Pointless plastics..

210 posts in this topic

yeah and only 50% of that is actually "recycled" - the rest is burned:  https://www.dw.com/en/plastic-waste-and-the-recycling-myth/a-45746469

 

burned is better than dumped in a landfill but still not great, so I now focus more on avoiding plastics in the first place as opposed to recycling them.  So I buy all drinks in glass bottles  and I buy returnable bottles and jars when there's an option to do so as these are actually re-used multiple times before they have to be recycled.  I take a stainless steel vesper-box to the local takeout places and they are happy to pack whatever I order in that instead of using a plastic container.    I avoid markets that pre-pack produce into plastic packaging and use paper bags if absolutely necessary (like no, I don't roll up to the cashier with two handfulls of cherries ;) ). 

 

Yeah of course I still have plastic waste but much, much less than I used to.  I do recycle things that appear to be made of a single material but when there is any question, it goes in the trash where they'll burn it anyway without the sorting overhead ;)

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46 minutes ago, RedMidge said:

Stop buying pre-made salads in plastic containers!  And other food products in demon plastic.

Too true, Red! Same goes with those mini fruit salads in plastic containers. It is not THAT difficult to slice and cut a bit of fruit to make your own.

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5 minutes ago, RedMidge said:

Dear FF- I do recycle!!!  I think you were quoting Rushrush!!!

 

Sorry. I quoted her/him from your post. :)

 

Good article, lisa13. So plastic here is recycled or incinerated from what I read. Our heat and hot water comes from a Fernwärme so we are making our own instead of using other types of energy. I didn't read every word but I didn't see where Germany's plastic was being sent to other countries to be thrown in the ocean as was stated before.

 

I'll continue rinsing out containers and recycling. It's free and I have to go to the glass bins anyway. Not any stores with a lot of unpackaged fruit/veg within walking distance here unless I want to pay double which I don't.

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I have been doing the "avoid, reuse, recyle" thing since the 80s.   What would be helpful would be to know which plastics are recycled here and which are not and to try to avoid.  Hey, we are in Germany, this info must be around somewhere.  Markets a great for vegetables sold loose.  The problem for supermarkets is unless they wrap stuff, it goes wrinkly and yellow or whatever and then gets thrown out.

 

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I read a story in the Guardian a few days ago highlighting the problem of novelty Christmas jumpers - they are a big source of plastics..

 

Re. bags - there's been studies done (not sure by whom) where they calculated the environmental impact of cotton bags - the findings showed you have to use one hundreds of times before it becomes less of an impact on the environmental than a single use plastic bag. I suppose people tend to have a few and don't use them all.

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2 hours ago, Rushrush said:

The reason I stopped recycling (save tin and food stuffs) is that the bulk of the stuff that gets thrown into the gelbesack is compressed into massive bales and shipped of to some third world country. Well what do the you think the chances that a baleof mixed dirty plastic shipped to Africa will get properly recycled? More than likey it will either get burned or dumped in the ocean. At least I know the garbage I create will at least be disposed of properly. It's huge issue as  there is almost no market for most plastics. I highly recommend the Planet Money episode on recycling. The sad conclusion they came to was to save the oceans stop recycling. Obviously more than just that but you get the idea. 

 

From where did you get that info?  You are in Berlin, so the responsible for garbage is BSR, you can see in their website they state that whatever that is not recycled is burned to create electricity and heating.   

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2 hours ago, pmd said:

Re. bags - there's been studies done (not sure by whom) where they calculated the environmental impact of cotton bags - the findings showed you have to use one hundreds of times before it becomes less of an impact on the environmental than a single use plastic bag. I suppose people tend to have a few and don't use them all.

 

Really? I would love to see that study.

Anyway, since I already have cotton bags around the house, I guess it will cause no further suffering to the environment if I continue to use them, will it?

I find them great for a trip to the baker`s - they are happy to pop my rolls straight into the bag, and I am happy to have them kept clean and safe until I can eat them.

 

Sorry for drifting away from plastic!

 

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1 hour ago, robinson100 said:

 

Really? I would love to see that study.

