/ Reducing plastic waste

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girlymonkey - on 10 Nov 2017
What great solutions have you found to reducing packaging? Obviously, we recycle everything we can, but it's still got to be better not to create it in the first place.

I have found websites selling solid shampoo, conditioner and deodorants, so have ordered those. I already use solid soap.

With food stuff, there are usually options like buying meat at butchers and farm shops which are minimally packaged.

Have any of you found good household cleaning products which are better? What other things have you managed to cut down on packaging with?
Run_Ross_Run - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

I brew my own ale now so does that count?

Less can/bottle usages etc?
girlymonkey - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to Run_Ross_Run:

I guess so! I don't drink though, so not going to help me cut down on waste!
Pids - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

Grow your own fruit and veg - save packaging and mileage - storage can be a problem though

Speak to local farmers, they may sell lamb/pig/some beef that they rear, kill and butcher for you - we get a lot of our meat that way, even get to specify certain cuts of meat, and way less packaging - you do need a large freezer to store it in though

Fishmonger is great as well, def less packaging

Pizza - make your own, and way more fun, get creative with toppings

And drink Barr's, then recycle the bottles - although don't think you get money back anymore

girlymonkey - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to Pids:

I tried growing veg this year with some success, and some failure! I don't have enough space to grow enough to really make a big difference though. Our apple tree supplied us with 5 apples this year!! lol. Maybe I will be more successful next year!!

Local farm shop is good for meat and veg with little packaging.

Yes, I am guilty of buying pizzas to have as emergency meals in the freezer, that is one I should be able to cut down on by batch cooking other emergency meals to have in the freezer. Good thought, thanks
Pete Pozman - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

Make your own hummus and coleslaw. Saves buying all those stupid little one-use plastic pots. Buy butter instead of spread in plastic tubs. Take your own plastic bags with you and use them when you buy loose veg from the supermarket; this is if you're embarassed about dumping loose veg on the checkout thingie.
Tom Last - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

Where you do buy stuff in plastic containers, jars for example, buy larger volumes.

Larger volume equates to smaller surface to volume ratio.
dilatory - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

We buy our loo roll from who gives a crap. It's more expensive but recycled, has paper packaging and some money goes back to water aid.
Clint86 - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

We buy milk from milkman in glass bottles. Have stopped buying yoghurts. Use a flask when travelling to stop buying takeaway coffees etc. Buy minimal house hold cleaning products, but ecover products in bulk when we do.
girlymonkey - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to dilatory:

Wow, that is pricey! I guess we have to put our money where our mouths are with looking after the planet
girlymonkey - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to Clint86:

I don't think there are milk men around here, but when my parents got milk delivered, it was in cartons.
Not being a tea or coffee drinker does help me on this front, I usually have a bottle of water with me so rarely need to buy a drink on the go.
I was reading that you can get refills of ecover products in some shops so you don't need to do the buying in bulk (handy if you have limited storage space). Going to try to look into that.
I also wash out sandwich bags and reuse them until my husband declares them too tatty and bins them! Lol
Clint86 - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

You can get great sandwich wrappers that era reusable. Would make good Christmas presents. You can google them.
girlymonkey - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to Clint86:

Ooh, interesting! Thanks
ByEek on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

I really struggle. We live in a very busy household and I don't have the time or money to go to a local butchers. It does my head in that when we come back from the supermarket the bin gets filled with plastic wrapping.

But the flip side is that if everyone bought from the local butchers or food that was not wrapped, food miles would sky rocket as supermarket distribution is more efficient than local shops, and food waste would also rise as not vac packing food reduces its shelf life.

The only solution I can think of is a material with plastic properties (cost and durability) but that is biodegradable or recyclable.
wintertree - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to ByEek:

> The only solution I can think of is a material with plastic properties (cost and durability) but that is biodegradable or recyclable.

Plastics are recyclable. The problem is controlling their life cycle so that they are recycled. Basically not possible with several billion people in the loop and current levels of social responsibility.

