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  • FIRST POST
    • bumblebeany
    • By bumblebeany 1st Jan 18, 5:39 PM
    • 62Posts
    • 1,118Thanks
    bumblebeany
    Minimise plastic waste 2018. China refuses our refuse.
    • #1
    • 1st Jan 18, 5:39 PM
    Minimise plastic waste 2018. China refuses our refuse. 1st Jan 18 at 5:39 PM
    I have tried to reduce plastic waste over the years, but it has always been easy to slip back into old habits, especially when plastic is so ubiquitous.

    Now that China are going to refuse our refuse for recycling there will be bound to be a knock on effect to consumers. In theory you would hope that this could be an impetus for manufacturers to change their packaging, what seems more likely to happen in the short term is that fines in the way of plastic taxes will be passed onto consumers.

    Thought it might be good to put tips, hints etc on ways to reduce waste plus rants you have sent to manufacturers/politicians In one place, I know it pops up on other threads.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42455378
Page 2
    • Laura_Elsewhere
    • By Laura_Elsewhere 4th Jan 18, 5:21 PM
    • 104 Posts
    • 769 Thanks
    Laura_Elsewhere

    I have also switched to homemade soap bars instead of liquid soap, and am hoping to try making shampoo/conditioner bars too (you can buy these too from places like lush if you don't want to make them)
    Originally posted by trulymadlyhannah
    My top tip is to use or make some old-fashioned soap-dishes - if the soap is able to drain each time it's wetted then it lasts oodles longer - it's when it sits in a little puddle of water and then of gunk that it cracks and splits and goes manky and nobody wants to use it and it's all falling apart and well that was a waste of money let's not bother with that again.
    A soap dish can be almost anything that will lift the soap up off the basin/bath edge and let it drain and dry off. I have a lovely old enamel ware one, very simple, but you can make them with Fimo - roll some long worms, lay them at right angles across (different colours?) and squash slightly to make each worm kink a little at each cross-roads, then bak and varnish. One DIY soap-dish - if you have kids, they get to make their own ones, which makes them more likely to use it.

    I'll be interested to hear how you get on with making your own beeswax-impregnated cloths - I'm thinking of doing this for my chap's sandwiches, currently going into a thin single-use bag each day.
    • Laura_Elsewhere
    • By Laura_Elsewhere 4th Jan 18, 5:32 PM
    • 104 Posts
    • 769 Thanks
    Laura_Elsewhere



    5. My biscuit addiction caused me to discover Terracycle - they are a company who have teamed up with the Scottish-sounding biscuit manufacturer to provide a recycling service for all sweet biscuit wrappers. Doing that I then joined their recycling schemes for beauty packaging and home cleaning packaging - this is particularly useful as they accept spray triggers, caps, tubes etc that I can't put into clear sack recycling. You send it all to them (they pay for shipping) and get points which you can convert into cash for a charity of your choice.
    Originally posted by Metamorphic Furniture
    Blimey, that's a REALLY useful tip - have googled them and they sound really interesting. And I know several people I'll be sending the link to as well...

    loose fruit + veg (might sew myself some produce bags of I can find some net curtains in a charity shop/jumble sale),
    Originally posted by Metamorphic Furniture
    this is brilliant - I shall have a ferret around in my fabric and see what I've got that would work!


    8. Have made some reusable cosmetic round pads out of some white fleece I found in the bargain bin in my local fabric store
    Originally posted by Metamorphic Furniture
    Just be aware that fleece fabrics, and microfibres of all kinds, are possibly the single worst pollutant ever unleashed on the planet... :'( If you have it, try to find ways of reducing how often it gets washed - spot-clean, damp-sponging, etc,. will all work on fleecy jackets and tops to extend the period between washes, hanging them in the bathroom inside-out on a hanger, misting the armpits with vodka, all help too - hey, it works on the opera costumes worn night after night by different people, usually over just skin, under hot lighting, in physically demanding situations for hours at a time, and which cannot ever be washed!

    I'm using dishcloth cotton to crochet reusable face pads, but cotton isn't exactly sound either, so I'm on the look-out for organic, pesticide-free cotton yarn to use... I'm lucky that I've got a huge stash of assorted stuff like yarn and fabric so can get away with no buying more while I try to source better alternatives, but it shocks me to find how much I had been reliant on buying microfibre and cotton, not realising the environmental impact...
    • simplelivingislandlife
    • By simplelivingislandlife 4th Jan 18, 5:33 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 355 Thanks
    simplelivingislandlife
    Spendless I have a Klean Kanteen, pricey but oh so worth it. It's been banged, dropped, scrapped you name it and it's still going. The seal is done on friction with a little bit of plastic at the top.

