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Using less plastic in the kitchen - helpful suggestions please

(22 Posts)
quizqueen Sat 25-Jan-20 12:12:00

My regularly used Tupperware stuff is nearly 40 years ago so has probably paid back its dues to the planet, in manufacturing terms! I also reuse takeaway containers (only order twice a year for family birthdays) and the council area I work in, as opposed to where I live, takes other harder plastic waste.

I recycle ALL my plastic wrappings/bags (unless I reuse them as poo bags when I occasionally look after my daughter's dog) at the collection point at *Tesco or Sainsburys' entrances* and take plastic milk bottles tops to my local Mencap shop. I compost everything suitable for my own garden use - you can pay extra for the council to collect -and very rarely are leftovers wasted; I just 'bubble and squeak' everything.

My local council still provides black plastic sacks for weekly collection (this is mostly used to generate electricity rather than going to landfill) and my bag usually has hardly anything in it, but I do put it out weekly because it smells of left over cat food scrapings (unless the dog's here then she eats it)- I can't persuade the cat to not leave bits of food in her dish, sadly! Glass is collected every 4 weeks.

All waste should be recycled including human waste from the toilet, the world produces enough of that!

cupaffull Sat 25-Jan-20 11:21:20

Just taken to making newspaper cones for disposing of our kitty litter rather than nappysacks.
Silicone lids sound ideal and I would like beeswax paper if anyone can advise where best to purchase....

I refuse to buy cucumbers in plastic and always unwrap and leave the plastic with the teller. After a week in the fridge, they don't feel quite as firm but they don't rot as easily.

I do wish fish and chips still came wrapped in newspaper outers instead of sweating in plastic. And lined with clean paper there shouldn't be a hygiene issue.

We cannot recycle plastic bags here in Warks,so frozen food bags have to go into waste. How do other cope please?

Granny23 Sat 25-Jan-20 11:14:59

As far as I can remember, Soda crystals came in a waxed cardboard tub, same as Bisto/custard/ect powder.

JackyB Sat 25-Jan-20 10:47:37

I have looked through my kitchen and the most plastic is bottles of cleaning fluids for various purposes. Following on from the soda crystals thread, I think I could phase them out and change to the soda crystals for cleaning and washing, and washing up. The soda crystals come in a plastic bag, but they do need to be kept dry, so paper bags won't ever be introduced for them. I wonder how they used to be sold? Loose? Does anybody remember?

shysal Fri 17-Jan-20 18:57:05

I have some stretchy silicone lids. I use them on glass or china bowls/basins and also on old Tupperware with ill fitting or no lids. Silicone is apparently eco-friendly. They are sold on Ebay or, more expensively at Lakeland.

grannyticktock Fri 17-Jan-20 16:08:17

I think we can get too hung up about this. In my local authority area, nothing goes to landfill; all non-recyclable rubbish is incinerated to produce heat. Nothing I throw away is going to poison the oceans or end up in the jaws of a cod or the stomach of a dolphin, because I don't throw litter around - everything that can't be recycled or reused goes in the bin (and is incinerated).

There are good reasons for using alternatives to plastic, which uses up fossil fuels, but I don't think it's worth obsessing about cotton buds or teabags; it's surely the large plastic items (garden furniture, large toys, fences, polytunnels etc) that are the main problem. The important thing is to dispose of every item of rubbish thoughtfully and appropriately, and to teach children never to drop litter either on land or into water.

mumofmadboys Fri 17-Jan-20 15:48:38

I try to only use cling film if absolutely necessary.

M0nica Fri 17-Jan-20 15:48:20

I was just about to write what notanan2 has written so will not repeat her wise words.

I have plastic containers, actually real Tupperware, that I have had for over 40 years. I bought a pack of one-use and chuck food containers about 10 years ago and nearly all are still going strong after years of use and re-use.

I have recently bought a dozen reusable vegetable bags, that I use instead of Supermarket plastic bags when buying fruit and vegetables loose. The bags were 15p each in Sainsbury's.

notanan2 Fri 17-Jan-20 15:22:41

If you already have plastic keep using it.

Not all plastic is bad.
Its single use items that are the problem.
I have plastic things I've used for 10+ years, that makes them "eco". I have some tupperware from the 80s!
Good quality reusable plastic is not a bad thing.

MiniMoon Fri 17-Jan-20 15:16:20

Over plates!

MiniMoon Fri 17-Jan-20 15:15:44

I use Tupperware boxes for storage in the kitchen, fridge and freezer. The very small ones hold chopped herbs, ginger root etc. I have beeswax wraps for cheese, and putting overplayed or bowls in the fridge. I have a large one which will wrap a loaf of bread. I have pledged not to buy any more cling film.
I bought a couple of Chilly bottles which we fill if going out. Cafes are quite happy to refill them when we've run out.

kircubbin2000 Fri 17-Jan-20 14:36:20

My dil is obsessed with this.She says chemicals leach out into food,she won't use my spatula or colander etc.she uses glass boxes for storage.

