Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...

23/05/2022

Feeling sick

I've just done the tally for the 'Big Plastic Count' and was not too surprised at the amount (seeing I was the one monitoring what was being collected) and I did think that it was not too bad, we do have weeks that we must throw more away and it tickled me that I actually did a 'flat lay' of my rubbish - but that is where the amusement ended ....




K'S PLASTIC FOOTPRINT
In one week you used
22
bits of plastic
 
Over a year that's equivalent to
1,144
pieces of plastic
 
If all households were the same as yours, the UK would use
32,146,400,000
bits of plastic every year
What was your plastic packaging waste used for?
 
Food & Drink
91%
Food & Drink
 
Cleaining & Toiletries
9%
Cleaning & Toiletries
 
Everything Else
0%
Everything Else
 
Most plastic packaging is single-use – designed to be used once and then thrown away. For a lot of people plastic packaging from food & drink will be highest. If supermarkets reduced the amount of fruit and vegetable wrapping, it would significantly cut plastic waste.
What was your breakdown of hard and soft plastic?
 
Hard plastic tray
64%
of your plastic was hard plastic
Hard plastic is a lot easier to recycle than soft plastic. Whilst hard plastic is more recyclable, there are many items that cannot be recycled such as black plastic, polystyrene chips and toothpaste tubes.
 
Hard plastic tray
36%
of your plastic was soft plastic
Less than 1 in 10 local councils in the UK collect soft plastic, like plastic bags and wrappers. Do you know if yours collects it?
What happens to your plastic packaging waste?
 
Recycled
14%
recycled in the UK
Plastic waste that is sorted and reprocessed in the UK then turned into new materials.
 
Exported
21%
exported
The UK sends tonnes of rubbish to other countries every day - often to countries in the Global South. Investigations have shown much of it ends up being dumped or burned.
 
Landfilled
23%
landfilled
When plastic is buried in the ground at a landfill, it releases harmful gases into the atmosphere, while wind and rain carry microplastics into surrounding areas.
 
Incinerated
42%
incinerated
Burning or incinerating plastic releases carbon, toxins and pollutants into the air, presenting numerous health risks for local communities and contributing to climate change.

I have now emailed our local politician (who has a well deserved reputation for enjoying a cake or two...) to say that I was horrified with what happens to the plastic I throw away..... WTF?!!

I shall have to try harder at not purchasing items in plastic (but as discussed before - that can be difficult) HOWEVER - the onus is not on us alone - Government and businesses need to sort their houses out too before lambasting the 'throw away' culture of the public and telling them to improve/repent/change - they have to, too!!



21 comments:

  1. Hmmm. I did not take part as it would be too awful to realise how much plastic we do use even though I've cut down on it a lot. I do have bowls with lids to store food in rather than use clingfilm but that generates more washing up and therefore more water usage. Seems hard to win! x

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    1. I thought I was 'good' and although I knew I brought home single use plastic, I grumble about it and then recycle what I can, but to see it multiplied over a year and then see what happens to it has really made me think harder about what is happening

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  2. It is more than we realize. I am glad that co-op and Sainsbury's have soft plastic recycling bins now...but as you say we must just use less

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    1. That is what I thought - about being responsible for throwing away a fair amount even thought - up to a point - I have little choice, but I need to work on that!

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  3. I find it very difficult to eat healthily without buying food in plastic. Apples, pears and most veg can be purchased without but berries and salads are all in plastic, which I dutifully recycle, alongside the cat food pouches which someone local takes. I wish we could go back to the little punnets berries used to come in, or strong cardboard which could be added to fire lighting pile. Wish the days of pick your own fruit would return but guess it’s a financial money pit keeping fruit disease free, providing parking and allowing for theft, none around here anymore. I don’t eat pizza, crisps or biscuits or else that would be even more plastic. It’s up to the S.markets to rethink their ways without passing the cost onto customer, highly unlikely. Sarah Browne.

