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(43 Posts)
Newquay Mon 13-Nov-17 13:52:48

There's much talk these days about the harm plastic is doing. Don't know when its use was started but I wonder what did we use when we were children instead? I know we used bars of soap instead of plastic bottles of liquid soap, no carrier bags of course, so shopping bags instead (I recall one just for veg). Glass bottles for milk and pop with deposits when you returned the empties and metal dustbins. What else was there can you remember?

Teetime Mon 13-Nov-17 13:57:07

I remember sugar and tea in blue paper bags and butter in paper. My Mum had a vegetables bag (dirty) and a clean bag for other groceries. Bottles were all glass. Mums Ponds Cold Cream was in a glass jar. Newspapers were used for the fire and for wrapping things in. Toys were metal (my brother's meccano) and dolls china or rag, I also had a rubber giraffe.

Hipsy Mon 13-Nov-17 14:08:37

Yes,we were recycling then before it became issue.
The corner shop always packaged cheese,hams etc in brown paper bags which my mum would re-use for dads packed lunch.

NfkDumpling Mon 13-Nov-17 14:10:32

Our local baker started putting their bread in brown paper bags but have gone back to plastic. I keep asking for paper.

What did the meat go in? I remember lots of white paper, but our butcher says it’ll still leak. Elfin safety.

Tegan2 Mon 13-Nov-17 14:22:39

The S.O. said there had been a call for people to use plastic containers to store food/use for packed lunches etc to stop the overuse of clingfilm, so I'm trying to do that. The amount of plastic we clear off the beach when there has been a high tide is frightening.

PamelaJ1 Mon 13-Nov-17 14:33:41

We certainly didn’t buy water in bottles.

Willow500 Mon 13-Nov-17 14:37:22

Biscuits were always put loose put into a paper bag, sugar was in blue bags, sweets were always from a jar into bags. Hankies were fabric and we burned everything that would burn. No such things as disposable nappies although nappy liners just came in as my first son was born and toilet and baby wipes didn't exist. Cat litter was probably soil or torn up paper - mine is now biodegradable and flushes away. It's a pity shops don't all use the paper carriers which we used to get and which Primark use too.

SueDonim Mon 13-Nov-17 15:04:05

I remember cooked meats, cheese etc being wrapped in greaseproof paper. Meat was wrapped in white paper then newspaper.

My mum had a rigid plastic shopping bag, sort of faux woven with holes in it. Most of our groceries were delivered in a cardboard box. We kids loved it when they came in a British Lion wholesale egg box as they were enormous and we had hours of fun playing with it.

I've started getting a delivery of organic vegetables and they come straight form the field, complete with mud. I'd forgotten how dirty vegetables used to be!

JackyB Mon 13-Nov-17 15:50:42

I noticed yesterday that, next to the baskets just inside the supermarket, they had stacked sturdy cartons with hand-holds in the side. So you could take your purchases out to the car in it and then carry on using it at home - maybe even use it again for shopping. An improvement even on "the old days".

Those floating islands of plastic rubbish are really frightening. There are plenty of videos and stills of them on line. To look at them it's hard to believe that we're ever going to save the planet.

Trying to remember what we had in the bathroom in the way of packaging in the "olden days". Toothpaste and things like zinc ointment were in metal tubes and tins. Talcum powder came in metal containers, bath salts in jars.

Cleaning agents came in glass or metal jars, tins and bottles.

Sweets were weighed out into paper bags.

Sometimes I prefer the hygiene that a sealed plastic container offers.

Back in the 80s there was a move here to reduce packaging and people were encouraged to take their Tupperware to the butchers and cheese counters. The assistants, however, were not allowed to put things in containers from outside - they couldn't guarantee the standard of hygeine. Not sure why it's now allowed, if it wasn't back then.

callgirl1 Mon 13-Nov-17 16:51:58

Carrier bags made from strong brown paper. Flour in muslin bags that my mother recycled as hankies for us to take to school.
Washing lines actually made of rope.

M0nica Mon 13-Nov-17 17:08:21

Washing up bowls, buckets and a host of other domestic wear made from enamelled metal. What a noise if you dropped one - and they chipped.

