Banish Plastic

If you know of a way to help save our planet, even just a small part of it put it here. Also if you want to ask how to help, or even if you want to promote your environmental organisation. All goes here.
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Banish Plastic

Post: #143287 Andy Hamilton
Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:06 pm

If you look in your bin I bet that most of the rubbish is plastic packaging. If not well you are in a minority. The law does seem to be changing
UK supermarkets produce too much packaging, almost 40% of which is non-recyclable, local councils say.

The Local Government Association argues supermarkets should pay towards the collection of their packaging as an incentive to cut back.

In a survey of 29 common grocery items, it found Waitrose had the most wrapping while T***o had the least.

But Waitrose said it had cut the weight of its packaging by a third since 2001 and believed the report was misleading.

Lidl had the least recyclable packaging on their products, Sainsbury's contained the most.
from BBC news.

So perhaps now is the best time to act when we can get local and national authorities on our side. But how best to get rid of plastic?? Any ideas? I am sure if we all put our heads together then acted we could at least make a dent.

Do we lobby MP's and ask them to make a new law making companies liable for the amount that ends up in landfil or on our streets?
Do we send back our packaging to the companies who decided to wrap up our products?
Do we write to packaging companies and get them to change?
Do we do all of these and more??

Could be good to come up with a catch name, a logo and some other ideas on getting rid of packaging. So what you reckon?
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Re: Banish Plastic

Post: #143290 snapdragon
Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:04 pm

Do we send back our packaging to the companies who decided to wrap up our products?

I am often tempted but would require more packaging to pack the stuff for posting - and that could cause them to send it back :?

I think we'll have a long fight on our hands
There's going to be a long consultation no matter what - since western nations no longer eat local produce the manufacturers/packagers of food products will need to source transportable packaging that won't crush/affect the product/has no transferable smell etc etc
Before plastic bags meat was wrapped in many sheets of paper , cheese was in greaseproof paper and another sheet of paper or a paper bag, veg would be tipped into your basket but fruit would be in a paper bag, as would dry goods - paper bags are at least twice the cost of plastic bags so costs would rise, paper for food use has to be new and to specific standards, and the poor chinese who have just sorted out the plastics situation would have to turn their hand back to paper products :scratch:
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Re: Banish Plastic

Post: #143307 invisiblepiper
Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:29 pm

Choose products without packaging where possible.
Take you own bags to the supermarket ( Sorry Tim Minchin! - but our Morrisons still fling them at you like confetti)
Recycle what you can.
Take a real basket to fill with fruit etc .
Don't give up - some of us have beeb 'baggin on' about this since 1976!
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And I took the one less travelled by
And that has made all the difference.
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Re: Banish Plastic

Post: #143317 Big Al
Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:18 am

By I'm on a roll tonight... Another shameless plug for my blog but with a reason http://talesfromtheedgeoftown.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2008-01-01T00%3A00%3A00Z&updated-max=2009-01-01T00%3A00%3A00Z&max-results=25

A link to my own little blogspot where for the month of January I tried to do without plastic full stop. It failed in the first few days due to buying milk in 4 pt poly cartons..... The reason I didn't go for doorstep deliveries is in the blog.

So I changed the tack slightly and aimed to reduce an already reduced plastic consumption but at the risk of sounding negative, you / we won't make any difference on this subject for the reasons outlined above by snapdragon.

What we need to do is reduce the personal reliance on plastic and think about what we are doing. We might be at work and realise we need shopping for the tea. Quick rush in and out of your local stash and cash and come out with a couple of carrier bags. Sure these can be reused but would it not be better to make a canvas bag and leave it in the car boot or rolled up in the bottom of one of those female caverns called handbags ready for action?

We need to be "the odd one's out " and badger local supermarkets and smaller shops as all seem to demand you take a plastic carrier or plastic bag with their produce.

Again I cover this in my blog but were government can come in is to demand and legidlate that shops provide large bins so we can strip off the plastic and make them responsible for recyling it then we may get pvc recycled. Also you can boucott these so called fast serve / self serve checkouts like they have in asda because if you use these with your own bags they throw a wobbler as all machines are calibrated with a number of plastic carriers on.

I personally don't think the vast majority are bothered about plastic so long as they get tea down their necks on time.

Mind you one thing that Asda need praising for is that the cashiers hide the plastic carrier bags and ask if you need a bag. If you say yes they ask if you want the lifelong ones and then leave a pause so you HAVE to ask for a free one. It makes you feel so guilty except when they ask me I say no thank you I make my own !! Sad I know..

