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Science/nature/environment

An opportunity to cut back on plastic

(48 Posts)
M0nica Thu 07-Nov-19 16:00:32

I have been into 2 different branches of Sainsbury's this week and both were selling reusable net vegetable bags for 30p each. You couldn't make them more cheaply.

I have stocked up with half a dozen and today when I did my weekly shop, consciously made the effort to only buy unpackaged fruit and vegetables and use my new bags. Brought them home, one bag went into the fridge with its contents, because as the net was porous I did not have to empty the bag int a small basket as I usually need to do to stop the veg going slimy. The rest were emptied out and put back in my shopping bag again ready for next week,

I will probably also use them when my local Waitrose opens up its 'serve yourself' section. Not suitable for flour but ideal for pasta, rice, dried fruit, nuts etc. I might even need to buy some more.

rosecarmel Thu 07-Nov-19 16:20:04

Yes, just this past week I noticed that a local market was offering packages of reusable cheesecloth sacks in the produce section-

Namsnanny Thu 07-Nov-19 17:14:38

M0nica .... such a good idea, but I wonder why there isn’t a company out there collecting plastic to turn it into energy (amongst other things) to replace fossil fuels in power station?
The tchnology is tested clean and cheap and would turn plastics into a useful commodity whose only waste is water!!
It mystifies me why this isn’t in use by now!

SueDonim Thu 07-Nov-19 17:17:36

I've been using veggie bags for more than 10 years! I'm glad supermarkets have caught up. They used to be very hmm when I presented my veg in my own bags at the checkout.

You can also rinse any fruit & veg still in the bags, which is handy, or at least you can in mine. They go in the washing machine for a quick clean.

threexnanny Thu 07-Nov-19 17:25:18

The veggie bags in Sainsbury's appear to be nylon ie more plastic! Haven't they just endorsed the use of plastic rather than gone for an acceptable alternative such as the paper or compostable bags?

petra Thu 07-Nov-19 17:33:46

Namsnanny
There are. The trouble is it doesn't make for sensational headlines. It makes me angry as there are some wonderful/ clever/ inventive people out there doing great things.
Search it 😄

M0nica Thu 07-Nov-19 17:37:05

No they have offered a re-usable item made from plastic. They will probably last me years, possibly decades.

It is the one-use plastics that are the problem. Not all plastics, I have plastic items in my home, that I have owned for decades, boxes, buckets, bowls, kitchen tools. Do not demonise all plastics because one type causes very serious and dangerous damage to the world.

Namsnanny in principle you are right, plastic is made from gydrocarbon feedstock, but it then has all kinds of other chemicals added to it, to make it hard/pliable/to colour it and these additions, when incinerated can cause harmful chemicals and particulates to enter the atmosphere.

However approriately designed facilities with the right filters can remove them. I think the answer is go back to the start with the manufacture to try to find materials that can be added to the plastic base material to get the required quality in the products that are not contaminating when burnt.

SueDonim Thu 07-Nov-19 17:50:46

Exactly, Monica. My veg bags are getting on for 15yo. Imagine how many paper bags I'd have used in that time! I have shopping bags of the same age, made from repurposed parachute 'silk'. I use Tupperware pots that I've had since the 1970's, too. I don't think they'll ever wear out and if I ever stop needing them my daughters will pounce on them with glee!

There's a problem with using incinerators to burn waste in that it then requires waste to be produced simply to fuel the incinerators. It's estimated that an incinerator needs to be utilised for 40+ years to outweigh the financial and environmental cost of making it in the first place.

Calendargirl Thu 07-Nov-19 17:57:37

The 30p reusable bags are each made from one reusable plastic bottle, apparently better than paper as it would be bulkier or something. You can take your own bags or containers.

Calendargirl Thu 07-Nov-19 17:58:13

Meant recyclable bottle, not reusable!

M0nica Thu 07-Nov-19 18:13:29

I recently bought one of those roll-up shopping bags you can carry in a handbag for use when needed. Its selling point was that it was made from plastic from plastic bottles.

