Plastics

Discussion on living for a better and more responsible future
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Mo
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Re: Plastics

Post by Mo »

Gwenoakes wrote:My mother used to spit on it first though...

Yes, well I did say 'damp' - didn't specify how.

lancashire lass wrote:I have been racking my brain for what we used before wipes, sponge cloths and scouring pads and all other plastic things ever came into daily use - I remember wire wool, scrubbing brushes (with natural stiff bristles, no idea what they were made of, on a wooden base, sweeping brushes with soft bristles on wood with wooden handles), a straight sided block of green soap was in the kitchen (it wasn't for handwashing - I seem to remember it was used for lots of things like rubbing onto stubborn stains on clothes before putting in the (twin tub) washing machine, or even using it on the wooden scrubbing brush to clean the floor ... not that I want to be getting on my hands and knees to do that again!), and cloths and mops were .... wait for it, old knickers and vests that had gone past their best but too good to throw away. Buckets (and mop buckets) were zinc or enamel, floor mops made of string. Which takes me back to ironmongers shops - before Wilkos and supermarkets, a lot of these were from the hardware store and they used to have a distinctive smell about them (along with the paraffin and paraffin lamps) Sigh, fond memories.

Well I don't use paraffin but most of the rest, including a bar of the Fairy laundry soap, and the 'use once then chuck' rags can be found in my kitchen.Most of the scrubbing brushes are plastic though.
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fabindia
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Re: Plastics

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Plastic pollution is a huge problem here in Asia compared to the west. In recent months we have been to the beaches in the North East of England and the Algarve in Portugal and found them to be relatively plastic free. Here in Asia the beaches often resemble rubbish tips.

I suspect this is partly due to poor education but also to lack of motivation. If you are from a poor family were money for the basics such as food, health-care and education is scarce, you aren't like to be too bothered about chucking the odd plastic bottle or plastic bag in the stream outside your house.

The bottom line is plastic packaging is in the main good. Without it we would have even more food waste and feeding earth's growing population becomes even more problematic. The problem of course is disposing of it responsibly.
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lancashire lass
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Re: Plastics

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fabindia wrote:The bottom line is plastic packaging is in the main good. Without it we would have even more food waste and feeding earth's growing population becomes even more problematic. The problem of course is disposing of it responsibly.


Unfortunately the problem is that plastic is not easy to dispose of even when done responsibly. Single use plastics are causing more harm to the environment than justified.
fabindia
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Re: Plastics

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We try, as much as we can, to avoid single use plastic but it is difficult. It really annoys me that fruit and veg often comes individually wrapped.

We watched the BBC documentary last night were tap water was being promoted over bottled water, which is fine for UK. Here in Thailand, our tap water is from a well just up the road from us that is pumped into a storage tank that sits outside our kitchen . The water comes out of the tap 32c, so an ideal temperature for breeding bugs. We use that for general washing up and showers, etc. So, we have to buy drinking water.

What we do, therefore, is to buy large 6 Litre bottles of water at the supermarket that costs us approx. £1.05 a time. We then refill these bottles at 1 Thai Bhat a litre, so 6L costs £0.15, a big saving. There are plenty of refill stations around that dispense reverse osmosis, filtered drinking water. Of course after a while the 6L bottles do get a bit battered, so we put them out for re-cycling and by another from the supermarket.

We also buy things like washing up-liquid in large commercial size plastic containers and the re-fill smaller bottles, again saving a dozen or so single-use plastic bottles.

We are fortunate, in that we have the time and the cash to consider these things not a luxury that all people have here.
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fabindia
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Re: Plastics

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We try, as much as we can, to avoid single use plastic but it is difficult. It really annoys me that fruit and veg often comes individually wrapped.

We watched the BBC documentary last night where tap water was being promoted over bottled water, which is fine for UK. Here in Thailand, our tap water is from a well just up the road from us that is pumped into a large holding tank that sits outside our kitchen. The water comes out of the tap 32c, so an ideal temperature for breeding bugs. We use that for general washing up and showers, etc. So, we have to buy drinking water.

What we do, therefore, is to buy large 6 Litre bottles of water at the supermarket that costs us approx. £1.05 a time. We then refill these bottles at 1 Thai Bhat a litre, so 6L costs £0.15, a big saving. There are plenty of refill stations around that dispense reverse osmosis, filtered drinking water. Of course after a while the 6L bottles do get a bit battered, so we put them out for re-cycling and by another from the supermarket.

We also buy things like washing up-liquid in large commercial size plastic containers and the re-fill smaller bottles, again saving a dozen or so single-use plastic bottles.

We are fortunate, in that we have the time and the cash to consider these things not a luxury that all people have here.
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lancashire lass
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Re: Plastics

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fabindia wrote:We watched the BBC documentary last night where tap water was being promoted over bottled water, which is fine for UK. Here in Thailand, our tap water is from a well just up the road from us that is pumped into a large holding tank that sits outside our kitchen. The water comes out of the tap 32c, so an ideal temperature for breeding bugs. We use that for general washing up and showers, etc. So, we have to buy drinking water.


