Blog Posts

Gather your Tupperware…

(Postcard Image – ‘Sewage Surfer’ by Justin Hoffman)

KK

A reply from Waitrose…

Thanks to me 🙂 (although that’s more my point of view than Waitrose’s) and many other people who must have expressed their confusion/irritation on this issue, Waitrose will now allow customers to bring in their own containers for products bought at their meat, cheese and fish counters.

Some of my Tupperware will now repurposed to this end for as long as Waitrose and I live near each other…

Another small but potentially significant step…?

More plastic fantastic…

 

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Go to BBC Radio 4 for a 3-part podcast series called, funnily enough, Plastic Fantastic…

It’s thought-provoking stuff about our love and troubles with plastic….

In terms of my previous post, it looks like I did send my address to Waitrose after all. I just haven’t had a response… Next batch of non-recyclable plastic returning to the mother ship tomorrow…together with offer to be part of finding a solution…

Return to Sender…

KKUprat

Waitrose, alongside over 40 other businesses have recently signed up to a UK Plastics Pact.

Its aspiration? By 2025, all plastics will be compostable, recyclable or reused…

Sounds good except that 2025 is very far away and the agreement is voluntary…and meanwhile, the plastic mounts….

So what to do with all that single use plastic that you might accrue in the meantime?

Well, my sister suggested that (while you’re working out how to change your rubbish habits, so to speak) you might consider this….

Step 1. Save all single use plastic acquired over a month’s shop and wash it…

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Step 2. Comb through it and apply helpful alternative packaging suggestions to each saved item…

KKuprat

Step 3. Find out where it comes from…

Step 4. Return it to where it comes from, perhaps with friendly letter on what you’d like to see on those supermarket aisles..

KKuprat

Step 5.   Repeat steps 1 to 4 monthly or as often as you like…

More on that pesky cucumber wrapping…

Here is my word irk on this particular subject…

The Cucumber Growers Association gives the following reasons for shrink-wrapping a cucumber:

It prevents physical damage.

It prevents dirty hands touching the cucumber

It prevents cold injury and moisture loss

This splendidly all adds up to ensuring that the cucumber will ultimately last longer…

One happy consumer verified this online, celebrating the fact that their cocooned cucumber had lasted a whole month. What weirds me out about all this is, why does anyone want a cucumber or any other vegetable to last that long, given the rapid nutrient loss that occurs from the point you remove it from its connection with the earth? Not to put too fine a point on it, you kind of want to eat the thing pretty quickly, not break an archaeological record mummifying it in your fridge for as long as possible, surely? (The necessity for adequate nutrition for life and health just sort of disappeared off the reasoning radar here…)

Also, by simply smacking a shrink-wrapped cucumber with the edge of a knife, I discovered that damage to the cucumber still occurs…You may be surprised by this. You may not.

And it’s always been my understanding that you wash your fruit and veg before you eat them, wrapped or otherwise so again this all points to a thumbs up for nude cucumbers.

Quite apart from the fact there is a certain joy to the senses involved in handling produce (possibly with dirty hands argh!) that gets completely obliterated by plastic barriers. You can’t touch it, smell it, look at it properly, choose your own amounts etc etc.

Oh yes, and more packaging on produce, higher price to consumer too I suspect…

And I can’t recycle it…

To me, this all adds up to a compelling marketing strategy for shrink wrapping something that doesn’t need shrink-wrapping.

In effect, this cucumber is a pointy old symbol for all that fresh produce covered in endless plastic that we could eliminate by changing our shopping habits and asking our supermarkets to provide loose produce, deli counters, more staff and aisles of refillable options.

I don’t need or want this.

The polar bears sure don’t need it either….

 K Kuprat

 

 

The Great British Wet Wipe…

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If you go down to the beach today, you’re in for a big surprise…..

This ghostly item is a wet wipe on Cramond beach after it’s made it out of the many sewage pipes located along this coastline. We picked up and counted about 120 of these within a 10 metre section.

This was strange and disturbing. Note the strangely disturbed look on Doug’s face. (It’s quite subtle.)

K Kuprat

I don’t have much call for them so I must have missed the moment when they became a must-use national item. And, um, how many of them must get put in the loo and clearly can’t be processed by our sewage systems because of not being designed to enter them in the first place. So something of a knee-jerk epidemic here and not what I was expecting to find amid the plastic bottles, seaweed and shells.

This isn’t a new hobby of mine – though maybe it could be – (and I didn’t do it without rubber gloves on..) It’s part of an annual national beach clean survey going on this weekend…all information gets used for lobbying purposes. (You too can pick up plastic at a beach near you if your heart desires…find the Marine Conservation Society website for more details.)

And yes, they have plastic in them…