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To ask how much plastic we could ban?

(71 Posts)
TheABC Sun 10-Mar-19 10:45:45

Consumer pressure will only go so far with the shops as long as it's cheaper to wrap in plastic and they don't pick up the tab for the environmental impact. I am beginning to think the only way to really solve the problem is to ban the majority of plastic packaging (including the amount used in the supply chain!) and phase it in gradually to allow for the changeover and price headaches. We did it with plastic bags and microbeads. We need to be more ambitious as recycling barely touched the sides of the issue.

soulrunner Sun 10-Mar-19 10:57:12

I don’t know the answer but single use plastic should be the main focus. I see people trying to get rid of Tupperware which is nuts because it lasts for years. There should be a lot of pressure on supermarkets /cafes etc to let people use their own containers for ‘ready to eat’ foods. We should go back to paper bags for fruit and veg.

TroysMammy Sun 10-Mar-19 11:02:04

I take plastic lidded food boxes to the local market to buy loose produce.

NannyRed Sun 10-Mar-19 11:16:04

We need to ban all single use plastics, then progress to other disposable items like toothbrushes and razors.

I can’t see that we could ever fully eradicate plastic, but we do need to try.

My Waitrose magazine came in a ‘plastic’ bag made from potato t starch this week, we need more people doing this kind of stuff.

ForalltheSaints Sun 10-Mar-19 11:28:33

I think that a ban is the only way we can reduce it significantly. Single use would be the best start in my opinion.

soulrunner Sun 10-Mar-19 12:05:01

I think we also need to prevent switching to other "single use" products as then those things will just become unsustainable (i.e. they'll start ripping down forests to plant bamboo). We just need to stop using single use anything (apart from toilet paper).

TheABC Sun 10-Mar-19 17:26:48

Agreed, @NannyRed. I am interested in the potato starch - I know that there is research going on into seaweed that offers a similar result, but it has to happen on a wide scale.

@soulrunner, perhaps we need to start a lifestyle revolution?

Sparklesocks Sun 10-Mar-19 17:35:47

I agree that industry needs to lead the way, there’s only so much we can do on a personal level compared to the large scale use by industry giants.
However on i’ve made some changes on a personal level to try and do my bit: I have a keep cup so don’t need coffee cups from shops anymore, I have a water flask so don’t buy bottled water, don’t use straws in pubs, I try to choose smaller-waste product companies where I can, don’t buy crappy plastic toys for kids (things like kinder eggs etc).

PurpleDaisies Sun 10-Mar-19 17:38:33

Coffee shops charging less for coffee in reusable cups has helped. So has charging for plastic bags.

I’d ban tampax pearl. Perfectly good non plastic alternatives available.

DontCallMeShitley Sun 10-Mar-19 23:02:41

Waitrose makes a big thing about plastics. I buy Waitrose crystallised ginger, it comes in a plastic jar, just one example but look at what they are using for packaging, baking powder, bicarb. etc. plastic tube shaped containers and you can't even get the tops off. Used to get these things in little cardboard packets, glass jars.

Detergents in plastic bottles, we used to have just washing powder in boxes, no fancy liquids with added poisons and irritants packed in plastic bottles. Milk was in glass bottles, returned to use again, not plastic that alters the taste. Same with fizzy drinks, used to get a few pence back on return.

RoseMartha Sun 10-Mar-19 23:11:59

It would be great if we could reuse things like shampoo bottles by having a shop that refilled them. Dont know quite how that would work but was thinking about that in the middle of the night a couple of nights ago.

Singletomingle Sun 10-Mar-19 23:13:23

What is the alternative to plastic toothbrushes and razors?

DontCallMeShitley Sun 10-Mar-19 23:15:24

Body Shop used to do a refill type service. Unfortunately they changed the shampoos about the same time and it was crap. I think you took the bottle back and got a new one and they re-used them. I never did it as they no longer had anything I wanted to buy once they discontinued the grapefruit shampoo and wheat spray conditioner.

DontCallMeShitley Sun 10-Mar-19 23:17:33

Singletomingle, metal razors, replaceable blades like my father used. I seem to recall wooden handled toothbrushes but the memory is a bit vague.

Cranky17 Sun 10-Mar-19 23:21:05

McDonald’s happy meal toys, always plastic and utter rubbish which is not needed

RoseMartha Sun 10-Mar-19 23:21:50

@DontCallMeShitley did they? They are a bit out my price range.

Electric toothbrush you just change the head. They could make manual ones like that which would save some plastic each time.

RoseMartha Sun 10-Mar-19 23:22:56

@Cranky17 yes they are a waste. As are many gimmicking plastic toys.

FurrySlipperBoots Sun 10-Mar-19 23:26:37

I was very depressed to see an advert for Morrisons 'Wonky veg' on Facebook - they're like, 'Ooo, look at us, saving all these perfectly good vegetables from being wasted!' while the damn things are a mass of plastic packaging!!

I think fruit and veg needs to be the first thing to ban plastic from. There is literally NO NEED of it.

NuzzleandScratch Sun 10-Mar-19 23:27:18

Whilst a good idea in principle, I think there would be hygiene issues with refilling things like shampoo bottles, as they wouldn't necessarily be that clean, so you'd be refilling a bottle that potentially contains higher levels of bacteria, which could continue to grow with each refill.

losingfaith Sun 10-Mar-19 23:28:10

Ive invested in some Face Halos for removing make-up / cleaning skin in place of washes/wipes etc. I'm seriously impressed. on the face of it£18 for 3 is a lot, however they can be washed in machine up to 200x.

Also, @RoseMartha I've just had an initial delivery if products from a company called Splosh - I'm impressed so far. If you already have containers you can just buy the refills.

losingfaith Sun 10-Mar-19 23:29:35

Sorry! The Splosh thing is cleaning. Not shampoos!

RoseMartha Sun 10-Mar-19 23:30:31

@losingfaith oh ok that sounds good.

Vinorosso74 Sun 10-Mar-19 23:32:41

A few months ago our local Morrisons were selling cucumbers with no plastic wrapping which I thought was a tiny but positive step. Now back to plastic wrapping. I don't eat much cucumber bit DD likes it, she hasn't taken ill from none wrapped cucumber. It needs to become the usual thing to take your own tubs and bags to the shops. A greengrocer near us has brown paper bags and thin plastic so you can choose. Me and others have advised getting rid of the plastic but apparently the older clients prefer it.
Toothbrushes and razors definitely need to change. I was recommended those interdental brushes and floss things for between the back teeth by the hygienist. These to be changed weekly. That is a lot of plastic if you follow what they tell you.....

BuffaloCauliflower Sun 10-Mar-19 23:39:10

@Singletomingle we have bamboo toothbrushes in this house.

Agree that top down change is the biggest thing that needs to happen. Locating a zero waste shop and using it is a great thing to do personally (I get my washing up liquid refilled, buy rice and lentils by weight into my own jar etc) but it won’t have a dent on the insane amount of supermarket plastic.

icantpickausername Sun 10-Mar-19 23:41:19

I think people should really be pushing for stronger regulations around how fishing gear is accounted for and disposed of.
Fishing nets alone make up 46% of the great pacific garbage patch and fishing gear is particularly harmful is it's specifically designed to trap fish and other marine animals.

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