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  • FIRST POST
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 28th May 19, 3:49 PM
    • 8,986Posts
    • 32,349Thanks
    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 5
    • Vanlady
    • By Vanlady 13th Jun 19, 7:45 AM
    • 68 Posts
    • 626 Thanks
    Vanlady
    "!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" pip

    I'm another one who has been avoiding unnecessary plastic, especially single use, for a long time now and I agree, there's no point in replacing useable tupperware etc until it breaks.
    I have also been avoiding buying anything that contains palm oil, and there's a lot of products that do!, apparently even RSPO certified may contain traces of dirty palm oil. It's a mine field, so I will avoid it until I have more confidence in it.
    I haven't yet seen Hugh''s programme, but hopefully therell be better information/advise for the converted in the coming episodes? And even if not, let's hope the programme is an eye opener/stimulus for the unconverted.
    I have also started to email companies telling them I won't be buyng their products anymore until they change their unnecessary packaging or stop using palm oil.
    I have also started to use soda crystals for cleaning, I was sceptical at first but, I'm very impressed with it and once my conventional cleaners have been used up, I wont be replacing them.
    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 13th Jun 19, 8:49 AM
    • 1,351 Posts
    • 9,909 Thanks
    PipneyJane


    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.
    Originally posted by Fire Fox
    Good points, particularly the one that I've bolded, which can't be overstated.

    Pure vinegar is fine against things that don't like to live in a weak acidic environment, e.g. certain fungi, like the one that causes dandruff. It's not strong enough to do much damage to anything else. Ammonia is better.

    Peppermint oil is anti-fungal, so a useful addition to shampoo if you've got dandruff (add 5-10 drops per 100ml), or as a treatment for athlete's foot (either use as above to wash your feet or dilute 5-10 drops in 20ml of oil and apply a drop of that solution to your foot, rub in and leave). However, like most essential oils it can be toxic if used undiluted.

    Both tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil are effective antimicrobials but only if used in the correct concentrations. In fact, too low a concentration of tea tree oil has been shown to cause microbial resistance. (NB: I use a commercial eucalyptus oil based surface cleaner, which I get my Australian family to bring over when they visit.)

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

    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z. #47 Official Brain Harvesting Body Counter
    • Angelfeathers
    • By Angelfeathers 13th Jun 19, 10:41 PM
    • 371 Posts
    • 1,371 Thanks
    Angelfeathers
    Use real nappies instead of disposables. The amount of washing is nowhere near what is sometimes suggested, and when they finally reach the end of their life (after many years and hopefully many babies) they will decompose naturally instead of surviving in landfill for hundreds if not thousands of years.
    I'm broke, not poor. Poor sounds permanent, broke can be fixed. (Thoroughly Modern Millie)
    LBM June 2009, Debt Free (except mortgage) Sept 2016 - DONE IT!
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 13th Jun 19, 11:30 PM
    • 5,481 Posts
    • 8,769 Thanks
    Nick_C
    It is not at all clear that real nappies are better than disposals.
    • Angelfeathers
    • By Angelfeathers 14th Jun 19, 7:40 AM
    • 371 Posts
    • 1,371 Thanks
    Angelfeathers
    It is not at all clear that real nappies are better than disposals.
    Originally posted by Nick_C

    I know there is still some argument about this, but the arguments against real nappies seem to be mostly pushed by the disposable manufacturers and also to be based on erroneous assumptions about how they are washed. Most nappies do not require boil washes and do not make up massive amounts of loads every week. They can be thrown in with a normal wash at 40 degrees (with the occasional higher one for hygiene), and drying them outside in the sun is free and helps sanitise them too.


    Okay, they might take more energy and water in manufacture than disposables but a disposable is used *once* and then thrown away to sit in landfill giving off noxious gasses for hundreds of years. Cloth nappies last for *years*, can be used over several children and in fact get more absorbent the more they're used.


    And when they do eventually come to the end of their lives, they will break down naturally. Win-win!
    I'm broke, not poor. Poor sounds permanent, broke can be fixed. (Thoroughly Modern Millie)
    LBM June 2009, Debt Free (except mortgage) Sept 2016 - DONE IT!
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 14th Jun 19, 7:54 AM
    • 5,481 Posts
    • 8,769 Thanks
    Nick_C
    ... and the arguments for real nappies are made by "environmentalists", who are following a belief system. Environmentalism is not a science, its a religion.