MargieB - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

I live in the Highlands of Scotland and when I came back from Australia in l995 I contrasted my supermarket in the highlands with that in Australia. Every vegetable in Australia was in boxes and not individually wrapped into set amounts. I picked and weighed my own amounts. A cucumber wrapped in plastic in the UK! Why!!! It was shocking. If Australia has gone the same way I shall be so disappointed if it thinks that is progress. I feel every week like tearing off the plastic as I do at home while unpacking the shopping and leaving the pile of plastic in front of each store to show what it produces... Petition the supermarkets? Did so with Aldi when they recently switched a paper bag of their oats for a plastic bag for the oats!! Why? They think it LOOKS better and SELLS better. So we the consumer need re-educating ,s well, as to our expectations. More TV adverts to convert us all? More plastic whales touring the country. My neighbours have had notices plonked around about what to recycle and are still abysmal. I think it is because there are not 3 bins in the kitchen itself ( one for plastic/paper, one for glass and one for general } to force you to sort at that stage before you rush out the door to work etc. I think it helps.
marsbar - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

I have a spray bottle that I refill with white vinegar for cleaning. It does smell but it's very very effective. You can also reuse old spray bottles and get a big bottle of flash or similar and dilute it yourself. Anything that avoids transportation of water is probably more efficient. Zoflora comes in tiny bottles and you dilute it. Washing powder in cardboard boxes rather than liquids?
Si_G - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

Careful with what you consider as a cardboard box. If it’s laminated with plastic or foil then it can’t be recycled at all.
This is common with “cardboard” coffee cups and washing powders for waterproofing.
nufkin - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to Si_G:

> If it’s laminated with plastic or foil then it can’t be recycled at all.

I think there are specialist recyclers who can, but presumably councils currently don't want to go to the trouble of separating these specially
Fraser on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

> I already use solid soap.

AKA ... soap?

girlymonkey - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to Fraser:

Lol, well yes. But i have noticed that many people now use shower gel and liquid hand soaps. I was trying to differentiate from those!
girlymonkey - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to Si_G:

Our council recycles tetra packs, like juice cartons, do these other packagings not fall into the same category?
girlymonkey - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to marsbar:

Ooh, I haven't heard of Zoflora, I will look them up. Thanks

I do already buy washing powder rather than liquid, and don't use fabric conditioners etc (I just want clean clothes, I don't want them to smell of conditioners!)
girlymonkey - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to MargieB:

We have 3 bins in the kitchen, a rubbish bin, recycling bin and food waste bin (our council compost our food waste with garden waste and then we can get the compost for free for our gardens!)
ByEek on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to wintertree:

> Plastics are recyclable. The problem is controlling their life cycle so that they are recycled. Basically not possible with several billion people in the loop and current levels of social responsibility.

Agreed. Our council recycle milk bottles and other bottles but they are not interested in food packaging sadly.
marsbar - on 11 Nov 2017
Fraser on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

Not quite the question you'd asked, but in our London office where I'm temporarily working, I was about to dispose of some 'plastic' cutlery at the coffee point when I was told the utensil was compostible, and should go in that bin, rather than the 'plastic recycling' one. Apparently, all the disposable cutlery and plates/bowls in the place are made from some sort of vegetable oil (or something like that), and are compostible. I was quite impressed there were such products.
johncook - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to ByEek:
I try to be good with waste and recycling.
My council don't recycle any plastic, just paper, cans and glass bottles and green garden waste (not green food waste!). Plastic bottles I take with me to another council area that has a recycling skip. The Matlock Sainsbury has skips which take mixed plastic bottles and plastic food boxes, like marge tubs and ice-cream tubs.
For an experiment I stopped putting out my general waste bin on 1st January this year (The bin-men won't walk the 10ft up the path unless I pay the council £35pa even though I live in sheltered housing) It took me until October to fill it and even then, if I had compressed it down a bit it was only half full. I shop carefully and try to avoid over packaged food.
My garden waste bin only gets woody waste, the rest is composted along with kitchen veg waste. The stuff the council collect is sold back to the public at a silly high price, so composting makes sense.
It also takes me several months to fill the blue box with cans and glass.
My neighbours almost fill both bins and the blue box every two weeks which is a puzzle to me!
In the 80's I used to import light weight insulating building aggregate. It came from Denmark in biodegradable nylon like bags. I wonder why more people aren't using this technology. (It really worked, if a bag got left outside for 6 months you could put your fingers through it!)
Post edited at 18:34
ByEek on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to johncook:

> My neighbours almost fill both bins and the blue box every two weeks which is a puzzle to me!

