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Re: No plastic

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:54 pm
by Weedo
Not really sure where to post this so I stuck it in here.

While flying to yet another phsycobabble, socio-political, worthless, outcomeless meeting I read a few interesting facts published by a firm of eco-architects (pushing their business no doubt but interesting) I have checked their figures against the University Of Queensland ones and they match closely enough.
OK
Oz generates about 20 million tonnes of landfill annually (about a third of Great Britains amount; but we waste about 5% more per head than the Brits.) Of this, 10 million tonnes is potentially recyclable organics. The majority by far (70%+) is generated by commercial businesses, including the construction industry. Food associated waste - food, scraps, food containers etc. accounts for 40%, green waste 20% and the balance other organics such as timber, paper etc.

The entire push from these architects in not to focus on recycling but on not using the materials in the first place and to extend the useful life of the constructions & to build in waste minimisation systems in the businesses occupying.

Re: No plastic

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:35 am
by Green Aura
It makes perfect sense really. It would create lots of jobs too but there just isn't the political will to drive this sort of thing through.

The odd shop stopping selling stuff in plastic etc is great there isn't sufficient infrastructure to, for example, take bottles to wash and re-use, divert compostable materials to a different stream etc.

Re: No plastic

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:56 pm
by Weedo
I think our "leaders" also ned to look at the artificial barriers to recycling - the will to recycle is one thing but the recycling industry itself imposes barriers also. Soft plastic packaging, bubble wrap etc. is not accepted now because these materials get stuck in their automated machinery, food contaminated containers like unwashed milk bottles, greasy pizza boxes and those delightful plastic foam meat trays are not accepted because of health issues in the processing. Wire is not accepted in metal recycling beacuse 1/ it won't compact into the shipping blocks properly and 2/ it gets tangled in their machinery. These are artifical barriers with engineering solutions and should be worked on.

Re: No plastic

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:26 am
by Green Aura
The solutions to those "problems" would also create jobs but automation is cheaper of course. No business owner is in the recycling industry for the good of the planet.

If the will was there producers could stop using completely unnecessary packaging - plastic-wrapped coconuts, peeled and boxed (plastic, of course) oranges. Not to mention all the big stuff - fridges delivered in tons of polystyrene so they can be moved without damage by one person.

(Green Aura shuffles off, at this point, to reread her own policy on politics on Ish before she goes too far). :lol:

Re: No plastic

Posted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:15 pm
by Weedo
I recently bought a specific organic healthy food product - one I can't usually get and used to be sold loose back when the authorities perrmitted such dangerous and unhealthy practices. The product now comes in a recylable cardboard box (all the relevent sustainability logos thereon) inside of which was the goods in a plastic bag (not recyclable). On reading the instructions on the box it seems that the best way to keep the product fresh and nutritous is the discard both box and plastic bag and put the contents in an airtight plastic container?

Re: No plastic

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:16 am
by ina
Oh the irony of it...
I think one of the points of organic accreditation should be packaging - and another one transport. It's what I look at, anyway, when I buy produce. I can't think it's a good idea to sell organic blueberries from Chile in the middle of winter here (in a plastic container, of course).

Re: No plastic

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:53 am
by Green Aura
It seems to get more ridiculous everywhere you look.

Re: No plastic

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:49 pm
by Weedo
consuminglocal and in season is long gone - people expect to be able to buy the full range of "fresh" produce all year round.
Mangos and Avacados used to be rarely available and then only in Northern area. Now Australian grown mangoes are available for 8 months of the year and avacados for 6 months; the problem is that the early and late varieties travel 4,000km and the mid seasons a paltry 1,200km - probably further as they need to go through various markets etc on the way.

Any benefits of growing organically or sustainably are lost in the negatives of the travel.

Re: No plastic

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:00 am
by ina
If people wouldn't buy it, it wouldn't be done. Educating the masses is the problem; they can't see anything wrong with it, because "otherwise it wouldn't be on offer, would it!". I never buy strawberries out of the local season (and even then very rarely, only when the bloody blackbirds have had all of mine again). But most people don't see it like that.

Re: No plastic

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:00 am
by Flo
How do we regard tinned fruit in this situation? Much traveled but at least the packing can be recycled

Re: No plastic

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:29 am
by ina
Well, you do have to be able to stock a few things, for bad weather (or Brexit...). I do use tins - not as first preference, of course. If I didn't, I would at least have to have a freezer, and that would not be terribly environment friendly either! Tins seem to be much easier to recycle, that's true.

Re: No plastic

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:18 pm
by Green Aura
I think, for me, the difference is that plastic is used so indiscriminately. We survived for generations without having cucumbers wrapped in plastic. Tinned stuff is specifically for shelf storage, plastic isnt for the most part. As said, tins are recyclable, many plastics still aren't - or the facilities to do it aren't available and yet more and more stuff turns up shrouded in a substance you can't even put to further use. I have less problem with plastic carriers than the shrunk plastic on a cucumber or coconut. Maybe we should run a "101 uses for...", I doubt we'd even get one!

Re: No plastic

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:40 pm
by ina
And the stupid thing is - it's the organic cucumbers that are shrink wrapped, and not the ordinary ones. Because otherwise nobody'd know which ones are organic. (Stickers alone don't work, as too many naughty people would just swap them...)

Solution? Buy in a shop that only does organic - and hope they get their produce from somewhere that doesn't shrink wrap. Not many shops like that around. I know one in Aberdeen.

Re: No plastic

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:01 pm
by Flo
The co-op tried selling naked cucumbers but found they didn't keep so returned to plastic covers rather than throw away most of the said produce.

Re: No plastic

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:22 pm
by ina
At Lidl's the normal cucumbers aren't wrapped... Yes, that's really difficult, the shelf life problem.