Government can also make the shops charge for carriers.
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Re: Banish Plastic

Post: #143382 Flo
Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:31 pm

There's a big argument from the supermarkets on this. They say that it enables them to extend the shelf life of goods.

Take the humble cucumber test - sold naked it lasts three days on the shelves, sold in plastic it lasts thirteen days (quote from a supermarket packaging buyer here). So what it means in effect is that items last longer on the supermarket shelves and not as long here on my household shelves.

Now that means that if I buy a packed cucumber I have no idea how old it is or how long it will last when I take it home.

Most of the world does not understand this small piece of marketing. If most of the world did there would be a major outcry.

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Re: Banish Plastic

Post: #143478 Moonwaves
Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:33 pm

Persuading supermarkets to allow you to use your own containers when buying meat/fish/cheese could make a difference. Before I discovered the joys of buying directly from farmers at markets (where such things are more easily negotiated and packaging in general is far more scarce) I emailed Superquin (Irish supermarket, something like Waitrose in the UK) to ask if I could do that but was told that they hadn't been able to introduce it when they looked at it before but would check into the reason again and get back to me. Never heard another word but still think it could be done. I assume it's a health and safety issue and potential contamination of weighing scales etc. if someone with a not quite clean container turns up but there must be ways around that kind of thing.
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Re: Banish Plastic

Post: #143479 Annpan
Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:44 pm

Couldn't we try to convince the supermarkets of offering the option of greasproof paper wrapping? Posh sausages come like that in sainsburgs (not organic, or freerange, just 'posh' :roll: )
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Re: Banish Plastic

Post: #143616 Big Al
Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:51 pm

Moonwaves wrote:Persuading supermarkets to allow you to use your own containers when buying meat/fish/cheese could make a difference. Before I discovered the joys of buying directly from farmers at markets (where such things are more easily negotiated and packaging in general is far more scarce) I emailed Superquin (Irish supermarket, something like Waitrose in the UK) to ask if I could do that but was told that they hadn't been able to introduce it when they looked at it before but would check into the reason again and get back to me. Never heard another word but still think it could be done. I assume it's a health and safety issue and potential contamination of weighing scales etc. if someone with a not quite clean container turns up but there must be ways around that kind of thing.


I annoy the tits off supermarket checkout lasses ( deliberatly I may add) because I take my own paper bags for the fruit and veg and screw the tops closed. It takes time for them to 1st question what the bag is... dur it's a paper bag then they have to open the bag to see what's in it then weight it on the checkout scales.

I point out that if supermarkets provided paper bags then I'd leave the tops open. As for the plastic boxes I tried this in T£$C0 last month and got refused point blank " on hygeine rules" however I went to an indi butcher and he put a piece of greaseproof paper on the scales, put my box on, tarred out the weight of the box and put my steak in to the box and weighed it again. It took all of 5 seconds extra but I didn't use any plastic packaging.
As for hygene I have seperate boxes with different coloured lids with labels printed on them for fish, beef, pork, cooked meats, chicken etc. The supermarkets could of course do this also and put the scanner label ontl the box instead of the plastic bag but then that would be too simple wouldn't it?
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Re: Banish Plastic

Post: #143868 Flo
Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:25 pm

I looked at the title of this thread and thought it was going to be discussion of avoiding using plastic and then found that it was on the subject of supermarket packaging.

Hmm - I went to bed thinking that this wasn't quite what I was led to believe. I went off a bit worried about my false teeth and spectacle frames from the sweeping "Banish Plastic" and wondering if the whole thing would digress into a different discussion :mrgreen:

But I suppose it's an excellent way of getting people to read the post :mrgreen: :wink:

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Re: Banish Plastic

Post: #143895 evelyn
Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:55 am

So far i have reduced my plastic usage by doing simple things.

I gat my millk deliverd in glass bottles that are recycled by my millk man.
I buy my fruit juce from him as well so the bottles all get sent back also.
When i go shopping i buy products in either glass or tins so i can either reuse or recycle.
I get all my fruit/ veg in my own bags, this used to anoy the check out ladies but i explained why i was doing it and the fact that i go shopping at 6am when the store is very quiet they dont mind any more and a few of them have started doing it aswel.
I have swiched from marge in tubs to butter in paper wrap, i prefer butter, and as for the health issue i walk or cycle every where so i dont feel guilty.
I buy one big pot of natural yogert and add fruit insted of getting the individual pots, i reuse the pots as plant pots.
I reuse pop bottles for home brew cider and beer.
And i always have 2 cloth shopping bags in my bag just incase i need any thing on the way home.

