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Week 4- Plastics

posted Jun 27, 2013, 2:23 PM by Amanda Yorwerth

Plastic troubles us – it is resistant to degradation and so persist in the environment for a long time. It ensnares birds, chokes marine life and our use of plastic seems to become more and more excessive.

However, without it we would waste far, far more food, and we produce much less plastic waste than we do food waste – plastic packaging protects food from bruising, can delay over ripening, extends shelf life etc. – so we must keep this in perspective. You will know whether you often waste food because it has gone off, or whether food never sits for long in your fridge so avoiding meat on polystyrene trays and fruit in sealed plastic punnets makes more sense for you.

Whilst in an ideal world we’d all waste no food and use no plastic packaging, whilst we’re working towards that ideal we can make sure that as little of our plastic as possible ends up in our black bin.

So our 3 tips for this week are:

 Collect plastics to go weekly/monthly to the household waste recycling site at Ronson’s Way, St.Albans or Dark Lane, Harpenden: Take a look at the range of plastics that can be recycled- http://www.wasteaware.org.uk/db/hwstimes.cfm?resourceID=298 Includes plastic food packaging, rigid plastic, polystyrene, and plastic bags. Some people have found it helpful to take it in turns to take a group of neighbours’ plastics for recycling.

 Collect plastic bags to go to supermarket- you can see what kind of bags can go in these collections here http://shropshire.gov.uk/waste.nsf/open/2E8AE912A2AAF3768025786B00329151. Most local supermarkets have a collection point. Try and only take bags that have reached the end of their useful life.

Buy plastics you can recycle easily eg. Yeo valley individual yogurts in PET tubs- PET goes in kerbside collection whereas the normal polypropylene tubs does not.