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Recycling becoming unviable


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#1 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 31 January 2018 - 04:52 PM

http://www.theage.co...130-p4yz3v.html

Major recyclers are refusing more recyclable materials because of china's ban on imports.  Now its rolling through to local council pick up services.

Cant say i am surprised, after seeing the massive stockpiles they already have in victoria, and the frequent fires that have been breaking out at recycling plants recently.

Its a big reminder that I need to seriously look at reducing our waste overall and not just relying on filling the recycling bin every fortnight.  It is hard when even simple things like strawberries and blueberries come pre packaged. But recycling has its own issues, it uses energy (shipping waste to china! can you imagine the fuel bill??), it has waste products, its not as good as they would have us believe.

Need to have another read of the zero waste thread for some tips!

Don't know the answer, just thought I would open discussion.

#2 born.a.girl

Posted 31 January 2018 - 06:00 PM

Yeah, sad, thanks for the thread.

I didn't know until today that 1/3 was going to China.

I've mainly been focused on keeping our landfill bin contents down to a minimum, 2/3 of which would be remains of chicken stock, plus kitty litter, but never been AS concerned about the amount in the recycling bin. (Fortunate we can make compost.)

You're right about the berries, containers, and we've been buying quite a few this year.  I don't even put nectarines, tomatoes etc in bags, so they are very frustrating.

Hint for anyone else reading, that I got from the other thread: we now keep a fourth bin, soft plastics - which are able to go in the supermarket bin for plastic bags.

#3 FuzzyChocolateToes

Posted 31 January 2018 - 06:07 PM

Wow.  I had no idea.  I admit I haven't been recycling my soft plastics recently as every time I do to drop them off at the supermarket the bin is literally overflowing.

#4 IamtheMumma

Posted 31 January 2018 - 06:43 PM

I'm concerned with the number of empty bottles are in my bin. We don't have recycling here. I'm also guilty of buying berries this season. They might be too delicate to have loose so prepacked?

I also didn't know a third of our recycled plastic was going overseas. I saw something on FB the other week about a road being made out of recycled plastic. I thought that would be a great idea but not sure is its durable given our slightly warmer climate than Europe (where the film was made if memory serves).

#5 Future-self

Posted 31 January 2018 - 06:57 PM

I made a complaint (nicely) to a company recently abput the absolutely ridiculous amount of packaging they use to post products. Soft tube of mosisteriser wrapped in tissue paper and put in a cardboard box. Carboard Box then wrapped in another layer of tissue paper. Then that placed in a bigger box that was filled with soft pellets. AND then in a postage bag . I was appalled.

Their response? It's all recyclable (not the postage bag) like somehow that was the magic fix.

#6 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 31 January 2018 - 07:08 PM

"Its recyclable" has been a get out of jail free - with a clear conscience - card for far too long.

#7 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 31 January 2018 - 07:20 PM

I’ve got a recycling question - coffee cups aren’t recyclable due to the plastic waterproof lining (i think), so how come milk cartons are recyclable? Surely they would be very similar?

But to the original point - I wish it was easier to buy things without packaging. And less packaging in general. Our recycling bin is always so full and I’ve felt bad about that for a while. I will have to think about ways to cut that down.

And on waste in general - shopping with my mum and my aunt - I put a couple of apples in the trolley. My aunt goes and gets a bag and puts them in - what on earth for? Apparently I don’t want trolley germs on my apples. I informed her it was an awful waste and I wash my fruit and veg before consumption. It had not occurred to either of them to not use plastic bags for every single item.

#8 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 31 January 2018 - 07:27 PM

I wondered that too, and primas (juice boxes) and long life milk containers.

Maybe it's only certain coffee cups, and maybe it's because they're double layered for heat protection.

#9 Pearson

Posted 31 January 2018 - 07:27 PM

If you watch cooming shows from the US their berries are in cardboard punnets. This is where we should be making the changes. Prepackaged f&v in cardboard punnets. This would work for apples etc too.

#10 Let-it-go

Posted 31 January 2018 - 07:46 PM

I watched an eye opening documentary a while back about how glass is becoming unrecyclable too.  Stockpiles everywhere and it’s cheaper to make new glass than recycle old glass.