I think it is a lifestyle thing. You clearly seem to have plenty of spare time for popping to various recycling centres and assorted shops with packaging in mind. Sadly that luxury of time isn't afforded to a busy family of 4. So you buy a pack of chicken and it comes in a plastic tray that goes in the bin. In fact, you can easily fill a kitchen bin every few days just with plastic trays that meat comes in. We get through at least 6 4 pint plastic milk bottles a week which goes in our brown bin. This is emptied every month and is always full (including cans). Our paper bin is also emptied every two weeks and is also full but most of that consists of cr@p that comes through the front door in the form of junk mail. I am always staggered at how much waste we generate but thankfully the majority is recycled. Not to say our two weekly small black bin isn't full each time.
johncook - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to ByEek:

In the USA the plastic bin collectors came round every week. Their truck was equipped with a shredder/sorter so all the plastic went in, was shredded and sorted on the truck so they could do a full day without a trip to empty, and when they did the bits were ready chopped and sorted. We didn't even need to remove the bottle tops. The company paid the local county for the priviledge of collecting our waste, from which they made a profit. In the UK the bottles are collected usually complete with lids and do not even compress in the truck, so the truck had to empty a few times a day (assuming the council collect which ours doesn't!) Oddly I also found that there was less wrapping used in Texas!
Plastic trays will squash down to almost nothing, especially if stacked. I admit I live alone but I do eat more than the average. I don't shop around, but tend to buy the produce with the least packing from a supermarket. The only recycling I transport is plastic, which is dropped off when I am at the supermarket where the skips are.
summo on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

> Our council recycles tetra packs, like juice cartons, do these other packagings not fall into the same category?

Do the actually recycle, or just burn for energy? Many countries don't bother as some now have plastic caps and all are lined to make them waterproof.
girlymonkey - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to summo:

I don't know what they do with them, but they go in our plastics bin rather than cardboard. Our council is pretty good on recycling generally
johncook - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

My council is rubbish at recycling. Near me is a company that sorts/recycles waste, both domestic and corporate, it's boast is "nothing to landfill" and the local council will not use it, for ideological reasons I believe! The council keeps getting warnings about how little it recycles and how much it puts in landfill, but it makes no difference.
veteye on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

I fit in the category of having very little time, let alone free time, so I'm always fighting to catch up on jobs to do.
I do try to buy mushrooms in Morrison's which I put in a paper bag, but sometimes these are not available. At work we have used the milkman since 1988, and sometimes when we get ahead I take bottles of milk home, where there is no such service.
My comment is of a different slant:- I recycle plastic food containers for use in keeping food which I have made in excess. Then I microwave the food in these containers. I have quite a few plastic ex-Christmas pudding bowls that are useful in this respect. I also have a few supermarket Indian quickie meal containers that I use in a similar way, or in the case of a couple of round flat-bottomed ones, I can eat my pudding in them, and then recycle them again.
Jamie Wakeham - on 12 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

Whenever I am about to buy anything that comes in disposable plastic, I stop, and ask myself two things: do I actually need this, and is there a way to get it without the plastic? Sometimes the answers are 'yes' and 'no', and that's OK. But very often I either don;t need it that badly, or can find another way to buy it. I ask myself the same questions when it comes to buying from Amazon, too...

It's quite likely that you have a glass-bottle milk delivery service; Dairy Crest/Milk&More have pretty good coverage. They're a bit more expensive than the supermarket, but I actually found that I went to the shops less once we had milk delivered; it was amazing how many drives to Sainsbury's began with the words 'we're nearly out of milk'. So I reckon it pays for itself in petrol and time.

WGAC toilet paper isn't the highest quality - if you're used to super quilted stuff, it's a bit of a let down, but it's perfectly adequate and not much more expensive than supermarket recycled loo roll (3.8p more per 100 sheets).

