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Saturday, 17 January 2015

The plastic-free challenge - we can no longer buy The Guardian

Mr Pitt's Parmesan Bites with Chilli and Rosemary

So, after feeling the glow of success last Saturday, we went out on a mission to acquire more good quality plastic tubs to continue our naked shopping.  Senior Daughter is also keen to join in even while living away, so we will be needing lots more re-fillable pots to manage our mission.

We also needed butter, cheese, toothpaste and some small round batteries for our kitchen scales.

The butter we buy is wrapped in paper, so there's no change there at this stage as although our aim is to reduce single use anything, we are at the moment concentrating on plastic.  We headed to the market with a suitable cheese sized plastic tub to see if there was a cheese stall.  No luck there, so we decided to give Waitrose a try.  We did come away with a chunk of cheese in our plastic container but the young lady who served us looked a little perplexed and it took some explaining that we didn't want any plastic packaging in the box with it.  She used a sheet of plastic to hold the cheese while she cut it and to transfer it to our box.  I think she then threw away that sheet of plastic. However, if we hadn't taken our own container, not only would the cheese have remained wrapped in the sheet of plastic, it would have been placed inside another plastic bag, so at least we are saving on waste if not entirely.

The toothpaste, however, was our first failure.  Dental hygiene is a big worry for people and I had done a little Internet research about alternatives to toothpaste in plastic tubes.  I occasionally use LUSH toothy tabs, which I really like and I always use these when travelling.  As I understand it they are basically toothpaste in solid form.  They are packaged in recycled cardboard, which itself is recyclable.  I have probably been using them on and off for about a year, but unless I use them consistently and completely ditch the tube toothpaste then I won't really know if I pass the dental check.  So, I've decided to try to be more consistent on my use of the toothy tabs.  I realised that one thing that stops me is that I haven't been keeping them in the bathroom for fear they will get wet.  So my plan is to find a small jar to keep them in, so they stay dry and are always to hand.  Old habits die hard, they do say, and sure enough I find myself reaching for the toothpaste tube more often than not.

The batteries for the scales were another fail! They had a small plastic bubble to keep them in place on a piece of card.  However, we do want to get our scales back into use and return the ones we had to hastily borrow from my Dad on Christmas Eve, when ours packed up.

The next challenge, I think is going to be cat food.  We did a bit of research, to see if we could find a local bulk buy place where we could fill our own container, but no joy.  We looked at brands like Go-Cat that come in a cardboard box, but the meat content is around 3.8% rather than 38% like our current brand.  My thought so far is to switch to the Countrywide own brand which comes in a no-nonsense clear plastic bag, which would be recyclable, or washable and reusable if opened carefully.  It seems to have largely the same ingredients as the current cat food.  I've got a couple of days to make a decision. In the meantime, I would be grateful for any suggestions.

I'm also on the lookout for somewhere to buy frozen peas in my own container. So far, we have just done without, but we are missing our peas :(

Last but not least - we realised we can no longer buy The Guardian at the weekend as it comes wrapped in plastic. NO OTHER NEWSPAPER on the shelf in Waitrose had a plastic wrapper so why does The Guardian feel it is necessary?  I'm sad about that, but I'm sure the unread sections of the stash of Guardian's we already have will keep us going for a while.

To date the 2015 Pitt purchased plastic tally is this:

2 toothpaste tubes with lids
2 plastic bubbles from the battery packaging.


Nenemaria said...

Is your cat fussy and will only eat biscuits? Tinned food is much better for them and obviously it's in tins that can be recycled. We get ours from Aldi, it's a good price and better quality than some.
I do have one fussy kitty that won't eat any kind of wet cat food though and is allergic to most kibble, makes feeding here a nightmare. She's happy to eat any kind of human food though, typical cat.
I'm looking into making my own for them, with raw meat. The health benefits are the main reason but it will also cut down on packaging and made in bulk then frozen isn't expensive. Something to think about :)

Anonymous said...

sadly tins are plastic lined! You can buy pet food loose at weigh and save shops. I get frozen peas here - you could check the supplier and see if they supply near you

Anonymous said...

sadly tins are plastic lined! You can buy pet food loose at weigh and save shops. I get frozen peas here - you could check the supplier and see if they supply near you

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should write to the Guardian and ask them to stop wrapping it in cellophane? - that would save a whole heap of plastic!!