#11 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 31 January 2018 - 07:48 PM

How depressing. What can we do?

(That was rhetorical - but....if anyone has any ideas...)

#12 hotsonfornowhere

Posted 31 January 2018 - 07:59 PM

I wish along with the plastic bag ban at the supermarkets they would ban the plastic packaging for fruit and veg. I have my bags for the fruit and veg but there is little that I can actually put in to them as so much is already packaged up.

#13 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 31 January 2018 - 08:06 PM

I'm still not convinced the plastic bag ban at supermarkets is better for us anyway. I reuse all our shopping bags a second or third time, and aren't they biodegradable these days? And when I worked in a supermarket, the reusable ones just didn't last, so you have to buy new ones pretty frequently. So where do the old ones end up? In land fill (And they are a b**** to pack too)

Other than having no packaging at all, I think we need to focus a lot more on fully biodegradable packaging.

#14 harmonic_wizz_fizz

Posted 31 January 2018 - 08:22 PM

View Post~LM~, on 31 January 2018 - 08:06 PM, said:

I'm still not convinced the plastic bag ban at supermarkets is better for us anyway. I reuse all our shopping bags a second or third time, and aren't they biodegradable these days? And when I worked in a supermarket, the reusable ones just didn't last, so you have to buy new ones pretty frequently. So where do the old ones end up? In land fill (And they are a b**** to pack too)

Research shows it is having a major impact. Its true many people did use them for bin liners and those people would be buying more bin liners, but the OVERALL amount of plastic bag use, and particularly the amount dumped on streets, left in gutters etc etc is majorly reduced if you have to pay for them. People will only take what they need if you have to pay. And they will be more likely to reuse the ones they paid for as bin liners.

I use 'envirosax', which, ultimately will end up as landfill too, but it saves about 2 years of plastic bags in the meantime so its something, I guess.

#15 Ozquoll

Posted 31 January 2018 - 08:31 PM

View PostLucrezia Borgia, on 31 January 2018 - 07:48 PM, said:

How depressing. What can we do?

(That was rhetorical - but....if anyone has any ideas...)
The retailers need to change IMO. There are so many things I want to buy loose or in paper or in glass but EVERYTHING is smothered in plastic. Even at my local butcher shop, I can bring my own glass container but they still pick up the meat using a plastic bag! They said tongs are too fiddly or something.

#16 born.a.girl

Posted 31 January 2018 - 08:37 PM

View Post~LM~, on 31 January 2018 - 08:06 PM, said:

I'm still not convinced the plastic bag ban at supermarkets is better for us anyway. I reuse all our shopping bags a second or third time, and aren't they biodegradable these days? And when I worked in a supermarket, the reusable ones just didn't last, so you have to buy new ones pretty frequently. So where do the old ones end up? In land fill (And they are a b**** to pack too)

Other than having no packaging at all, I think we need to focus a lot more on fully biodegradable packaging.

Apart from those times when I go into the supermarket for one thing and end up with ten ...  we don't use either the bags or bin liners.

We find we have enough from plastic bags that have been some sort of packaging / the charity ones in the letterbox/ kitty litter bags etc.,  If all else fails, the local paper in the bottom then loose in the bin.

I go to a fruit and veg shop, rather than supermarket for that stuff, which comes home in the fruit box.

The cloth bags we use for groceries will last an ice age.

None of it came easily though, we did have to put some effort into not just falling back into bad old habits.

We're a long way from perfect, too.

#17 born.a.girl

Posted 31 January 2018 - 08:40 PM

View PostOzquoll, on 31 January 2018 - 08:31 PM, said:

The retailers need to change IMO. There are so many things I want to buy loose or in paper or in glass but EVERYTHING is smothered in plastic. Even at my local butcher shop, I can bring my own glass container but they still pick up the meat using a plastic bag! They said tongs are too fiddly or something.

Mine said he'll put meat straight into a plastic container that I bring.  I should imagine it IS a lot easier to do it his way.  I haven't started yet, we don't eat much meat.

I did ask if he would use plastic bags, like bread bags, but he said that regulations precluded that.

We rinsed them out and I then used them as dog bags at the off lead, much to the great interest of ALL of the dogs.