    Moneyistoshorttomention I watched a lovely 15 minute or something (I think it was longer) youtube video on a commune kinda like this is America. They have taken over one apartment block and they all have a veggie patch in the communal garden which they all look after, they do bulk ordering, no-ones a car. It sounded like heaven to me! If you want holler and I can see if I can find it again
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    • maryb
    • By maryb 4th Jan 18, 5:40 PM
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    • 46,099 Thanks
    maryb
    Getting confused as to which thread I am on. We've been talking about shampoo bars (among other things) on the simple living thread. I bought a shampoo bar from Lush today and was a bit horrified at the price but I was assured it lasts a long time. My DD has used them and says it will be fine for me because I have shortish hair but she doesn't find it so good with long hair.

    Which makes me grrrr because she is terrible at leaving an inch in the bottom of shampoo bottles and never finishing them. Every now and then I combine the dregs in a single bottle and use it up (I'm not fussy - though it helps if the bottle is opaque as it can turn a lovely sludge colour). That saves buying a bottle in every, say, five.

    But interestingly, she is now using less plastic because she is only washing her hair every four days. She said the transition from washing every day was difficult but now her hair is in much better condition
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
    • YORKSHIRELASS
    • By YORKSHIRELASS 4th Jan 18, 6:23 PM
    • 4,571 Posts
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    YORKSHIRELASS
    I am going to make one simple change straight away in buying my meat from the butcher where it comes in small plastic bags instead of the huge plastic trays that come from the supermarket. May also look at the fruit and veg shop too but I know that fruit and veg is more expensive that way and I am on a budget!
    • Nonnadiluca
    • By Nonnadiluca 4th Jan 18, 7:39 PM
    • 180 Posts
    • 1,884 Thanks
    Nonnadiluca
    Wow, loads of interesting ideas and useful information.
    Re shampoo bars, I didn't get on with them so I bought a 5litre bottle of clear unscented shampoo from Suma cooperative, via Amazon. I really like it, and although it's a plastic bottle, the size means it will be useful to use for comfrey plant food and suchlike when empty. I don't think I would be able to reuse 20 x 250ml plastic bottles! Also I think it will last OH and I at least 2 years. Also Lush shampoo bars contain palm oil derivatives and I try to avoid this.
    The bags from the inside of cereal boxes are brilliant for wrapping food and can be washed and used loads of times.
    In other news, I had an email from the village butcher today ; they are aiming to replace plastic packaging with biodegradable paper. I was very impressed and replied to tell them so. There's definitely a widespread shift towards reducing plastic use.
    Please keep the ideas coming - I try my best to use as little plastic as possible and someone always comes up with ideas I wouldn't have thought of.

    Lush shampoo bars no longer contain palm oil derivatives; last time I was looking I read the ingredients list and some of them did but that was a while ago, so apologies for the misinformation.
    Last edited by Nonnadiluca; 05-01-2018 at 7:38 AM. Reason: Out of date info, sorry!
    • Laura_Elsewhere
    • By Laura_Elsewhere 4th Jan 18, 7:45 PM
    • 104 Posts
    • 769 Thanks
    Laura_Elsewhere
    We only have supermarkets available but I've found that Sainsbury's meat counter use brown paper bags for their packaging AND they're cheaper than the pre-packed stuff!

    So even if you're tied to the supermarkets, you can still find ways round the plastic...
    • Laura_Elsewhere
    • By Laura_Elsewhere 4th Jan 18, 7:51 PM
    • 104 Posts
    • 769 Thanks
    Laura_Elsewhere
    But interestingly, she is now using less plastic because she is only washing her hair every four days. She said the transition from washing every day was difficult but now her hair is in much better condition
    Originally posted by maryb
    Yes, I wash my long-enough-to-sit-on hair only once a week and it's in good condition. I use natural bristle brushes and a fine-tooth comb every day to clean it as well - people think they're only for making it look shiny, but they are cleaning-tools as well!

    I always think the shampoo-and-conditioner people are one of the most astounding marketing rip-offs ever.

    Convince everyone to wash their hair daily, and that forces their scalp to produce more oil in a desperate attempt to protect itself, and that means you absolutely must wash your hair daily or it's a big oil-slick...! And all that washing knackers the ends so you have to use conditioner...

    Very clever of them.

