Gattina has written a post called Going back to the Future and it is worth a read.
In Australia light flimsy retail plastic bags were banned, substituted by more durable and reusable plastic bags which had to be paid for, meaning instead of using the lightweight bags for our rubbish, we now have to buy them. Slowly we have become savvy with making sure we take reusable plastic bags to the supermarket.
Supermarkets and many places charge 15 cents for a reusable plastic bag. Recently similarly sized brown heavy paper bags with handles have appeared to but too. That is great, but they cost twenty cents. Paper can be recycled a number of times. Soft plastics not so much. So why not make paper carry bags 15 cents and plastic bags 20 cents? Of course it is not about the cost, but the number of reusable plastic you manage to acquire, and have to store.
Then there are rolls of plastic bags in supermarkets to put fresh vegetables into that are extremely light weight and must be terribly polluting if set free. I asked Household Management why he buys freezer bags when the supermarket fresh produce bags could be used. He explained that the interior of vegetable of used vegetable bags could be contaminated and therefore not safe. I must add that this was at the height of Covid fear here.
Anyway, simple brown paper bags could be used for fresh produce rather than plastic bags, as used to be the case. As for plastic meat trays and plastic packed up fruit and vegetables, absurd. Vegetarians, don't feel smug. I've seen tofu in plastic trays. There must be a better way.
I agree that there must be a better way, although I can't say I know what that is. We use reusable shopping bags that roll up and fit into my handbag. When buying fruit and veg from our local Co-Op store, most of it comes in cellophane wrap which I think is biodegradable. Too much other stuff is still wrapped in plastic. I admit to using plastic bags to line our kitchen and bathroom waste bins but I don't know what alternative I should use, except for no bin liners and lots of disinfectant.ReplyDelete
JayCee, using disinfectant all the time where it is washed down drains may be worse than lining bins with plastic bags. I hadn't heard about cellophane breaking down and that may be true as long as it doesn't end up in the sea.Delete
Coles in my city has banned the plastic bags in the vegetable areas as well. You can buy sturdier bags from them or bring your own. So far Woollies hasn't followed suit, but it is only a matter of time. We used to have a soft plastic recycling system here. It has been (temporarily I hope) shut down and I am appalled at how much of our rubbish falls into that category.ReplyDelete
It was shut down as the mountains of soft plastics were found to be stored in huge warehouses and left to rot, nothing was being done with them.Delete
EC, that's interesting. I didn't know that had begun. Our building has a soft plastics bin but as River remarks below, where is that going?Delete
River, I thought it was mostly in Melbourne. There you go.Delete
Freezer bags … I agree with R. You don’t know who has handled fresh produce before you put your veggies in supermarket bags There also could be mould etc etc..Respect Fabulous Chef R Andrew This gal doesn’t handle kitchen and cheffing matters either ..not my pay grade 🤣Or might I add interest level
By the way Andrew the tofu we vegetarians buy is in cryovac. It could be considered recyclable …must check . Hate paper bags without handles .
Woolies home delivery service use paper bags , often too many , which can be reused for many purposes ,
Happy freezer bagging Mr R. Good wishes
I'm with you about cheffing, Stalker. I am really not interested in cooking. Cryovac sounds like something to keep dead people suspended in until science works out how to bring them back to life. Good luck with that. The Woolies bags would have handles I guess. Thanks.Delete
I remember when paper bags were replaced with plastic because the paper bags destroyed trees.ReplyDelete
I was mightily annoyed to see that my local Coles no longer cuts its own cauliflowers. Remember when you could buy a half either as it came or wrapped in gladwrap? Now they are wrapped and labelled by the grower (or some middle party). I reuse the vege plastic bags as they are tightly closed and only I have touched the inside. Unless I really need to put something in them (like beans) I just pile the product on the scale (like apples).