Almost everything that comes in plastic bottles can be bought in bulk 5L bottles, usually much cheaper. Does need storage space, of course. About the only thing I still buy in small-ish bottles is dishwasher rinse aid, which I can only find in 750ml bottles from Bio-D. Dishwasher powder can be bought loose (when did we become convinced that dishwasher tablets must be individually wrapped, fer chrissakes?) and a lot of things can often be bought at refill stations at farmers' markets - washing-up liquid, laundry detergent, etc.

I still have a weakness for houmous in plastic pots. Every time I tell myself I should just make it, and every time I'm in too much of a hurry...
marsbar - on 12 Nov 2017
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

If you can find a Turkish shop you can get large strong plastic boxes of hummus and then reuse the box for sandwiches or whatever.
Kimono - on 12 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:
I’m currently travelling through Asia. I’ve been here a month and have so far bought only one plastic bottle of water (I needed a small bottle to fit a bike I hired). I purify water using a steripen.
I also have my own straw which I clean after using

Eric9Points - on 12 Nov 2017
In reply to Kimono:

I don't want to pick on you particularly, as I'm as guilty as you are, but how much fuel do you think was burned on your behalf to get you to where you wanted to be?

How does that compare with the CO2 savings you're made by not buying a few plastic bottles and how much damage to the Oceans do you think the (probably) several hundred Kgs of aviation fuel burned in the atmosphere has done in comparison to the plastic waste that may or may not end up in the ocean?
NottsRich on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Eric9Points:

> several hundred Kgs of aviation fuel burned in the atmosphere has done in comparison to the plastic waste that may or may not end up in the ocean?

What's worse for the world? Fossil fuel emissions and subsequent climate change, or plastic which will eventually end up in the oceans and our food chain? Which should we tackle first?

subtle on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Fraser:

> Apparently, all the disposable cutlery and plates/bowls in the place are made from some sort of vegetable oil (or something like that), and are compostible. I was quite impressed there were such products.

Have they not heard of crockery of metal cutlery that can be washed, and reused a multitude of times?

Its a crazy place that London...........
MargieB - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:
I use The power of nature in hanging the washing out just before a heavy frost and overnight. I have done this for years- washing bedclothes and towels at 30 degree wash and then hanging them out for the frosty night to do its job of killing off bacteria and freshening without artificial clothes' freshener and making white school shirts that have gone grey white again. Never remove clothing when stiff and even solid with frost as it will tear- but there is always a wind after a frost [ at least in the Highlands{] to thaw material. Then you move it partially dried if the wind is on your side or even completely dried.
Low co2 - no laundry conditioner bottles- no anti bacterial bottles- no bleach bottles- better water quality.
Yes I wash a lot before snow and frost and watch the weather forecasts... But it doesn't shorten longevity of cloth provided you don't move it when stiff.
Post edited at 15:37
Xharlie on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to subtle:

One of the things I absolutely loathed about my job in London was how much waste the kitchens produced. Every time someone drank a sub-100ml cup of water, a little plastic cup was discarded. Every cup of coffee resulted in not only a little plastic "stirrer" being thrown in the bin but also at least one (often two) little plasticised-aluminium coffee pods in the refuse.

I kept a teaspoon in my drawer and used a re-usable bottle at my desk. But I was the only one. Even the other people who remarked upon my habits neglected to copy them. Even a practical argument pointing out the fact that the plastic stirrers were too feeble to lift a tea-bag out of a mug, for example, would be pointedly ignored.
girlymonkey - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to MargieB:

I'm obviously not fussy enough with my washing! I just assume that my normal wash with normal powder leaves it clean enough! I do hang it out to dry, it smells better! I don't have white things, seems like too much faff. I also don't believe in ironing! The few pieces of smart clothing I have were chosen carefully to need no special treatment!
MargieB - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:
I have a B&B at Loch Ness as well as personal bedding/towels so like the above people there is a commercial aspect to all actions as well and that is a big big problem. Of course every one may not be lucky enough to have such cold nights!!
Most of the time it is seen as a disadvantage heating wise and I reckon we are big CO2 users up here. All the more reason to go green.
Post edited at 08:02
MargieB - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to johncook:

shredding may result in wrong plastic mixing with right plastic? Here in the Highlands confusion reigns about which plastic is to be put in the bins so I suppose having unshredded items allows for extracting incorrect items.