Anyway, since I already have cotton bags around the house, I guess it will cause no further suffering to the environment if I continue to use them, will it?

I find them great for a trip to the baker`s - they are happy to pop my rolls straight into the bag, and I am happy to have them kept clean and safe until I can eat them.

 

Sorry for drifting away from plastic!

 

 

The Danish study re. bags is referenced in this article:

 

https://qz.com/1585027/when-it-comes-to-climate-change-cotton-totes-might-be-worse-than-plastic/

 

Yes, the fundamental point is that the plastic (or cotton) bag is not thrown away. 

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8 hours ago, robinson100 said:

 

Really? I would love to see that study.

Anyway, since I already have cotton bags around the house, I guess it will cause no further suffering to the environment if I continue to use them, will it?

I find them great for a trip to the baker`s - they are happy to pop my rolls straight into the bag, and I am happy to have them kept clean and safe until I can eat them.

 

Sorry for drifting away from plastic!

 

There you go.

https://www1.wdr.de/wissen/mensch/baumwolltaschen-papiertueten-oekobilanz-100.html

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8 hours ago, robinson100 said:

 

 I would love to see that study.

 

Here's a bbc video from a month ago

 

 

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3 hours ago, vivanco said:

Here's a bbc video from a month ago

 

 

 

Thanks for that, Vivanco!

Okay, so most of my cotton bags are over twenty years old now, and are still good to use, so I guess that they are "okay".

The main thing to take from the report is that one should use bags (whatever they are made of!) over and over again.

 

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4 hours ago, robinson100 said:

Okay, so most of my cotton bags are over twenty years old now, and are still good to use, so I guess that they are "okay".

The main thing to take from the report is that one should use bags (whatever they are made of!) over and over again.

 

That is good to read. 

 

It has been an ongoing source of tedium for me with both current and previous employers regarding spamming people with marketing materials. 

 

A well used and cared for cotton bag is a good thing. I personally prefer the ones made out out umbrella material as they tend to be a better size for carrying larger amounts of shopping home on a weekly basis. 

 

But when you are told to give the bags out by your employer as a marketing action (mobile advertising on the side of the bag) to people who do not know (and/or possibly care) that they should be using them a specific number of times before they become "environmentally sustainable" then you just have a load of environmentally impact loaded cloth bags with a crappy logo kicking around your premises that no-one wants but no-one can find a sensible use for.  I shudder to think how many of them are wasted resources. 

 

And don't get me started on free pens, blocks of paper, crappy plastic gimmicks that you receive every time you go anywhere in a business context. 

 

When did we become so (self) important that we cannot bring a pen and a piece of paper with us when we know that we are going somewhere where there may be a need to write something down?

 

This sort of disposable culture really pisses me off. 

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I prefer the nylonish bags that fold up into little pouches so that I always have one or two with me in case of a shopping emergency. I've had them for years and years.

 

Chicobag is my favorite brand.

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We buy majority of our vegetables from the weekly market, and just have them put everything in our canvas bags. At supermarkets, I generally use those re-usable net bags that are more common now. We re-use plastic bags for anything too delicate or dirty, and just put the new sticker atop the old one (though more and more places seem to be abandoning the weigh-it-yourself way, anyone else notice that?). When they get too ratty, we use them to line the small Restabfall bin we have. 

 

On a recent trip to Italy, I noticed that single-use plastic gloves were very common in grocery stores. I guess so you can "hygienically" feel the produce, but I noticed many would put one on, pick up a bunch of bananas, then throw the glove away, then take a new glove, pick up a lettuce, etc. Bins were overflowing with plastic gloves, and that was one day in one shop. 

 

On 12/10/2019, 9:55:50, tor said:

 

I've posted this before, but you can extend the life of your razor by well over six months by sharpening it...

 

I sharpen everything. I find it fun to do (I woodwork as a hobby and originally wanted to keep my whittling knives and chisels sharp and knick-free). I have a collection of wet stones (if I buy anymore, my wife might throw them at me), polishing pastes and a good strop. Even a few passes on a strop will vastly improve most knives even without a genuine sharpening. (Or a pair of jeans in a pinch.)