    (If anyone wants to move away from washing their hair all the time, just move your next hair-wash half a day further away... crucially, give it 2-3 weeks at these intervals to adjust, and then extend the gap a little further. Give it time again to adjust... sometimes people don't do it slowly enough, their poor abused scalps can't adjust and they give up in despair. Just go for it slowly...)
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 4th Jan 18, 7:54 PM
    • 3,187 Posts
    • 8,089 Thanks
    tori.k
    I am going to make one simple change straight away in buying my meat from the butcher where it comes in small plastic bags instead of the huge plastic trays that come from the supermarket. May also look at the fruit and veg shop too but I know that fruit and veg is more expensive that way and I am on a budget!
    Originally posted by YORKSHIRELASS
    Take in a reusable container and you can ditch the plastic bag as well, I still get the plastic weighing sheet but don't have the bag to worry about.
    You find as you reduced the amount you buy because of packaging and consuming less balances out the slightly higher costs of using a local butcher, greengrocer and Baker.
    Simplifying meals with more seasonal products also helps cut costs.
    Consider food miles is also something to keep in mind you may be able to get something more environmental friendly from abroad, but the shipping usually costs more in carbon than it's local slightly less friendly equivalent.
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    • Linda32
    • By Linda32 4th Jan 18, 9:23 PM
    • 4,183 Posts
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    Linda32
    I'm thinking of doing this for my chap's sandwiches, currently going into a thin single-use bag each day.
    Originally posted by Laura_Elsewhere
    How about buying one plastic box and washing out each day. We have quite a few that we re-use for a variety of things.
    • Laura_Elsewhere
    • By Laura_Elsewhere 4th Jan 18, 9:31 PM
    • 104 Posts
    • 769 Thanks
    Laura_Elsewhere
    How about buying one plastic box and washing out each day. We have quite a few that we re-use for a variety of things.
    Originally posted by Linda32
    The sandwich tends to come apart and the two slices and the filling all part company!

    So it needs to be in something that holds it snugly together as two slices and a filling, cut in to two, and which can then be put into the box he uses to carry his lunch - we "re-purposed" a freebie toolbox, a plastic box with a good catch and a handle so it's carried flat. We use the tinfoil cases from bought tarts and mini pies to hold home-made jam tarts, with little flat round biscuits made from the leftover pastry to put over the top of each jam tart as a 'lid' to stop it easily spilling. In summer and autumn he has a small washable non-leak box with fresh fruit in it, but at present he's taking small plastic pots of pineapple - I plan eventually to change those for filling the washable leakproof pots from a tin of pineapple.

    But definitely, something to wrap the sandwich in so it doesn't slide apart and smear salmon paste all over the jam tarts!
    • skye blue
    • By skye blue 4th Jan 18, 10:12 PM
    • 129 Posts
    • 551 Thanks
    skye blue
    Hi

    Just read through these comments as this is something on my radar that i want to give more thought too as well

    I would just like to say has anyone noticed that sainsbury's till receipts are printed on both sides - do any other supermarkets do this? ive noticed this for a while now and it must be cheaper for them and its less paper to recycle
    • Sally A
    • By Sally A 4th Jan 18, 10:16 PM
    • 2,228 Posts
    • 5,837 Thanks
    Sally A
    I use deep plastic punnets, e.g. mushroom containers as seed trays. They may only get one extra use, but they do crumble after a couple of years in the greenhouse, and I'm not buying purpose built seed trays.

    • Hev
    • By Hev 4th Jan 18, 10:29 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 413 Thanks
    Hev
    Laura we used to use greaseproof paper to wrap sandwiches in years ago, might be an answer?

    We have decided to give up our coffee pod machine after realising how unenvironmentally friendly they are

    We use our own bags but I want to make more from my fabric stash and maybe give some to friends and family through the year.

    Plenty of room for improvement here sadly.
    Some people are so poor all they have is money
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    • Caterina
    • By Caterina 4th Jan 18, 10:31 PM
    • 5,753 Posts
    • 39,774 Thanks
    Caterina
    I use cardboard punnets and egg cartons as base for my countertop compost bin, they catch the spill and absorbe liquids so it's easier to clean it.
    Finally I'm an OAP and can travel free (in London at least!).
    • maryb
    • By maryb 4th Jan 18, 11:01 PM
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    • 46,099 Thanks
    maryb
    Laura, Lakeland do a pack of stacking food storage boxes and the 400 ml size is the perfect shape and depth for a sandwich. It!!!8217;s square and about an inch deep so the sandwich doesn!!!8217;t slip around. Unfortunately they seem to come in packs of 10 but they are useful for other things too
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
    • maryb
    • By maryb 4th Jan 18, 11:04 PM
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    • 46,099 Thanks
    maryb
    Hev I haven!!!8217;t looked at it because our coffee machine uses teabag type pods or fresh ground rather than Nespresso type capsules, but I think you can get kits for making your own capsules. We have a branch of Hema and they were selling them
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
    • Jojo the Tightfisted
    • By Jojo the Tightfisted 4th Jan 18, 11:19 PM
    • 24,402 Posts
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    Jojo the Tightfisted
    Sorry if this is TMI, but when the Hades did tampons start coming with plastic applicators?

