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Using less plastic

The simplest steps are the best.

1. Use a cloth bag

Believe it or not, plastic carrier bags are a recent ‘innovation.’  Bring back the old days (which are not that old!) when shopping meant taking a shopping bag.  If you are buying something and you have no bag, shouldn’t you feel a little undressed?

2. Do more shopping locally

Make money for your community by supporting the village shop.  When you go there, take any plastic bags you have in the house and give them to the shop.

Go to farmers’ markets instead of supermarkets.

3. Reject the plastic you do not have to carry before you leave the shop

Did you know that the shop is obliged to deal with its own waste?  If you are at a supermarket checkout, simply tear off the packaging around bananas; take fruit and vegetables out of their plastic wrapping; insist on paper bags if the shop has them.  Leave all the plastic at the checkout.  In time the shop will change its habits, especially if you don’t change yours.

4. Recycle any unwanted plastic

In our hypertrophied society (too much growth – the opposite of atrophied), it is almost impossible to avoid plastic when buying food and other essentials.  So you need to make sure that you can get it recycled by your council.  The amount of recycling varies from area to area, and you may be lucky to find that your council collects plastic for recycling.  If not, you may be able to take it to a recycling centre run by the council.

Certain kinds of plastic need special attention, as the council may not accept them for recycling.  This includes crisp packets and Tetrapaks, which are made of a combination of plastic, aluminium and paper, and should be AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS.  Recycling them involves the expense of separating the constituent parts.

You may find that while the council will not collect these kinds of plastic, you can still take them to a recycling centre.

It is definitely worthwhile  looking closely at packaging, especially if it is rectangular, to see if it is Tetrapak or if it can be recycled more simply.