However given the great distances in the highlands between houses this shredding idea seems interesting so lorry can travel without going back to depot. Might pop that idea to my local Councillor one day when I see her.
James Malloch - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

Ecover are a brand that sell cleaning products. Various places offer refills to reduce waste. I know of one in Leeds and one in Skipton but there must be more around the country.
girlymonkey - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to MargieB:

I personally almost always find B and Bs and hotels to be overheated. I know I am in the minority, but I am forever opening windows and letting out all the heat that people have paid money and expended CO2 to generate. I guess there is no real way round it in a business where you have to try to cater for majority expectations but it always feels wasteful to me!
girlymonkey - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to James Malloch:

Yes, I heard about their refills. I think I have found somewhere around me doing them, I am hoping to get in soon to see what they have. I still have some cleaning products to finish first.
artif on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

I like to leave unnecessary packaging at the point of sale (don't do it nearly enough mind), just don't see the point carrying all the junk home with me to fill my bin.
I guess if everyone did the same, the retailers would request the manufacturers to change their ways pretty quickly.
Epic Ebdon on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to artif:

I've never done that in the UK, but I believe it is the law in Germany, that the retailer has to take the packaging back at the point of sale. My wife certainly has a habit of unpacking things like lip balm and leaving the packaging with the cashier.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to ByEek:

> Agreed. Our council recycle milk bottles and other bottles but they are not interested in food packaging sadly.

This might disappoint:
https://treadingmyownpath.com/2014/09/11/why-tetra-paks-arent-green-even-though-theyre-recyclable/
DubyaJamesDubya - on 16 Nov 2017
MargieB - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

Anyone know how to cheaply replace the scourer?
I buy the packets from pound land . Please not expensive stuff!


The J cloth cleaning type cloth is variable in composting ability. I think I have the type you can put safely in the compost to break down. It seems none thick and heavy.
But I do need a scourer and they are made of none recyclable plastic.
Grooler on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

We've made a conscious effort to try and cut down waste recently, especially plastic.

We get ecover refills from our local organic supermarket - it's just remembering to take the bottles out with you when you need to! Not really a difference in price, and it much more time consuming that just throwing a bottle in your trolley because the refill tubs are soooo slow! but regardless, it works. Our local has a few options of washing up liquid, plus laundry detergents and fabric conditions on refill.

Also, we order a fortnightly veg box from a local farm. It's about £20 for a big family size one that lasts us well over a week. If I have the time they even let me go down and pick out what I want in the box so we don't end up wasting anything, which is great because otherwise we end up stockpiling root veg and things like beetroot that we don't know what to do with! It's all organic and if they can't grow it themselves, they source it locally.

I guess we're quite lucky to have both these options nearby but I'm sure other cities will too!

Oh and I got a bread-maker gifted to me so we've been having a go at making our own bread too - no packaging but also using less salt and sugar for a bit of a healthier option. I've seen lots in charity shops - people tend to use them once and get bored I think. I'd love to make my own bread the old-fashioned way but I don't think I have the skill or time for that. The bread maker is great - bung it all in and 3 hours later you've got a loaf.

Finally, in Spring we're going to try and set up a wormery in the garden to compost all our food waste!

Hope this helps in some way

I use solid soaps and shampoos from Lush when I'm feeling flush it's not the kind of thing I can afford to get regularly. Have you got any other, more affordable brands you would recommend?
DubyaJamesDubya - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

We had a talk from a recycling expert recently who pointed out that plastic doesn't degrade in landfill.
The purpose of landfill that is done correctly is to fill holes in the land left by mining.
Plastic is therefore a good material to put in landfill. It also locks away carbon dioxide.
Contaminated paper and other organic materials, such as food waste, degrade in a landfill producing methane and other powerful greenhouse gases.
His argument was that plastic should be recycled where possible but landfilled otherwise.
I don't know if he is right but I do know that there is hardly ever an easy answer to environmental problems.
johncook - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to MargieB:

There are machines which can sort the types as they shred. They are amazing to watch, and the Texas company are thriving on selling the 'pellets' of recyclable stuff and using the non-recyclable to generate electricity. (There ia apparently more money to be made from the recycled stuff than the generation because of environmental rules when burning.
If you local lot are just dumping the plastic (common for out of the way authorities, and my local council!) shredding still makes sense in less journeys to empty and a much more compact dump pile, with little air trapped in containers. Could save them some money. Usually landfill is charged by the truck load, so less loads mean less payments.
girlymonkey - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to MargieB:

Instead of Jay cloths, I just use proper cloths that can go through the washing machine as often as you want.

