Saturday, 13 September 2008

Day 6

This morning's local shopping trip was a mixed bag!

Our first stop was the plastic recycling bin at the far corner of the Aldi car park. Why are recycling bins ways so inaccessible, especially to pedestrians? I'm sure if they were more prominent, ie on the high street, they would get better use.

Next stop was the deli (Southville Deli on North Street) where we were able to have our salami and parma ham placed directly into our plastic container. Self-raising flour came in a paper bag but the cheddar cheese was ready cut and wrapped in clingfilm. I'll have to try a market for cheese cut to order and wrapped in paper.

The butcher was busy and he misunderstood my request and put my beef in a plastic bag before placing it in my plastic container. With the queue growing longer behind me I let it go, but managed to get my bacon without a bag. It's not the end of the world as the plastic bag can be washed out and recycled.

I bought a baguette for lunch and croissants for tomorrow's breakfast, all in paper bags, at Parsons Bakery and a naked bar of soap in Health Unlimited.

Yoghurt, soured cream and soft cream cheese from Tescos all came in either types 5 or 6 plastic, which we cannot recycle at present. but will be able to do shortly, so I'm going to find somewhere to store them until then.

This evening we attended a games evening at our local church. There was a bring and share supper and both my contributions - Spanish omelette and carrot muffins - were relatively waste free. I suspected, quite rightly as it turned out, that there would be disposable plates and cutlery, so I took my own reusable ones. It's all just a matter of being prepared, which I guess comes with practice.

Today's bin (including the contents of my younger daughter's waste bin, which may have been there for some time!) contained:

  • plastic wrapper from French cereal bar with no recycling instructions
  • plastic wrapper from Tesco's large pittas unhelpfully marked 'recyclable where facilities exist' - but how does one know if one doesn't know what kind of plastic it is?
  • sachet from Co-op ground coffee - marked composite material which I guess can't be recycled but at least the Co-op listed the individual parts of the packaging which allowed me to recycle the valve (HDPE), the tab (PP) and the label (paper)
  • another Tescos plastic wrapper, this time for white muffins, and this time with no recycling instructions
  • sticky plastic wrapper advertising age-resisting day cream (obviously not something I require!)
  • foil wrapper from Always Freshelle with a recycling code I do not recognise (90?)
  • plastic wrapper from Vitakraft Honey Kracker sticks
  • foil wrapper from Wagamama refreshing towel
  • foil cap from wine bottle
  • 'window' from envelope - I tear these out and pop the rest of the envelope in the paper recycling

The most helpful piece of information I picked up today was from the Co-op coffee sachet and was the address of the waste connect website., which describes itself as 'UK's recycling database ... a comprehensive reference for recycling points throughout the country' and its aims as 'helping households and businesses to manage their waste'. It's a mine of information about all things recycling. The highlights are the ability to search for recycling facilities by type of waste and postcode and a comprehensive list of factsheets giving recycling information about items as diverse as CD, lever arches and Christmas trees. Definitely worth a browse. I've added it as a link.

Having said that, I have already discovered that it does not list my local Aldi car park as a plastic bottle recycling site or my local Sainsbury's for plastic bags. I must contact them to ask them to add these to their list.



It's so great to read how you're getting on. What's brilliant is to witness the examination of every piece of packaging. You can never look at products in the same way again afterwards. The pitta wrappers sound like the kind of bags that I can take to our local Household Waste Recycling Centre, which collects mixed bags and wrappers of all kinds. The only things I can't put in them are crisp packets and chocolate wrappers.

It really annoys me when packaging says "recyclable where facilities exist" and there's no other info...stuff like this will get better in time though.

And I have a friend said to me the other day, we're on the verge of a different kind of industrial revolution ;-D

P.S. Thanks for the link. It is very much appreciated.

Mrs Green said...

What a great day! Ya see perception is a great thing. You talked about being embarrassed to take your reusable containers to the butchers (which you have now triumphantly overcome and well done you), but then you talk about going to a shared supper and taking your own reusable plates and cutlery, which there is NO WAY I would have the courage to do :D

So I applaud you for staying true to your mission in a social situation, which I would find very difficult.

Have a great second week,

And yes, thank you for the blog link too

mrs G x

just Gai said...

Mrs A - We have two Household Waste Recycling Centres but neither of them are easily accessible without a car so I have to rely on kerbside collections and local recycling facilities which are unfortunaely not so comprehensive (but much better than they were even a few years ago).

Mrs Green - It's funny how different we all are. I found taking my own things to the shared supper so much easier than tackling the butcher.