    I've followed the argument for a long time. I read the 2005 report and the later "revision". You can't say the assumptions are erroneous. There is no evidence for that.

    Real nappies might be environmentally better, if you wash them at 30C with your other whites, use them for 4 children, and pass them on to friends once you have finished with them. Some people will do that, others won't.

    I don't think we should be sending them to landfill. We should be sending them for incineration with every energy recovery.

    Schemes to recycle disposable nappies are being developed, but the total environmental cost of these niche schemes is never clear.
    Last edited by Nick_C; 14-06-2019 at 12:06 PM.
    • Fiftys1
    • By Fiftys1 14th Jun 19, 10:09 AM
    • 15 Posts
    • 115 Thanks
    Fiftys1
    I used ‘real nappies’ aka terry towelling for two children in the 1980s. Not shaped in those days and still going strong as rags etc now with plenty of wear left. There are many arguments against incineration of waste which includes release of greenhouse gases so not progress with regards to reducing emissions as far as I can see. Reuse of a resource is way ahead of constant manufacture and transport of disposables not to mention financial benefits!!
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 14th Jun 19, 11:10 AM
    • 5,481 Posts
    • 8,769 Thanks
    Nick_C
    Incineration produces CO2. Landfill produces CH4 which is far worse.

    Energy can be captured from incineration.

    Energy is used to transport mixed recycling, separate it, run the mechanical equipment in a materials recovery facility, build and maintain the recovery facility and the high tech equipment it uses, and transport the separated materials hundreds, if not thousands, of miles for further processing.

    Some materials are definitely worth recycling. Others may not be.
    • Fiftys1
    • By Fiftys1 14th Jun 19, 11:46 AM
    • 15 Posts
    • 115 Thanks
    Fiftys1
    If you can reuse as an item already exists no need to recycle and use recycling facilities. If the item is originally cotton it can be composted and the very end of useful life.
    • Crafty Lisa Hampshire
    • By Crafty Lisa Hampshire 14th Jun 19, 1:45 PM
    • 101 Posts
    • 808 Thanks
    Crafty Lisa Hampshire
    Please consider using your washing up liquid diluted to clean your kitchen and bathroom.


    Firefox - are you able to tell me how much washing up liquid I should use in a diluted solution or is it the same as you would use when doing your washing up.
    • TheBanker
    • By TheBanker 14th Jun 19, 6:27 PM
    • 652 Posts
    • 1,643 Thanks
    TheBanker
    I used ‘real nappies’ aka terry towelling for two children in the 1980s. Not shaped in those days and still going strong as rags etc now with plenty of wear left.
    Originally posted by Fiftys1
    When I was a baby my mum used 'real nappies' which were hand-me-downs from my cousin. They were then used for my sister.

    Half a century after those nappies were purchased, mum still uses them as cloths.
    Make £10 a day challenge: Jan-18: £330 / £400
    • villagelife
    • By villagelife 15th Jun 19, 6:34 AM
    • 1,899 Posts
    • 21,496 Thanks
    villagelife
    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.
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 15th Jun 19, 7:13 AM
    • 4,639 Posts
    • 7,465 Thanks
    bouicca21
    I’m having a bit of deja vu. As a child my mother saved the waxed paper that was used in those days to wrap loaves of bread, and reused it to wrap sandwiches. Everyone else had theirs in cling film. I was so embarassed ...
    • Crafty Lisa Hampshire
    • By Crafty Lisa Hampshire 17th Jun 19, 12:24 PM
    • 101 Posts
    • 808 Thanks
    Crafty Lisa Hampshire
    I found a recipe, in case anyone is interested, for a multi-surface home made cleaner. It is from an article in The Guardian. 2 tablespoons of washing up liquid, 1/4 cup of white vinegar, put in a spray bottle and fill up with hot water and then shake. I used it this weekend and seems to be working quite nicely.
    • sillyvixen
    • By sillyvixen 18th Jun 19, 10:32 PM
    • 3,312 Posts
    • 5,271 Thanks
    sillyvixen
    It is not at all clear that real nappies are better than disposals.
    Originally posted by Nick_C
    Disposables contain all sorts of chemicals (bleach to give them that white colour and who knows what to draw the fluid to the core and hold it there). once you realise that, who wants all those chemicals against their little bundle of joy's nether regions.
    Dogs return to eat their vomit, just as fools repeat their foolishness. There is no more hope for a fool than for someone who says, "i am really clever!"
    • jwil
    • By jwil 19th Jun 19, 11:24 AM
    • 11,077 Posts
    • 40,507 Thanks
    jwil
    [*]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.
    - Pip
    Originally posted by PipneyJane
    This is just about the worst thing you can do. You should never put in something for recycling if you are not sure it has been asked for by your local council. Councils list what they want on their websites, it doesn't take a minute to check.

