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Single Use Plastics

Posted: 17 Apr 2019, 1:45pm
by Psamathe
I've been getting ever more irritated and surprised about the number of items that seem to be wrapped in single use plastics.

What prompted me to post was a TV program I had on in the background about food and they were checking on how New Zealand lamb can be sold fresh after the long sea transport. And answer was, it's wrapped/vacuum sealed in what looked like fairly hefty plastic!

And why must I buy cucumber wrapped in plastic (I'm sure when I was young we didn't need plastic wrapping on them). And why are half the broccoli heads in supermarkets wrapped in plastic ... And on a Virgin flight US to UK, in their brochure a statement about their being anti single use plastic but they then serve us all a meal with loads of single use plastic (wrapping, "cutlery", etc.).

Seems to me many companies are making bold statements about avoiding single use plastics and then doing nothing what so ever about it.

Ian

Re: Single Use Plastics

Posted: 17 Apr 2019, 3:47pm
by NUKe
I agree with you one hundred about single use plastics.
Just bought 10 bamboo tooth brushes to do my bit,( yes I know they still have plastic bristles, but that’s a lot less plastic. Unfortunately they turned up wrapped in bubble wrap inside a plastic posting envelope.
We use local greengrocers to reduce packaging as much as practical for fruit and veg.

Re: Single Use Plastics

Posted: 17 Apr 2019, 4:07pm
by Mick F
Walkers crisp packets made me think after buying a multipack a few weeks ago. Don't normally buy crisps.
I know their packets have issues with recycling and I know they will be doing something about it in the future, so I googled it.

In my research, I found many other packets and stuff which can't be recycled here abouts, and it seems that you can set a collection point up for people to put crisp packets, pet food pouches, toothpaste tubes, bread wrappers plastic cartons and lots of other stuff into, and the organisers bag it up and parcel it all together and UPS(?) collect them free of charge and take them somewhere to be recycled properly. It took the Walkers crisp packet situation to set it all in motion.

We took a bag of packets and pouches to South Hill Village Hall this morning where they have a bin.

Re: Single Use Plastics

Posted: 17 Apr 2019, 5:19pm
by NUKe
Mick F wrote:Walkers crisp packets made me think after buying a multipack a few weeks ago. Don't normally buy crisps.
I know their packets have issues with recycling and I know they will be doing something about it in the future, so I googled it.

In my research, I found many other packets and stuff which can't be recycled here abouts, and it seems that you can set a collection point up for people to put crisp packets, pet food pouches, toothpaste tubes, bread wrappers plastic cartons and lots of other stuff into, and the organisers bag it up and parcel it all together and UPS(?) collect them free of charge and take them somewhere to be recycled properly. It took the Walkers crisp packet situation to set it all in motion.

We took a bag of packets and pouches to South Hill Village Hall this morning where they have a bin.

I am guessing/ hopping that the recycling across the country catches up with this.
Aside from that I think the process here is to turn them into oil which can be burnt as a fuel so not quite as bad but better than burying .

Re: Single Use Plastics

Posted: 17 Apr 2019, 6:28pm
by Lance Dopestrong
This netting that developers put round d trees and hedges - I'm guessing that's single use too? Doesn't look like it could easily be rolled up for re use.

Re: Single Use Plastics

Posted: 17 Apr 2019, 6:43pm
by Mike Sales
A thing that always annoys me is that, even if you are trying to be responsible, it is not easy to know which type of plastic is one which your council recycles. The council's guide is not unambiguous.
Perhaps producers of the stuff should be obliged to label it, and councils to have a consistent policy, maybe with labelled bins.
A note that you should "check local recycling" is not good enough.
"Not currently recycled" should not be allowed at all.
A clear and simple system of symbols should be a basic.
Sure, good labelling would not stop some oafs throwing their empty sugar water bottle out of the car window, but making green disposal easier would do some good.