When I was growing up in South Africa, our original local water supply was from a simple gravel bed filter system and then heavily chlorinated. I worked in a local hospital laboratory as a student assistant (for work experience) - a very basic laboratory for routine tests like checking for anemia, pregnancy (before the pregnancy tests became available from the chemists), diabetes, local parasite called a schistosome which caused bilharzia - and every day we also had to check for levels of E.coli in the water supply (when numbers went up it meant other water borne pathogen numbers were up too, so the water was then chlorinated) As a result, we were advised not to drink raw tap water (but when thirsty, sometimes you did .... and 9 of 10 ended up with the trots) We used to save the boiled water from the kettle after making tea/hot drinks and filled a big jug kept in the fridge. Unfortunately due to the natural water supply, the boiled water tasted brackish so it was flavoured with fruit squash - to the point where even today I rarely drink just plain water. So back to using bottled water .... before that became popular, people did use to boil water before drinking it.
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Re: Plastics

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Have just seen on the puter that Carlsberg are no longer doing the plastic round the cans of beer.
I hope that other similar companies follow soon.
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kitla
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Re: Plastics

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I expect they'll still be wrapped together in some plastic way though. I find the whole multipack aspect quite annoying (for lots of reasons aside from packaging) & now the systems are all computerized I dont see that its necessary. Price of buying 4 items is x, just put 4 of them in your trolley & they will be scanned & priced accordingly, simple!

Fabindia, be careful with re-using those water bottles, the ones that arent designed to be re-used apparently start to degrade, especially in sunlight, & can leach something from the plastic into the water. I read something about this, cant remember where, & it prompted me to buy a variety of drinking water bottles for the family.
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Spreckly
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Re: Plastics

Post by Spreckly »

Thanks for the advice about using old plastic water bottles Kitla. I have two in my kitchen cupboard, which I fill for the dog when travelling! We also have two different sized plastic containers which we fill from home and take when caravanning - which we will be doing soon!

It is a massive problem, isn't it. When we drive down our lane from the main road, there are several dumped and tied carrier bags, some thrown into fields. Why can't people take them and put them in their bins? I am reluctant to pick any up however, just don't know what might be inside.
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KathJ
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Re: Plastics

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I had to litter pick down our quiet country lane yesterday. Presumably some driver had decided to throw plastic bottles, wipes and chocolate wrappers out of the car window as they were driving along yike* You're never going to win the battle of the plastics with people like that {cry}
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albertajune
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Re: Plastics

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Sadly lots of people today just don't care. I wonder how many children today are taught not to throw down litter as most of us taught our children.
To make any significant difference to pollution, all people anywhere in the world, need to get together to do something about it. I think that the world today is a very sad place which cannot sustain the way we live for much longer. I know I sound all doom and gloom but I really can't see a way out of the future disaster if ALL don't contribute to stopping it in some way now.
We don't need so much plastic around food and we certainly don't need so much bubble wrap etc when buying other goods. We didn't need it years ago and don't need it now. Of course it prolongs the life of food so the supermarkets won't do anything different to what they do now in case it costs them money. Some are praising themselves by saying that we can unwrap the plastic in the shop and put it in designated bins. What then will they do with it, other than dump it. Don't know what the answer is.
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KathJ
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Re: Plastics

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No, me neither June {cry} Think it's going to be a big problem for many many years to come!
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lancashire lass
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Re: Plastics

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albertajune wrote:I wonder how many children today are taught not to throw down litter as most of us taught our children.


incidentally, today I had an appointment in Nottingham and as I sat waiting for the tram to arrive to go home, I watched a mother and child walk by and not once did the mother reprimand the child for dropping litter on the pavement

albertajune wrote:To make any significant difference to pollution, all people anywhere in the world, need to get together to do something about it. I think that the world today is a very sad place which cannot sustain the way we live for much longer. I know I sound all doom and gloom but I really can't see a way out of the future disaster if ALL don't contribute to stopping it in some way now.


sadly I'm in agreement ...

But some good news!

lancashire lass wrote:I have made an extra effort to be more sustainable and eco friendly this year with lots of mini projects on the go but the plastic packaging has been the most difficult. Someone mentioned "eco bricks" and after looking it up, it is a great way to deal with most plastic waste:

BBC news

Families online

Ecotricity - how to make an ecobrick and where to drop them off for community projects link to a searchable site


On Sunday I did not feel up to any serious gardening and ended up making a few ecobricks - I have a couple of projects in mind where I think I'll be able to use them for myself so for the moment I am just filling the 2L pop bottles with plastic. If you haven't already tried, it is actually a satisfying little task knowing that every plastic bag or wrapping is being shoved into a bottle and won't be littering the countryside. It's one of those little jobs you can do while watch tv or if you have friends with similar concerns, sit down and talk while doing it (a bit like a knitting or sewing club) Trying to pack the bottom of the bottle is frustrating as you need to make sure the bobbly bits on the base are packed solid but different plastics have different properties - the "cellophane" type just unravel as fast as you compress them in with a poking stick, but the stretchy polythene type (like you find for bagged frozen vegetables) almost moulds into shape the more you compress it. I have 4 full bottles ready and nearly finished a 5th one - to be fair I have been collecting the plastic for a while (including some from work which would normally go into the bin waste) but surprisingly, it takes a lot of plastic to fill just one bottle )t'
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albertajune
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Re: Plastics

Post by albertajune »

What a brilliant idea are ecobricks. Handy to know how to make them, if only to pass them on for large projects both here and abroad.
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KathJ
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Re: Plastics

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That's great Lancashire Lass )like( I'd love to know what you're planning to do with the bottles once full??
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