Cherrytree59 Thu 07-Nov-19 18:16:15

My gran always carried a net bag or two (one blue and t'other red and white twist) in her pocket or handbag.
As a child, I was always amazed how much it stretched when filled with potatoes and carrots etc. shock

ayse Thu 07-Nov-19 18:21:37

I’m on several eco style groups on Facebook. As quite a number of people have pointed out, just do what you can to reuse and reduce plastic waste.

I currently plan to use old net curtains to make veggie bags.

There may be some local groups close to you that could repurpose old and unwanted items so have a look and give stuff away rather than sending it to landfill.

wildswan16 Thu 07-Nov-19 18:42:11

The reusable veg bags from Asda are great for keeping my balls of wool separate when knitting multi coloured jumpers. I did buy them for the carrots, but will now have to buy some more!

Namsnanny Thu 07-Nov-19 18:52:37

Petra .... thanks! I will look it up again but the last time I did this country wasn’t using it.

M0nica .... I think you’ll find they have overcome that problem, but I will check my sources as I’d Hate to mis inform anyone! smile

Namsnanny Thu 07-Nov-19 19:02:52

petra ... it begs the question why is there such mis information out there. Especially from the environmental lobbyists who should be the first to acknowledge good news instead they do the opposite!"
I’d like more truth and less attention seeking ...... -- off my high horse now wink !! --

petra Thu 07-Nov-19 19:17:16

Namsnanny
You stay on that high horse: the higher the better I say 👏👏👏

I have no idea why all the wonderful things that are happening aren't shouted from the rooftops, but, imho we don't shout about our achievements. Of course other countries are doing great work on this subject.

Not long ago I was reading about prosthetic limbs being made from recycled plastic: how marvellous is that 😀

rosecarmel Fri 08-Nov-19 00:11:11

Google depolymerization-

threexnanny Fri 08-Nov-19 19:28:59

Unfortunately not everyone using these bags will be as responsible as GN people. Far too many will finish up as landfill after just one or two uses.

However,I take your point about going overboard over plastic as, again in Sainsbury's, I was amazed to see that they are no longer offering anything at all to put around wet flower stems!

I like the idea of making veg. bags from old net curtains very much.

M0nica Fri 08-Nov-19 19:59:40

threexnanny I really do not agree with you. These bags are not free but I think most will continue to be used because people are more and more aware of the threat that global warming poses and want to do sopemthing about it.

I was talking to our local Lib Den candidate yesterday and he said that the two top topics on the doorstep were Brexit and Climate Change and they were running neck and neck.

maddyone Sat 09-Nov-19 09:40:12

I think I’m going to get some, I’ve seen them on sale in Amazon. Seems like a good idea to me. I think some are made from plastic, but reusable, and others look like net, also reusable. I always use my reusable shopping bags, this just makes perfect sense.

EllieB52 Sat 09-Nov-19 09:40:36

It’s the supermarkets that annoy me. So much pre-packed food. Our local one is now closing it’s fresh meat/cheese/fish counter for half the week which means you have to buy pre-packed or make sure you stock up! Bring back the high street greengrocers and butchers, although having said that, people seem to want “one-stop” shopping these days. Shame, as it’s so impersonal.

Carooline Sat 09-Nov-19 09:49:32

Kind of a bit off subject so apologies but I have a suitcase that is made from recycled plastic. It looks like fabric and has a lovely pattern. Another plus is that it hardly ever gets any marks on it when it's used & abused going through the airport baggage handling sections, unlike my other cases that come out looking like they've done 10 rounds with Mohamed Ali!

Scottiebear Sat 09-Nov-19 10:11:01

Things are improving gradually. I picked up couple of brochures in Asda yesterday and they were sealed in a compostable bag. Last year I emailed them complaining that their magazine and advertising brochure were unneccarily sealed together in a plastic bag. When you think of the amount of plastic bags over all the Asdas that one change has saved you realise that one small change can have quite a big impact.

Riggie Sat 09-Nov-19 10:13:40

Actually if you are buying a lot of them and can sew then use an old net curtain (charity shops) - some to keep and some to give away at xmas.

And if you buy unwrapped bread then take a pillowcase to pop that into.