The traditional highland scourer was a clump of Heather! I have no other useful suggestions though!
girlymonkey - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to Grooler:

I found a veg box for us wasn't very efficient as put lifestyles are very unpredictable so sometimes we would barely touch the veg before it went off due to not being around and then other times the box wasn't enough. We do have a deli shop in town that sell organic loose veg and a local farm shop which I should use more often really. Problem is that both are only open in day times, which is fine now but when work is busier there is no chance to get there.

Yes, we have a bread maker too, thanks for reminding me that I need to put a loaf on for dinner! I don't put any salt or sugar in my bread and I like adding pistachios and caraway seeds

I have just got my first solid shampoo, conditioner and deodorant, but they weren't cheap. The website claims that they last 5 times as long as normal bottles, so I will see how it goes. Just did my first hair wash with them so when it dries I will know whether it's as good as normal stuff.
marsbar - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

The weight of glass or aluminium packaging is much greater than a tetrspak. Transporting items to the shops in either produces more CO2.
Tetrapaks also are not round and so you can fit more of them onto the same lorry, again less CO2.

In a perfect world we wouldn't package anything. Then we would waste more food through spoilage.

In the end all we can do is our best. Most things will be a compromise one way or another. It's better to recycle them than to landfill them presumably.
marsbar - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to Epic Ebdon:

If lip balms weren't packaged at point of sale their would be a lot a waste from people opening them.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to marsbar:

> The weight of glass or aluminium packaging is much greater than a tetrspak. Transporting items to the shops in either produces more CO2.

> Tetrapaks also are not round and so you can fit more of them onto the same lorry, again less CO2.

> In a perfect world we wouldn't package anything. Then we would waste more food through spoilage.

> In the end all we can do is our best. Most things will be a compromise one way or another. It's better to recycle them than to landfill them presumably.

Agreed but this is why it is all so complicated. The only reason for not landfilling (assuming it is being done properly) is to save on landfill capacity. But what if recycling requires a lot of energy and thus releases a lot of greenhouse gases whereas landfill doesn't. Which is the more environmentally friendly option?

LeeWood - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:
Reducing packaging is a start. To go further reflect well b4 purchase of plastic goods eg. a bucket. The cheaper ones will not last long - and witness to the myriad cheap products of similar ilk - think of kids toys :o - the mfrs know the kids will get bored then no matter to them what goes to landfill

actually 'kids toys' is a can of worms; better just not have any kids :o
Post edited at 13:32
girlymonkey - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to LeeWood:

Indeed, the question of kids is a real can of worms. I don't have kids, so all good there. Our town has a shop called good green fun where you can buy second hand kids stuff. There's everything from prams and high chairs through alsorts of toys and even slides and trampolines. Great idea for those with kids
Tony Jones - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

Very interesting thread!

My partner and I spent an hour collecting plastic detritus, nylon rope, and bits of styrofoam from a Ceredigion beach today (along with one or two other items that I won't mention in case folk are eating as they read this). We have three large bin bags full of waste and we're not really that sure what we should do with it. We'll probably sort out the obviously recyclable stuff but I fear the rest will have to go to landfill which is kind of self defeating.
Epic Ebdon on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to marsbar:

Totally agree, and I think it would make an interesting study if you did make one without packaging, to see how much DNA you'd find from how many different people using it in the shop and putting it back...

To be honest, my wife would save much more packaging if she'd just keep it in her handbag - that way she wouldn't have to buy a new one each time she's out...
Dave B on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:

Surfers Against Sewage may collect and recycle. They did for our recent beach clean.
jimtitt - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to Epic Ebdon:

> I've never done that in the UK, but I believe it is the law in Germany, that the retailer has to take the packaging back at the point of sale. My wife certainly has a habit of unpacking things like lip balm and leaving the packaging with the cashier.