Caro, at least you may use a whole cauliflower. A single person would struggle. I'd cut it in half and give half away once home. Surely paper bags could be completely made from recycled paper. Things are changing quickly.Delete
At least western people are all thinking about plastic use and starting to do something about it. Shame that our governments have not addressed this issue with dedication and determination. Waste plastic on land and in the sea shames us all.ReplyDelete
Quite true YP, and you've wrote well about the problem in the past. A lot of plastic was banned here yesterday, in Victoria at least. I'll write a post about it when the details are clear. I am concerned that cotton buds have been banned.Delete
I am careful to never knowingly use plastic bags or wrapping; even apples, oranges and potatoes can be simply tipped into my large hessian shopping bag. But it is really annoying when the plastic is hidden and not noticed until the stuff is opened at home eg single-use items like sanitary pads, disposable baby nappies and wet wipes.ReplyDelete
You are a model non plastic consumer Hels. I am curious how you keep different fruit and vegetables separate until you pay for them. Yes, I get what you are saying about hidden plastics.Delete
I've been taking my own reusable shopping bags since they were first introduced, including the insulation lined chiller bags with a zip to keep things cold. Most of the vegetable and fruit bags available on those rolls are now 100% compostable, well the ones I get from Foodland are. I haven't check the Woolies ones. I reuse those for my small kitchen waste bin and for lining the icecream tub I keep in my freezer to scrape uneaten cat food into. It takes a couple of weeks to fill and means the cat food isn't getting all stinky in my wheelie bin. Scooping out the litter tray into the compostable "doggy" bags means those bags won't hang around forever in landfill, but break down faster. I tried paper bags for that but my bin got too stinky. I don't want millions of flies and ants crawling all over it.ReplyDelete
River, so it doesn't matter if those vegetable bags go into land fill as they will compost? That's a good idea about the uneaten cat food.Delete
Check first to see if your preferred store has switched to the compostable fruit & veg bags.Delete
Here in the state I live in, Idaho. Plastic bags are use. When you check out from a grocery market. They will ask you paper or plastic.ReplyDelete
I line my smaller garbage can with the plastic bags from store. If you ask they will give you a hand full of them. For free.
But where my oldest son live in Oregon. They don't have plastic bag in there store. I'm not sure of the state of Washington, what there thing is about plastic bag. My youngest son lives in Washington.
Coffee is on and stay safe
Your family is well spread out. I guess not much for them Idaho. I bet plastic bags are banned in Washington DC.Delete
I remember from the 90s. The paper bags are shown to actually cause more damage for the environment than plastics. Something to do with deforestation and total carbon emissions etc. The conclusion to save earth is to eliminate the global population to a certain size or get rid of us all.ReplyDelete
Roentare, I can only think that in the 90s paper recycling was not as refined as it now is, so more trees had to be cut down. Certain world leaders are working on exterminating populations. If that is not enough, planet earth will look after itself and kill us all. It is giving frequent warnings now.Delete
I have been using heavy plastic or canvas reusable shopping bags for years, I HATE the light weight plastic bags, useless thingsReplyDelete
TP, such light weight bags certainly rip easily.Delete
For a long time our local supermarket used to package whole limes in a plastic tray covered with plastic. Limes! Which have their own durable skin! Fortunately, they've stopped doing that.ReplyDelete
Steve, fruit wrapped like that is silly and often forces you to buy more than you need.Delete
We have more durable cloth bags here that last forever. However, I do object to having to BUY the kitchen trash bags now rather than using the free grocery ones. I never tossed grocery ones, used them for knitting, supplies, garbage in all the trash baskets, etc. An interesting "follow the money" experiment.ReplyDelete
M, same here. A plastic bag always say at least two uses. Now we buy them and they are used once.Delete
I have an idea for you and for us Americans. How about having rolls of paper towels instead of plastic bags. Grab a paper towel, pick up your lettuce or carrots or tomatoes and wrap them around with the paper and gently put them in your cart. Yes the paper would get wet and yes the produce might get dirty at the checkout and in the cart, but don't you wash your produce anyway?ReplyDelete
That's not a bad idea Peace Thyme, or some variation on that. Lettuce probably doesn't need to wrapped but things like half a dozen plums are a bit different.Delete
I use those vegetable light weight bags for cat litter now. The grocery store I use offers the boxes up that they get merchandise in, after they stock shelves the boxes go in a bin in the front and we use those to put our groceries in.ReplyDelete
Strayer, most businesses will give you boxes if you want them. Otherwise how can young people afford to move house? It's a good use for those lightweight bags.Delete
Speaking of refuse, I was shocked when I had the sciatica and couldn't walk for a couple weeks and a friend ordered me food to be delivered. One order contained so much trash, three clam shells alone, and wrapper paper that isn't recyclable. Then I began being aware of the massive waste generated by take out food.ReplyDelete
Strayer, take away food is so bad at generating rubbish, often blowing around on our streets.Delete