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    1. I agree, I wish the containers were either reusable or recyclable - however, we can't rely too heavily on paper alternatives as they require a considerable amount of energy to create too! it is almost a no win situation - but it is one that has to be dealt with before it is too late :(

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  4. I know we generate too much. I have made changes where I can but there are some things which cannot yet be swapped/substituted. The local shop where I used to get Ecover bottles refilled closed during the pandemic and will not be reopening. A similar shop started up on the edge of town last year but I have never seen it open and last time I walked past there did not appear to be any stock and it seemed very deserted.

    I do take our soft plastic to Sainsbury's once a week, and the council collect hard plastic every other week.

    Your last paragraph is spot on - at present it is not the "Polluter" who pays. Until companies/manufacturers are made responsible for the plastics they consume I fear anything else is just fiddling around the edges. I am old enough to remember taking glass bottles back to the local shop for a penny refund!

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    1. I agree, there is only so far we can go at the present time, but it does need to improve. Our local shop in the village has a refill station for a reasonably wide range of foodstuffs and were possible - we use them, but there are just some things you can not get from them. It needs to improve across the board

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  5. The survey made me search out the place to take Crisp packets etc - one morning, once a month 7 miles away. I've made a note. But it's not easy to find things without plastic and a cucumber lasts so much longer when it's in the shrink wrapped plastic! Although I'll have some of my own for a few months.
    All rubbish that goes into the waste bins in Suffolk is incinerated - is that better or worse than landfill? Who knows - it's a complicated life.

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    1. It IS complicated - needs to be made easier and kinder on the environment x

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  6. You may already know about this, but I wondered if there are any Terracycle collectors near you Kate? There's a map on their website you can check. I'm sure you'll take this as inspiration to make more changes. My issue is cost. Much as I'd like to buy all my stuff loose we simply haven't got the budget for it so I do what I can and try and keep improving. Arilx

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    1. Our local 'green' shop - the one in our village used to have several terracycle boxes but last month they were withdrawn despite hundreds of items being recycled through them. I shall see if I can find another - thanks, will go and check x

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  7. Also meant to say (before I pressed publish) I agree with the cost issue for the same reasons x

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  8. It really is scary isn’t it. We have tried to reduce our plastic usage but it really is tricky … especially when cost is a factor. I did find out that our general waste is all incinerated and converted to energy, which feels better than landfill, but who really knows. It’s also hard to really know what happens to the recycling. Does it actually get recycled as it should? Is stuff still getting shipped abroad? I did read somewhere that whilst it is probably not possible for everyone to everything right all of the time … everyone making a few changes will make a difference, so we mustn’t give up because we think we can’t do it all … if that makes sense … Carol x

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    1. I knew that at some point the uk was shipping its waste to other countries and that those countries had said that it was to stop, so thought it had - but that so much is just shipped out and dumped is horrifying.

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  9. I'm feeling "rubbish" about all the plastic etc. we generate too and have tried to change in a lot of areas, but some things I can't. I do reuse a glass bottle for my drinking water in the car and when walking, as I actually don't like the taste of water from a plastic "anything", I too remember the days of bottle refunds, broken biscuits from large tins in paper bags and our milkman with his horse and cart full of milk churns, which he then ladled out into your own billy can which then went into the ice chest. Even out ice man, postie and baker all came on horses when I was very young. Thanks Kate for posting about this. Take care and hugs.

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    1. I think is we all do what we can and pressure our governments to do better then surely that is better than nothing - we cant reduce what has already been shunted out but we can stop adding to it x

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  10. Your result was very similar to my own and it is very worrying isn't it. I try hard to reduce my plastic waste but food packaging is where I struggle the most. X

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    1. I agree - we went shopping last night and I was unable to go completely plastic free.

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  11. That is frightening - I had intended to take part in this but ended up away from home for most of it - so my tally was probably even worse than normally. The Government has to take a lead on this - it can't be totally down to the consumer when it is so hard to buy things without plastic. One I always feel could easily be changed is Chinese and other takeaway cartons - surely they could be cardboard by now.

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    1. We have got so used to just throwing things away (if recycling if possible) that it is horrifying how much we really do throw out!

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