The outer packaging yes, for the product packaging itself there are other systems available and the seller doesn´ t have to take it back.
MargieB - on 14:20 Mon
In reply to girlymonkey:
Place tax on single use plastic takeaway items.
Carry own spoon , fork [ racing spoon in the army, I believe}
Waxed paper containers for takeaway food like salads? Any other ideas
Need more bees for the wax. Good job neoniconitoids are to be banned.
Maybe
Intersperse forestry commission forests with large bee loving plant areas instead of just planting trees- diversify the state owned forest. Then you get the paper and the wax.
new Highland industry? Eco Takeaway packaging.
Post edited at 14:27
Toerag - on 17:20 Mon
In reply to girlymonkey:

There's no need to use the little clear bags for your weighable veggies - just chuck em in your troley loose and stick the label on one of them. Not once has a checkout operator checked the weight is correct. My wife's started taking her own tupperware boxes to the meat and cheese counters to eliminate that waste. Unfortunately, the staff are generally not smart and so conditioned to wrapping everything that they take some educating. We used to buy big pots of yoghurt to reduce the packaging per unit of product, but now make our own yoghurt which is surprisingly easy.
I think a punitive tax on single-use products is compelling, as is introducing refundable plastic bottles like they have in Germany. The beauty of those is that even if someone chucks them in a hedge or bin there's always someone else willing to pick them up to earn the refund.
Our government are moving to a 'pay to throw' model whereby black bags will need a sticker on them which costs you £3 each - that'll focus many minds that simply chuck everything in the bin because it's cheap and easy.
Jim C - on 19:43 Mon
In reply to girlymonkey:
> I guess so! I don't drink though, so not going to help me cut down on waste!

And if ( like me) you also don't smoke, that is even more packaging that we don't contribute to.
Post edited at 19:46
girlymonkey - on 20:20 Mon
In reply to Jim C:

Indeed I don't smoke. There are many things I already don't do (don't drink tea and coffee, so no disposable cups when out, for example) and I consider my lifestyle to be reasonably green as it is, just looking for where to improve further.

I like the idea of taking a tuperware to the supermarket for the meat! I try to only buy meat from the farm shop and there it is pre packed. However, I figure that buying it from the farm and therefore reducing food miles should outdo the harm of the plastic packaging!
MargieB - on 08:11 Tue
In reply to Toerag:
£3 black plastic bag idea would be a disincentive.
If that came in here in Scotland I would have our communal General huge silver bin removed and single household general bins put back in our communal trash parking space. Our communal general bin is over stacked and our recycling bins underused but a charging would have to be for those households who didn't recycle { and there are a few}. I've tried encouraging signs on the bins but it is pure complacency when you look inside the black bags in the general big bin. This is the problem with a community of 5 houses sharing a General Big bin- anonymity!!
I'm going to take the Tupperware to the supermarket fish stall and stop them wrapping it several times in different forms of plastic. Good one!
Post edited at 08:15
Tony Jones - on 14:02 Tue
In reply to girlymonkey:

It's not a plastic waste issue but I'm getting increasingly annoyed at the amount of unaddressed junk mail being delivered by the Royal Mail as it all goes straight in to my recycling. I've done a quick google and, apparently, it's possible to download a form which can then be returned via a Freepost address in order to stop (for a period of two years) this kind of mail being delivered. I suspect that if more of us did this it could significantly decrease the amount of paper needing to be recycled. Link here: https://personal.help.royalmail.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/293/~/how-do-i-opt-out-of-receiving-any-...
Toerag - on 14:53 Tue
In reply to MargieB:

There's a lot of negative comment on local social media about it - fly tipping will increase, 'I live in a flat with nowhere to store my recycling' etc. I'm hoping for some ball-busting fines being meted out on flytippers to nip it in the bud. Let's see how it goes.
Historically all our blackbag waste has gone to landfill in old granite quarries, but they're now all full up and waste will be exported to Sweden for incineration.

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