Re: Single Use Plastics

Posted: 18 Apr 2019, 8:25am
by Jackson
A thing that always annoys me is that, even if you are trying to be responsible, it is not easy to know which type of plastic is one which your council recycles. The council's guide is not unambiguous


Completely agree. A couple of years ago my local council seemed to accept plastic wrapping (apparently they used it to make plastic matting). Last year there was a small change in the small print about not including 'film' but no definition. This year a further change seems to say no plastic wrapping or bags of any kind. So a massive increase in what goes in my non recycled waste bag. But I can't believe many people read the small print in the annual recycling calendar so I reckon they still collect a lot in the recycling.

Re the plastic sleeves on cucumbers I was reading the other day about the enormous number of unsleeved cucumbers that are dumped. The sleeves apparently extend their use by date quite considerably.

Re: Single Use Plastics

Posted: 18 Apr 2019, 9:09am
by kwackers
It's easy.

Add the price of recycling to the purchase price of the item, the consumer of the item should absolutely bear the cost of disposal.
This money is then simply used to pay for the recycling / disposal.

Also add a bit more on top to pay for cleanup of existing rubbish.
And where stuff can't easily be recycled or reused then make the charges punitive.

Re: Single Use Plastics

Posted: 18 Apr 2019, 2:09pm
by Mick F
Spot on Kwackers.
If the costs go up, the consumer won't buy it, so the producer has to change the design.

Just looking out of the window, and can see our washing on the line blowing in the warm winds. Every single item is pegged up with colourful plastic clothes pegs. (Courtesy of Mr Lidl)

What happened to wooden ones with metal springs?

Re: Single Use Plastics

Posted: 18 Apr 2019, 3:04pm
by Lance Dopestrong
And it's not just the packaging. The plastic components in most mobile phones, for example, is rarely recyclable and people buy a new one every 1 or 2 years in the name of mere fashion.

Re: Single Use Plastics

Posted: 18 Apr 2019, 3:53pm
by [XAP]Bob
One reason veg are 'over wrapped' in plastic is that it extends shelf life - and therefore reduces waste.

Re: Single Use Plastics

Posted: 18 Apr 2019, 4:04pm
by kwackers
[XAP]Bob wrote:One reason veg are 'over wrapped' in plastic is that it extends shelf life - and therefore reduces waste.

Well, reduces food waste - a highly recyclable thing.

IME supermarkets love plastic wrapping not because it reduces waste but more because it doesn't leave a box with a handful of dodgy veg in the bottom they need to get rid of.
Instead you don't discover the veg is rubbish until you're at home by which time it's too late and this particularly true where your wrapped veg is several items - 4 good ones and 2 rotten ones.

Re: Single Use Plastics

Posted: 18 Apr 2019, 4:08pm
by kwackers
Lance Dopestrong wrote:And it's not just the packaging. The plastic components in most mobile phones, for example, is rarely recyclable and people buy a new one every 1 or 2 years in the name of mere fashion.

Doesn't have to be that way.

But phones often get flack, yet in truth the amount of waste they generate is tiny compared to most of what people throw away.
Cars, TV's, plastic toys, milk containers, then there's redecorating the family home, kitchens, bathrooms, bicycles folk will never ride.

Hence my plan to factor in the cost of disposal. It's an incentive to make stuff that's easy to get rid of.
(iirc there's some plan afoot to make it easier to dismantle and recycle stuff, whether just talk or an actual plan I can't remember).

Re: Single Use Plastics

Posted: 18 Apr 2019, 4:34pm
by Psamathe
[XAP]Bob wrote:One reason veg are 'over wrapped' in plastic is that it extends shelf life - and therefore reduces waste.

Is it actually reducing waste of does it just mean our supermarkets can spend longer driving it all over the country, storing it in their central distribution depots, etc.

I don't have any local farmer shops around me but those I've used elsewhere seem to manage to sell fresh fruit and veg without needing to wrap it in plastic.

Ian

Re: Single Use Plastics

Posted: 18 Apr 2019, 4:39pm
by ket
The justification for use of plastics for shelf life extension of cucumbers is debatable (just like not having to refrigerate many veg).
Supermarkets like such things as they makes the products more 'desirable'. Marketing has a lot to answer for!
Veg are easily biodegradable & more so than the plastic coverings they came in. Awareness of shelf lives may actually start encouraging people to only buy what they need and not just stock up.