Stansgran Mon 13-Nov-17 18:52:42

I make quilts and with each finished quilt I make a tote of some sort with the scraps.
Not particularly wonderful but stops a plastic bag or two.
There is a petition on Change to put a charge on paper cups as only ,they say, 1 in 400 is recycled.

NfkDumpling Mon 13-Nov-17 20:00:30

Oh, they’re lovely Stansgran.

NfkDumpling Mon 13-Nov-17 20:05:50

Plastic bags do have the advantage of being waterproof. My DH does the shopping and uses bags for life. They usually last around three years before getting holed. I also wash out poly bags - a habit I picked up from an elderly neighbour when I was a newly wed. She’d hang them out on the line with the rest of the washing. I notice both my DDs do the same!

Our town went poly bag free several years ago and it was enthusiastically supported until recently - except for Tesco who carried on regardless. The baker has returned to ordinary plastic bags but the others who have found the need to use plastic (like the butcher) only use the really thin biodegradable sort. How biodegradable I’m not sure.

NfkDumpling Mon 13-Nov-17 20:06:16

I’d hate to return to newspaper squares in the loo.

Newquay Tue 14-Nov-17 14:28:42

Hear hear nfk! It's a wonder the loos weren't permanently blocked. . .

Tegan2 Tue 14-Nov-17 14:46:01

I've always wondered about that. In fact, when mum and dad moved into a block of flats my dad still used to have squares of newspaper pinned up in the bathroom!

Lazigirl Tue 14-Nov-17 14:51:48

I worry about the harm that plastics are doing to marine life, and bags look awful when littering the countryside as "witches knickers". (I love that expression). Eco wise plastic bags were apparently originally introduced as being more eco friendly, which surprised me. For packaging, paper bags it seems are more damaging to the environment on manufacturing, recycling and transportation! Nothing is ever straightforward!

Bathsheba Tue 14-Nov-17 15:20:57

I remember cereal packets had greaseproof paper liners, not the plastic ones of today. My MiL always saved them neatly and wrapped her sandwiches in them. She too would wash out poly bags and reuse them. There is far too much single use plastic around. The 5p carrier bag charge has helped - I for one never use the single use bags anymore - but I don't think it went far enough. I believe those single use carriers should have been banned altogether. And do we really need to put our 3 or 4 carrots into a poly bag at the supermarket?

Bathsheba Tue 14-Nov-17 15:22:55

Meant to say too - there are proposals to ban single use plastic straws in bars throughout Cornwall. If the campaign succeeds, it will be the first county to impose such a ban.

SueDonim Tue 14-Nov-17 17:52:09

I've just ordered paper straws for home use, Bathsheba. £4.99 for 150 on Amazon. They're not as cheap as plastic but we don't use many and, as they say, every little helps.

I don't put loose veg into poly bags at the supermarket. I just dump them in the trolley as they are or I use mesh bags. GN won't let me post a link to them but just Google mesh produce bags and they should come up.

Bathsheba Tue 14-Nov-17 19:37:08

Thanks for that tip, SueDonim, I shall certainly investigate mesh bags.

As for the straws, I've still got a handful of plastic ones that I've had since my eldest GC was little - whatever I do with them, they will end up in the bin at some point, so I may as well just use them up. And then I will get some paper ones, if I feel the need to buy any more.

Stansgran Tue 14-Nov-17 20:03:12

Thank you NFK

Bathsheba Tue 14-Nov-17 21:48:05

I bought a 4 pack of Asda baked beans this afternoon. When I was unpacking the shopping I thought about this thread - the four tins were held together with plastic wrap. You know the sort of thing, they do it with all these multi buys nowadays. But why? A single tin is 30p. A pack of 4 is 98p. Can they not simply have signage which reads "buy four tins for only 98p, and have the tills do the 22p deduction? They can do it for BOGOFs and for meal deals, so it is clear that the tills can be programmed to do this. The bottom line is there is absolutely no reason on earth for that plastic wrap.

Bathsheba Tue 14-Nov-17 21:49:03

Sorry, forgot to close the speech marks after 98p.

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