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Single Use Plastic Experiment


Bill
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Just before we set off for shopping this morning, there was a program on the telly talking about the damage to the environment caused by single use plastics so we both decided we’d today make a special effort to see if we could minimise the plastic content in our trolly.

Shopping at Sainsbury’s, we got off to a flying start in the veg section and although the vast majority was prepacked, we managed to get all our fruit and veg without plastic. Sadly though, it all went downhill from there on and we soon realised it’s impossible to avoid.

For example, lunch today was going to be precooked chicken and salad on a bread roll. We opted for the instore cooked chicken in a paper bag rather than the chilled prepacked version in the deli. When we got back though, we found the paper bag had a plastic lining and was marked nonrecyclable, and while the bread rolls at 30p each were in a real paper bag, the store assistant informed us we could get six for 70p if we got the plastic packed version. You just can't win!

The bottom line is that unless you’re an extreme eco warrior, avoiding plastics in supermarkets these days is an impossible task and it makes me wonder how the heck we managed in the past.

 

Bill 😊

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I sympathise Bill;  I think there's a problem of shelf life,  in order to extend it, plastic covering and preservatives are now incorporated in our foods.  If we had the ideal of totally fresh product, we'd likely finish up with even more food waste and dependency on seasonal timing for products.   Added to this, is a general lack of cooking skills in the population and a desire for convenience,  with stuff in plastic being ready made to warm up.  :unsure:

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1 hour ago, Bill said:

, avoiding plastics in supermarkets these days is an impossible task and it makes me wonder how the heck we managed in the past.

We managed in the past due to local shops and being able to do a daily shop. Grease proof paper which was normally reused even if it was just to get the fire started. The local shopkeeper who would weigh out goods and put them in paper bags or wrap them in paper depending on what it was. You knew that you did not have far to go so even the soggiest items did not get chance to soak the bag through. Even fresh fish.

tesco are using paper bags for their loose produce. not much cop though as they tend to have split by the time you get to the checkout and certainly by the time you get them out at home. spent many a happy minute trying to catch four onions that have esaped and are rolling in every direction.

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Well Sainsbury’s is our nearest supermarket but they’re probably no different than any of the others on this issue. I can’t believe we’ll return to doing the shopping at the corner store any time soon if ever, so I guess we’re stuck with the problem and I can’t think of any easy way of stopping it other than making a thoughtful choice.

I think a lot of the issues aren’t with the stuff that’s easy to recycle but with the flimsy part of the wrappings that the recyclers don’t want. Buy a Warburton’s Toastie loaf and it comes properly wrapped in what looks like the old-style grease proof paper while most others are in plastic with that naff sealing thing that you can never open without ripping half the bag apart. They could probably all do it that way and make life easier for us while saving the planet but it no doubt it all comes down to costs.

 

Bill 😊

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This is the sort of thing that will only change if enough people vote with their wallets and take their custom somewhere more "eco friendly" whatever that is.

My comment about Sainsbury's comes from the, I think, 3 times my late wife and I went there and came out with an empty trolley. "I'm not paying that much, we'll go to the ASDA" declared the boss. 😂

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We do an Asda shop occasionally Asp, in fact we give them all a go at some point in the year just for a bit of variety but Sainsbury’s is the most convenient. None of them to my knowledge though have any big policies on plastics although Sainsburys I think were the first to go on national TV to say that their key fruit and veg would be available with or without it.

As for the specialist shops where you fill your own containers, they’re that common that I haven’t a clue where any of them are and I think you’d need to be a lot more of a planet saver than I am. But if the there was a concerted effort by both the stores and their suppliers, I’m sure they could reduce some of the unnecessary plastic. Take a bottle of milk for example; do we really need that plastic sleeve round the bottle telling us where it comes from and loads of other nonessential info when all we really need to know is the use by date?

As I say, a lot of the thin plastics don’t recycle and end up in landfill provided the wind allows it to stay there.

 

Bill 😊

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22 hours ago, Observer II said:

I sympathise Bill;  I think there's a problem of shelf life,  in order to extend it, plastic covering and preservatives are now incorporated in our foods.  If we had the ideal of totally fresh product, we'd likely finish up with even more food waste and dependency on seasonal timing for products. 

I think at this moment in time plastic is something we can't really do without.

I think the problem is disposal.

People must put all plastic waste in a specially designated wheelie bin provided by councils. Its worked well with the recycle blue bins.

For the next few years we should just dig very deep land fill holes and put it all in there.

If we find a solution it won't be any time soon so bury it.

Not the perfect answer but better than having it blowing all over the place and being out of control.

 

2 Wheeled Refuse Bins l

Lots of different bins and say fortnightly collections.

People would soon take on the benefits and comply

See the source image

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I assume that now we have left the EU we can go back to using landfill sites cheaply for waste disposal, but I wouldn't put money on it.

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21 hours ago, Evil Sid said:

We managed in the past due to local shops and being able to do a daily shop. Grease proof paper which was normally reused even if it was just to get the fire started. The local shopkeeper who would weigh out goods and put them in paper bags while have a chat to the customer.

I remember as a very young child going with my Mum every day to Latchford village shops; it was was just the thing every housewife did until about 1960 when a supermarket opened in what is now Maybrook Place.

 

Then all those tiny grocery shops closed( Kerfoot's Thornbury's; Hill and Glover and so on) and another part of local community tradition vanished.

It was the highlight of my day back then,

Image result for Latchford village shops in 1950

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up until the late 80's there was a shop on the corner of our street,well grafton street.

old couple ran it for years. bag of spuds bring your own bag, bacon how many slices,crinkle as it was wrapped in paper. sweets for the kids, grudgingly weighed out with an eye on the scale, not a thousandth of an inch past the correct weight and dropped into a paper bag twisted so they didn't fall out. Sadly when they passed on there was nobody to take over the business.

Always put me in mind of arkwrights from open all hours. sold a bit of everything and even opened for a hour on sunday when sunday trading was a "no no".

about the only thin wrapped in paper these days is fish an chips.

maybe they can make recycling bins out of recycled plastic or do they do that already?

 

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Back in the sixties we lived in Orford Lane . There was a Co op or Stores as we knew it, there was Cross's stores ,a couple of butchers & a couple of bakers ...everything you could possibly need ,right on your doorstep & supplied in the most environmentally friendly of packaging.

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Don’t get too nostalgic about the corner shop, we had one !   Mom and dad and by conscription, me, invested all of their savings into a typical corner shop at Pinewood and Oakwood, across from Oakwood school.  It was hell, they worked 24 hours a day when sometimes they only had one customer who spent two pence for a piece of candy and the the lady, who bought 1/4 lb of cheese two days ago, brought it back, “cos it smelt funny”.

They went out of business because of low sales and low profits.

Watched a “ New Open All Hours” the other day, couldn’t watch it thru because the image of DI Frost made me too aware of my own mortality.9

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