#18 MarigoldMadge

Posted 31 January 2018 - 08:43 PM

This is a good read about reducing recycling....

https://treadingmyow...bout-recycling/

Our recycling has definitely reduced drastically the further we go with our zero waste changes.


#19 Ozquoll

Posted 31 January 2018 - 08:48 PM

View Postborn.a.girl, on 31 January 2018 - 08:40 PM, said:



Mine said he'll put meat straight into a plastic container that I bring.  I should imagine it IS a lot easier to do it his way.  I haven't started yet, we don't eat much meat.

I did ask if he would use plastic bags, like bread bags, but he said that regulations precluded that.

We rinsed them out and I then used them as dog bags at the off lead, much to the great interest of ALL of the dogs.
What would he use to pick the meat out of the cabinet though? My butcher said having tongs for every different cut was too fiddly, and if they use their bare hands they have to go scrub them to avoid cross-contamination, so it is much easier for them to use the plastic bag to pick the meat up, then just turn it inside-out so the meat is inside the bag.

#20 Illiterati

Posted 31 January 2018 - 08:48 PM

People manage without single use plastic bags at Aldi check outs. Most don't even use the reusable plastic bags. People adjusted just fine to access the cheaper prices and Aldi model so there is no reason this can't be the same in other supermarkets? That problem at least then is not a hard one. If ALL supermarkets stop supplying bags I am pretty sure people will find a way to carry their stuff home.







#21 FlamingoG

Posted 31 January 2018 - 09:07 PM

View PostOzquoll, on 31 January 2018 - 08:48 PM, said:


What would he use to pick the meat out of the cabinet though? My butcher said having tongs for every different cut was too fiddly, and if they use their bare hands they have to go scrub them to avoid cross-contamination, so it is much easier for them to use the plastic bag to pick the meat up, then just turn it inside-out so the meat is inside the bag.

Considering how much money my butcher handles I would rather hope there is already a fair bit of scrubbing going on.

I shouldn’t have read this thread, every day my trip to the shops leaves me in despair over the amount of packaging on bloody everything. We just had a few days on the coast, and there was not one single person with reusable bags. These are people who see the plastic waste on their beaches daily, but still aren’t making that connection. And don’t even start me on straws - true depth of misery there.



#22 MarigoldMadge

Posted 31 January 2018 - 09:26 PM

Our local butcher is cashless - they handle the meat only.

There are butchers out there who will use clean hands or utensils to handle the meat.

See video at: https://gippslandunw...o-what-you-can/

#23 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 31 January 2018 - 09:34 PM

Our council specifies that all waste must be contained in plastic bags before going in the rubbish bin. Is this usual or them being wasteful/lazy?

#24 *Nasty*Squeekums*

Posted 31 January 2018 - 09:39 PM

View PostOzquoll, on 31 January 2018 - 08:48 PM, said:

What would he use to pick the meat out of the cabinet though? My butcher said having tongs for every different cut was too fiddly, and if they use their bare hands they have to go scrub them to avoid cross-contamination, so it is much easier for them to use the plastic bag to pick the meat up, then just turn it inside-out so the meat is inside the bag.
I much prefer they use the bag simply on the cross contamination aspect

Hands, even in gloves or tongs leave to much room for error imo
Gloves id expect changed every different cut of meat so thats actually more rubbish in long term

#25 Silver Girl

Posted 31 January 2018 - 09:55 PM

This thread is enlightening. Our council recently replaced our 120L recycling bin with a 240L one after I advised them the smaller one wasn’t big enough.

Our landfill bin is 120L and rarely fills up. I was quite proud of this, but am now taking notes to reduce our overall waste including recyclables.

View PostFlamingoG, on 31 January 2018 - 09:07 PM, said:



I shouldn’t have read this thread, every day my trip to the shops leaves me in despair over the amount of packaging on bloody everything. We just had a few days on the coast, and there was not one single person with reusable bags. These are people who see the plastic waste on their beaches daily, but still aren’t making that connection. And don’t even start me on straws - true depth of misery there.

I heard that 30 tourism operators in Cairns and Port Douglas have pledged to ban straws:

https://www.google.c...article/9371478




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