Chestnut Fri 17-Jan-20 14:31:53

Agreed, it's single use plastic that's the worst culprit. I just despair when I see rows and rows of plastic drink bottles (especially water) in supermarkets and even corner shops. Whoever started that habit should be shot. I just hope the returnable plastic bottle system being rolled out will help rectify that and young people will get on board.

Tupperware and the like can be used for many years and mine are ancient but will outlive me I'm sure, so no point in throwing them out.

Bathsheba Fri 17-Jan-20 14:20:50

I'm with Riverwalk on this. I reuse zip and seal bags many times, until they fall apart, also plastic containers - I have a stack of take-away containers that are used over and over. I also have several silicone covers for bowls and dishes for the fridge.

I try to avoid single use plastic - I have reusable and washable mesh produce bags when I go shopping, and large reusable shopping bags. Unfortunately, the big supermarkets still tend to have the majority of their produce wrapped in single-use plastic, which I find particularly annoying.

Esspee Fri 17-Jan-20 14:20:27

The plastic you already have such as Tupperware should be used again and again. In the past I would throw things out if badly stained. Now they are consigned to the greenhouse or garage.
Meat is purchased from he butcher, not prepacked.
Plastic bags are used again and again with preference given to compostable bags and fabric ones used for shopping.
We have very little food waste and it goes into the compost heap unless it might attract vermin.
Most of our generation actually produce far less waste than the younger generation with their endless takeaways and prepacked produce.
Do your best and try not to worry.

Hetty58 Fri 17-Jan-20 14:19:56

I try to reuse any containers and plastic bags I buy. Often, there's no choice but to buy things wrapped.

So there's margarine tubs, bread bags, glass jars, yoghurt pots etc. to choose from. I tend to make puddings in glass bowls so I can just freeze them with their lid on top. If you have the patience, plastic bags and foil can be washed and used again many times.

I like the Tavva snack containers as there stainless steel with silicone lids

Greenfinch Fri 17-Jan-20 14:15:40

I use the plastic boxes that takeaways often come in. I know it is not ideal but you can't ask the restaurants not to use them.

GrannyGravy13 Fri 17-Jan-20 14:00:42

I have bought Bees Wax Paper to wrap cheese and small items in, its washable and effective.

My Tupperware is so old I should think it could be classed as an antique collection, but still used.

Riverwalk Fri 17-Jan-20 13:58:35

I would just continue as you are Kitty - I assume like me you keep your tupperware thingies until they discolour, crack or warp etc.

The zip & seal freezer bags are re-usable and last a long time.

We can't completely avoid plastic and it has its uses - it's single-use plastic like water bottles, food packaging, etc that I try to avoid

Franbern Fri 17-Jan-20 13:00:58

There is 'hidden' plastic in items such as tea bags, kitchen roll, etc. The pyramid shaped t-bags are plastic free, otherwise it is the matter of buying on line. Instead of kitchen towel there are washable items made from bamboo. Do not use plastic straws - glass or metal ones are obtainable and washable. You can purchase special covers for food which is stretchy and keeps left over food in good condition in the fridge. Use washable small containers for freezing food item for the freezer. Sure other people will come in with many other suggestions

Washerwoman Fri 17-Jan-20 12:27:43

One of the biggest cut backs I have made is no more bin liners.We have a compost caddy anyway for peeling etc and the kitchen bin has a plastic inner.So I empty it straight into the wheelie bin and rinse out with hot water, tiny bit of disinfectant and dry with a bit of kitchen roll which i leave in the bottom .I do pay for a monthly wheelie bin wash.But if I didn't would do it myself.I realise that's not practical for everyone.Same for the other bins in the bathrooms and bedrooms,No liners.
I wash out strong food bags I already had if suitable and reuse over and over. So would pop the sponge wrapped as you said into one of those.

kittylester Fri 17-Jan-20 11:56:17

I have come to realise that I use lots of plastic for storing food but dont know the best alternatives for certain things.

I use Tupperware type boxes for freezing casseroles etc (which I will continue to do) but how do I freeze things like unused raw chicken? I often buy a six pack of skinless, boneless thighs, use 4 and freeze 2 using a plastic bag then repeat.

How do I freeze home made chocolate sponge? Currently i wrap in greaseproof paper and over wrap with foil.

I've just looked in the Lakeland catalogue and realise how expensive it all is and, while I dont mind spending the money, nor do I want to create waste.