My kids still bring the ofencive plastic bags home with them but i save them up then take them up to the big blue supermarket and recycle them there.

I used to take things like shampoo bottles aswell but my council are now doing kirb side colection for them and cardboard so i dont have to cart it all up there in my pull shopping bag.

My proudest acheivment however is that i do not have a car, never have and never will, not directly related to plastic, but both use oil, i have never been on a plain and never will.

Eve

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Re: Banish Plastic

Post: #143915 Big Al
Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:37 am

Flo wrote:I looked at the title of this thread and thought it was going to be discussion of avoiding using plastic and then found that it was on the subject of supermarket packaging.

Hmm - I went to bed thinking that this wasn't quite what I was led to believe. I went off a bit worried about my false teeth and spectacle frames from the sweeping "Banish Plastic" and wondering if the whole thing would digress into a different discussion :mrgreen:

But I suppose it's an excellent way of getting people to read the post :mrgreen: :wink:


Would you like it to be on banishing all plastic Flo?? I personally don't think it would be possible to remove all plastic from our lives and even if we did there would probably be enough in circulation to last a millenium anyway, lol.

Just looking around the room the keyboard is plastic, the cd's I'm loading on the computer are plastic [I'm old and value the actual items not just downloads,lol] the printer, modem, router, light switches plug sockets, wires.... a depressingly large amount of plastic in my house...
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Re: Banish Plastic

Post: #143920 Flo
Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:13 am

No Al, I was merely remarking that the title of the thread says banish plastic :mrgreen:

As you have observed we might be well back to another civilisation if we did and would still have heaven knows how much left over. Get rid of things like sockets and light switches and we would have to clean with old technology like a broom and washing in a tub. We'd loose lights, telephones, radio, television, computers, have to use candles and paraffin lamps - even my boiler for heating and hot water has a plastic switch that connects the electricity to it to make it work ...

But it turns out that the subject of the thread is supermarket packaging and not all of that is plastic. A lot of it is cardboard, tin, cellophane and assorted unidentified waste which may well not be recyclable.

Our council will not even take greaseproof paper because it is usually too contaminated by food to be recycled.

And you have found that you are taking plastic tubs around with you in order to avoid bringing more packaging of various sorts that can't be recycled or reused home. Supermarket packaging is a minefield of things that can't be reused or recycled. There comes a time when I can't reuse all the items that could have a second life and that I don't know people who could reuse the stuff because they have enough of their own.

We must ask young Andy Hamilton to say what he means next time he starts a post eh? Or allow us to wander off course from what he meant. :mrgreen: :wink:

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Re: Banish Plastic

Post: #143944 rockchick
Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:17 pm

I think bannishing all plastic is pretty unrealistic and I even think bannishing all supermarket packaging is unrealistic (it does serve a purpose after all in keeping food and non food products safe) but there is definitely a case for minimising packaging. The worst I've experienced was at a John Lewis. I was buying some gift vouchers for a wedding present which came with a card and envelope - cashier tried to put in a bag, i said no thanks, she told me she wasn't allowed to sell them and not put in a bag because they might get dirty and then the recipient would think JL were selling dirty gift cards :shock:
Putting the card and vouchers inside the envelope they had kindly provided was not good enough, I had to buy the vouchers then remove the bag and dump it a couple of paces away - and she had the cheek to be cross with me :roll:

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Re: Banish Plastic

Post: #143964 Big Al
Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:11 pm

rockchick wrote:- cashier tried to put in a bag, i said no thanks, she told me she wasn't allowed to sell them and not put in a bag because they might get dirty and then the recipient would think JL were selling dirty gift cards :shock:
:roll:



>>>Snipped,

I'd have said "well the sexy underwear and rope they will be buying with these vouchers will certainly be dirty........"

Gawd, I must be a cashiers nightmare, no wonder Mrs Big Al won't go shopping with me much....
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Re: Banish Plastic

Post: #143980 chilitony
Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:41 am

Ive got a load of plastic log nets that i got the local pub to save for me this winter that can be re-used for veg later in the year if any ones instrested? :pirate:
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