    When all recyclables are put into one bin, they are sorted by machinery. The machinery is not 100% effective, and so a lot of contamination remains. It varies dependent on the facility. If contamination is too high, the whole load will be rejected, or this poorer quality stuff is that which is more likely to end up dumped in a foreign country. One benefit of box collections where materials are all separated and sorted into different parts of the vehicle, is that they result in low levels of contamination as wrong materials can be left by the recycling crews.

    Milton Keynes council was one where waste was found in Malaysia on the War on Waste programme. They were also recently subject to penalties by their waste collection company because the amount of contamination in their recycling was far higher than expected. Around 25% of what is put in their recycling bins is not what should be. A lot of that will be well-meaning people putting things in that they *think* should be recycled, rather than what is actually asked for.

    We shouldn't just be focussing on recycling everything, we need to ensure that we are recycling the right things as well, as if it's all a load of rubbish masked as recycling, then no one will want to make anything out of it.
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • jwil
    • By jwil 19th Jun 19, 11:36 AM
    • 11,077 Posts
    • 40,507 Thanks
    jwil
    ... and the arguments for real nappies are made by "environmentalists", who are following a belief system. Environmentalism is not a science, its a religion.

    I've followed the argument for a long time. I read the 2005 report and the later "revision". You can't say the assumptions are erroneous. There is no evidence for that.

    Real nappies might be environmentally better, if you wash them at 30C with your other whites, use them for 4 children, and pass them on to friends once you have finished with them. Some people will do that, others won't.

    I don't think we should be sending them to landfill. We should be sending them for incineration with every energy recovery.

    Schemes to recycle disposable nappies are being developed, but the total environmental cost of these niche schemes is never clear.
    Originally posted by Nick_C
    I am fully on the side of reusable nappies, but as with everything reusable - the benefits generally come from the number of times an item is reused. A cloth nappy that is washed at high temperatures, tumble dried and then binned after one child is probably not better than a disposable, but one that is reused on several children and washed according to the instructions at 40, and line dried, will have a much better benefit. There are strong second hand markets for nappies which saves cost and the environment too.

    A cloth bag has a much higher environmental impact than a plastic bag and so is only of benefit if it is used hundreds of times.

    Incineration produces CO2. Landfill produces CH4 which is far worse.

    Energy can be captured from incineration.

    Energy is used to transport mixed recycling, separate it, run the mechanical equipment in a materials recovery facility, build and maintain the recovery facility and the high tech equipment it uses, and transport the separated materials hundreds, if not thousands, of miles for further processing.

    Some materials are definitely worth recycling. Others may not be.
    Originally posted by Nick_C
    You can capture methane from landfills and use it for energy I'm teasing, incineration is definitely better than landfill, but it's not the magic solution either. We need to reduce waste in the first place - it's not ok to bin something just because it can produce energy.

    I agree that some materials are not worth recycling (anything collected by Terracycle is probably a start!)
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • jwil
    • By jwil 19th Jun 19, 11:45 AM
    • 11,077 Posts
    • 40,507 Thanks
    jwil
    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.
    Originally posted by Fire Fox
    This ^^

    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?


    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.
    Originally posted by Nick_C
    I agree.
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • THIRZAH
    • By THIRZAH 19th Jun 19, 1:42 PM
    • 1,442 Posts
    • 7,617 Thanks
    THIRZAH
    I can understand why people use disposable nappies.I used to hate washing cloth nappies.
    • never too old
    • By never too old 19th Jun 19, 4:57 PM
    • 2,959 Posts
    • 31,309 Thanks
    never too old
    Evening all
    I haven't quite caught up so i apologise if this has already been said.
    Like many i am concerned about waste in general.... it scares me that by 2050 there is likely to be more plastic in the sea than fish.I understand that banning all plastic isn't the answer as its lighter to transport plastic than paper but we have to start somewhere.
    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.
    With my non recyclable plastic i take it back to Morrisons every few weeks( i am assured by the store manager this does get sorted and doesn't go into landfill which i do hope is true)

    Lastly along with all recycling my council collects food waste which is amazing as i now have hardly any landfill rubbish.
    £2019 in 2019 challenge no 18
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