    Himself did an emergency run to the shop for me a couple of months ago when I was caught out (usually use a Mooncup), got what he guessed would do as I hadn't specified a brand (because I haven't used the things for years and didn't want him to come back with nothing) and there's a flaming great lump of plastic tubing.

    I'm not putting that in the plastics recycling bin even with a rinse under the tap, but I definitely feel more ewww at the thought of hundreds of thousands of the things around forever.



    In other things, I'm on the lookout for some nice scraps of cotton to make into beeswax foodwraps to get away from the cling film and sandwich bags he tends to buy. I know I could just tell him not to do it, but I have enough difficulty convincing him to not wrap my lunch in three layers of foil and that ecofriendly washing up liquid, soaps, detergent and loo cleaner are essential purchases; I'm not going to achieve wrapping in greaseproof or making up salad jars any time soon. The disagreements over plastic pegs and washing up brushes were quite enough, thank you.

    Oh, and he still hasn't quite worked out why I am less than enthusiastic at his replacing my wicker linen bin with some plasticy-nylony piece of ***** just because the cat's clawed at it a few times.


    Other things I have on my list to do are to;

    Replace the washing up bowl with an enamelled one when it cracks (it's on its last legs).
    Find a decent shopping basket because I don't care what people think of me. And it's perfect for when I get plants/bulbs/eggs (always in cardboard boxes, by the way) because it's a doddle to carry things level compared to a bag.
    Can you still get proper string bags (ie, not plasticy ones)?
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.

    Yup you are officially Rock n Roll
    Originally posted by colinw
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 5th Jan 18, 8:13 AM
    • 15,849 Posts
    • 43,877 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    Spendless I have a Klean Kanteen, pricey but oh so worth it. It's been banged, dropped, scrapped you name it and it's still going. The seal is done on friction with a little bit of plastic at the top.

    Moneyistoshorttomention I watched a lovely 15 minute or something (I think it was longer) youtube video on a commune kinda like this is America. They have taken over one apartment block and they all have a veggie patch in the communal garden which they all look after, they do bulk ordering, no-ones a car. It sounded like heaven to me! If you want holler and I can see if I can find it again
    Originally posted by simplelivingislandlife
    It would be interesting to watch that video if you can manage to look it out. I used to wonder about communal living when I was younger - but the nearest I got to it was some months living in a sorta communal type set-up and a visit to friends who had a commune. Don't see me doing it now - but it's an idea that intrigues me.

    ************

    I've certainly come across string shopping bags pretty recently. Think Lakeland do them?

    Tampons have certainly come with plastic (instead of cardboard) bits for some while now. I'm in my mid-60s and hence it's been years since I needed them - but I definitely recall having to steer clear of some for that reason back then. I recall them coming on the market "in my time" (therefore they must have been around for at least 10 years) and thinking that I wouldnt gratuitously use plastic like that and not fancying the thought of using them personally anyway.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 05-01-2018 at 8:21 AM.
    *******************
    • VJsmum
    • By VJsmum 5th Jan 18, 8:33 AM
    • 5,177 Posts
    • 76,198 Thanks
    VJsmum
    Not surprising that a Council mightnt get the irony of what they are doing - with the number of householders that don't get the irony of saying they are so environmentally-minded and the next thing you know is you find out a bit about their personal circumstances/way they live their life and think (NB; this wasnt aimed at you bumblebeany I hasten to add).
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    This is kind of me because I fly quite a lot and, environmentally, one flight (especially one long haul flight) wipes out any kind of saving you make elsewhere. I did one of those "footprint calculator" things a while ago and one return long haul flight and a couple of short haul put me at about 3 times my share... And that is with going almost everywhere else by train or on foot; car journeys we do make are in an electric hybrid car; I don't tumble dry or use plastic water bottles (I am working on the coffee cups but don't buy many coffees out); have our own shopping bags (I often get one as a holiday souvenir ); and recycle all the plastic. This year I will work on not bringing plastic in in the first place.

    But I would do better to not fly...
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    You're hovering worriedly over your eggs, And I'm pondering trees
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