 

Due to beardiness, I only shave once every few weeks or so. A pack of 5-6 razors usually lasts me a year or more.

 

On 12/10/2019, 2:25:59, BradinBayern said:

You can go to any given US suburb on any given summer's day and take your pick of garage sales. I miss live auction sales with a professional auctioneer.  Very few auction sales in general in this area.  

 

I also see German friends and relative's toss a lot of stuff that I would consider still useful.  Maybe just my personal experience.  

 

I sorta miss this too. We grew up kinda poor, and almost all our toys and maybe 1/3 of our clothes came from garage sales. Even now, I'd guess half the stuff my parents have in their house originally came from garage sales. Summer weekends were often "garage sale days", and I recall we'd scan the newspapers for the ads and then make a route. Even in the late 90s, this was super common. We also went to fleamarkets a lot. 

 

I remember getting to buy a new pair of jeans at Sears was such a luxury I'd spend an hour comparing all the options. Browsing ebay is not the same, and I hate all the cheapskate haggling over a euro or two when I sell stuff.

 

On 12/10/2019, 11:56:32, Rushrush said:

it seems every day or two I’m hauling down a large bag of mostly plastic waste (which incidentally I never put in recycling always in the garbage) most of which is food products. 2 pre-made salads along with feltsalat, hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes and a few other odds and ends and you’ve got a full bag of plastic. and that is just the tip if the iceberg. 

 

Why buy pre-made salad? I always wonder who buys those pre-boiled eggs, like is it that hard? Now I know!

 

19 hours ago, pmd said:

Re. bags - there's been studies done (not sure by whom) where they calculated the environmental impact of cotton bags - the findings showed you have to use one hundreds of times before it becomes less of an impact on the environmental than a single use plastic bag. I suppose people tend to have a few and don't use them all.

 

Yes, cotton specifically is problematic because of where most comes from. Much from developing countries with lax or corrupt standards (e.g. China, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Brazil). Cotton basically needs subtropical temps, and is a water hog.

 

There are other materials that may be better: linen, jute, hemp, sisal.

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5 minutes ago, alderhill said:

(though more and more places seem to be abandoning the weigh-it-yourself way, anyone else notice that?)

 

I haven't seen weigh-your-own in Munich in many years. We still have to do it in Slovenia and Croatia.

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1 hour ago, fraufruit said:

 

I haven't seen weigh-your-own in Munich in many years. We still have to do it in Slovenia and Croatia.

 

Up here in Niedersachsen it was the norm as far as I know and can remember for the last several years. For the past 2 years though, I've noticed stores one by one going to weighing at the till. I wonder why... 

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Just now, alderhill said:

 

Up here in Niedersachsen it was the norm as far as I know and can remember for the last several years. For the past 2 years though, I've noticed stores one by one going to weighing at the till. I wonder why... 

 

More efficient. More room in the produce department. No idiots (me) showing up at the checkout with un-weighed produce.

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3 hours ago, fraufruit said:

I prefer the nylonish bags that fold up into little pouches so that I always have one or two with me in case of a shopping emergency. I've had them for years and years.

 

Chicobag is my favorite brand.

 

I have the Reisenthel mini maxi Shopper L: https://www.amazon.de/Reisenthel-CA-0693-Shopper-schwarz/dp/B000K24VZI/

 

It's made of a thicker nylon weave than the "normal" foldaway bags that you get at around 1€, e.g. at Rossmann, it can carry up to 12kg, has a volume of 12l (that's the same size as a large bucket) and with its long handles it's perfect for carrying stuff on your shoulder, keeping your hands free.

 

180122-Specials_Landingpage-minimaxi_sho

 

6150BnVuZzL._AC_SL1500_.jpg.43aa613bd12e

 

 

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Those are nice. I have shoulder problems and must limit the weight that I carry. 

 

I do have the Reisenthel shopping trolley which I can pull along behind me with one finger because it is so well balanced. Even when it is full.

 

Good quality.

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