties' either.
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    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 9th Jun 19, 8:48 AM
    • 8,785 Posts
    • 14,337 Thanks
    jackieblack
    Struggling to see how refillables is going to end up mainstream/ majority. But maybe that is my lack of creative thinking!

    It would be a PITA for those of us who use public transport for grocery shopping. In my city using (expensive) daily bus tickets to hit several shops or to run several errands is commonplace. Plenty of bus users are juggling kids, without 'refillable empties' adding to that. Can't imagine too many rail or tube commuters playing sardines with 'refillable empties' either.
    Originally posted by Fire Fox
    I don't see how carrying 'refillable empties' is any more of a problem than carrying packs of whatever the product to be purchased is

    In the 1980s/90s we had shops in all the local towns called 'Weigh and Save', they sold all sold all kinds of dry goods in big containers with scoops in and you could scoop out as much or as little as you needed into paper bags and were charged by weight. It was brilliant and I've missed them ever since - it seems like the time might be right for some enterprising soul to bring them back!
    Last edited by jackieblack; 09-06-2019 at 8:55 AM.
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    • Soworried
    • By Soworried 9th Jun 19, 8:57 AM
    • 2,146 Posts
    • 19,960 Thanks
    Soworried
    I use collapsible silicon container for our lunches.

    They fold flat once you have eaten.
    £84.01/£240
    £5380
    One step must start each journey
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    One hope will raise our spirits
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    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 9th Jun 19, 10:31 AM
    • 24,851 Posts
    • 28,923 Thanks
    Fire Fox
    I don't see how carrying 'refillable empties' is any more of a problem than carrying packs of whatever the product to be purchased is
    Originally posted by jackieblack
    In my city using (expensive) daily bus tickets to hit several shops or to run several errands is commonplace. Obviously you try to do the 'nippy' tasks first.

    Because on the outgoing trip and throughout errands you are carrying bulky 'empties', and on the return trip you have your heavy/ bulky groceries as normal.

    It would be awkward carting bottles and jars about the entire time, even if empty. People relying on public transport don't necessarily have the time, energy or inclination to do two completely separate trips in place of a round trip.

    IYSWIM.

    Agree with you more shops should have paper bags (large or small). Primark have long made it work, so other retailers should be able to. Tesco Pharmacy try to give me a tiny plastic bag every time I buy a single behind the counter medicine! Yes I refuse it every time (once a month say).
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    • KxMx
    • By KxMx 9th Jun 19, 11:57 AM
    • 7,606 Posts
    • 11,133 Thanks
    KxMx
    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.
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 9th Jun 19, 5:00 PM
    • 9,615 Posts
    • 32,437 Thanks
    DigForVictory
    I got a kilo of summer frocks that were too ragged to sell from a local cs (after some polite discussion) & made fabric carriers reusing dress fabric.

    They can cope with a bit of rain, unlike some paper bags & carry a reasonable load (even sharp cornered tertrapaks <blush>) so although made of the not-wholly-satisfactory cotton, there were not going to stay in circulation as garments but were headed for shredding & pulping etc.
    I've just delayed that last step.

    My work expects me to carry a laptopcase. With all sorts of bonus junk shoved in. A reusable cup makes no obvious difference to the space or weight but a shrewdly placed coffee makes it all much more worthwhile!
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