Day 10: quarter of the way there!

I’ve been working today, so I haven’t much plastic news. I did eat cold left over broccoli cheese souffle for my work lunch which was embarrassingly smelly and not as appetizing as when it was hot! This was because our supplies have become so precious, we are trying not to waste anything!

Here are a couple of still life paintings I have been working on. Besides, thinking it would make a change from pics of me holding vegetables, I thought I’d mention the following: I have discovered that, apart from coming in plastic tubes, my acrylic paints are made of minute particles of acrylic plastic resin suspended in water! I am half way through a weekly art course…I may have to move to oils or watercolours, if I run out of acryclics!!!

Coming up soon; Ecoblocks, what are they, what have they got to do with plastic, and why is my sister making them?!

Day 9 extra: Why some plastics cannot be recycled

I’ve been doing a bit of online research to try and find out what is really happening with recycling. It seems to me that a lot plastic doesn’t get recycled because of :

1. contamination with food or other materials

2. mixed materials – too expensive to separate

3. colour – hard to detect by sorting technology

Here’s my evidence:

‘Mixed materials are those that have different types of material in the same product. For instance, a plastic bag with a foil lining or a disposable coffee cup made of paper with a plastic lining. These are especially difficult and expensive to separate. They are considered in many cases contaminated and worthless
Black food trays are a particularly troublesome example as they contain pigments that make packaging harder to detect by sorting technology .’
‘Supermarkets have promised in a “Plastic Pact” to eliminate avoidable packaging and ensure all of it can be reused, recycled or composted by 2025. One third of supermarket plastic cannot easily be recycled at present, and while the pact among retailers is only voluntary, its target is welcome.  ‘

“Plastic can often become too contaminated for recycling and have to be sent to landfill or incinerated instead. This happens for several reasons:”

  • People are confused about what goes in which bin
  • People are not always very careful about what they put in
  • The plastic is contaminated with food waste
  • In areas where all recycling is collected in one bin, one type of waste can contaminate another

Day 9: Food for thought

Today, I went a foraging down at the monthly farmers market, in search of plastic free food; fantastic array of sproutings that are never seen in the supermarkets and cheap at £1.00 per bunch! I also bought honey from Mr Busby our local beekeeper. I remarked that he had the right surname for the beesiness. He encouraged me to try nectar…which tasted a little like I imagine earwax might taste! Apparently it has all the essential vitamins and minerals one needs in life….but I didn’t buy any.

What are we eating, now that our supplies are limited? Well, loads o’ veg is the answer. Here’s a pic of my evening meal; I’m afraid that I only had the idea of the photo after eating half of it… It is broccoli cheese souffle (by courtesy of my Delia cookbook) – with some roasted tomatoes and random mushrooms! This was followed by tinned apricots and frozen yoghurt (a great discovery) . We used to eat lots of Greek yoghurt until our self-imposed plastic ban, so this is second best and comes in a cardboard carton with a cardboard lid.

My kitchen bins.

I am very proud to present to you my kitchen bins; the one on the right is for recycling and the one on the left is for waste. The one on the left, post cooking, is completely empty!!! This is a first.

Day 8: charity shops – a way of recycling. Also, some grisly facts about plastic recycling!

Here I am, volunteering at the British Heart Foundation; a lot of man made fibres are plastic so it’s a good idea to recycle clothes by donating to charity shops and buying from them.

RECYCLING PLASTICS: The grisly details…

Bearing in mind different websites state different facts…I’ve tried to use reliable sites…

I found out this morning that only 4% of our plastic gets recycled! How terrible! I need to find out why. More to come on this….

Day 7: Plastic free cheese, please!

Today, I took myself to Waitrose, with the intention of buying unwrapped cheese from their cheese counter. But no; they only had plastic-wrapped pre-weighed pieces. The assistant didn’t see the point of taking the plastic off the cheddar that I wanted, and really, neither did I – knowing he would just throw it away!

So, I toddled off to ‘Added Ingredients’ – our local deli, where I bought some (more expensive) cheddar wrapped in paper…

My other problem, is that I only have two dishwasher tablets left: I think I may be forced to doing the washing up the old-fashioned way!

I may sink into despair!

Day 5: UH OH!

At least it’s Fairtrade!!

Today we ran out of coffee. Traipsing the aisles of Waitrose I was faced with instant coffee in glass jars with plastic lids or ground coffee in plastic packets! I’m sorry to say, I relented and bought a glass jar with a plastic lid. I hang my head in shame! Next time I will buy some loose coffee beans and a coffee grinder. ‘Added Ingredients’ in Abingdon stocks a wooden and ceramic one.

I’ve discovered that there are some unusual places where plastics are hiding . This site names chewing gum, tea bags and manmade fibres in clothing amongst others….:

Day 4: Drastic reaction to plastic

This is an example of single use plastic; and in my opinion, we don’t need it!!

Enough of plastic – it’s everyone’s responsibility to reduce it, buy less of it and save the planet. – PLEASE sign the petition. Show the supermarket giants what you think about the ridiculous amount of plastic packaging they use! ttps://

Day 3: Re-using plastic

The ‘filling station’ at Added Ingredients, Abingdon.

Went to ‘Added Ingredients’ in Stert Street and filled up my old plastic containers with loo cleaner and fabric conditioner. They do a variety of unpackaged cleaning products including laundry washing liquid and washing up liquid, and they also do loose leaf tea and coffee beans. You can take your own containers and get a label to put on with barcode and name of product. Onwards and upwards….

Day 2: Positive plastic news and a visit to ‘The Market Garden’ at Eynsham.

I contacted Tesco’s Facebook page and got this immediate (standard) reply: What do you think? Are they doing enough? Could they do more?

This is Tesco’s response to my reduce plastic plea:

Tesco Hi Judith, 
Thanks for getting in contact regarding the amount of plastic that is being used and I can completely understand your concerns regarding this. As part of our Little Helps plan, we have made the following commitments. Making all packaging fully recyclable or compostable by 2025. We’re ensuring that all paper and board used will be 100% sustainable by 2025. Halving packaging weight by 2025 compared to 2007 levels and if you would like more information on this please see :…/products-packaging/.
Kind regards
Daniel – Customer Care

I also visited ‘The Market Garden’ at Eynsham and filled up empty old plastic bottles with shampoo and conditioner, and paper bags with nuts, dried fruit and seeds. They even had loose leaf salad here. However, this no plastic campaign is going to be a challenge!

I used the seeds to made my own granola and some savoury crackers. My husband loves his cream crackers but as they come in plastic packaging, it’s hard cheese!