I haven’t written for a while but I have been doing good!
My lovely friend Rachael taught me how to crochet. I’m not very good! I did make a dishcloth out of hemp cord. Thankfully it is not important if a dishcloth is aesthetically pleasing. I was trying to do a basic square but it ended up more like a triangle (no idea why) so instead of going up and down the same line I decided to go around and around to try and even it all out. It looks like this…
I’m going to test it out tomorrow and see how it does.
I also emailed the Co-op where I regularly shop and asked them if they really need to package leeks and cauliflower and other veg in plastic and I received this reply:
Thank you for contacting the Co-op about the amount and type of packaging used for our products.
Reducing the amount of packaging we use, and making what is used easier to recycle, has been a long term part of what we do at the Co-op (in 2005 we were the first retailer to successfully run a packaging reduction trial, removing the box from our own brand tomato puree, saving 8.5 tonnes of card a year) and we’re going to carry on working to meet our goal of 100% of our food packaging being easy to recycle.
In 2017 Co-op Members voted at our AGM to commit us to increasing the percentage from 45% to 80% by 2020. Right now we are at 71%, you can read more about what we have done on our blog:
Perishable goods last longer in packaging, so our packaging not only keeps products fresh but ultimately cuts down on food waste. That being said, we are always looking for ways to improve the packaging used, such as recently changing the trays on our Irresistible tomatoes from plastic to cardboard.
Selling loose fruit and vegetables would be such a great way to sell produce, and would be so beneficial to the environment. I will definitely be passing this suggestion onto our packaging team.
If I can do anything else to help, please let me know.
Member & Customer Services”
Seems pretty reasonable reply to me. I will follow it up in a few months and see if they have made any progress. I did also see that the co-op are going to start only giving out biodegradable carrier bags too which is great. Although the bag use in the UK has dramatically gone down since the introduction of 5p per bag thing it has also meant that the bag recycling points at larger supermarkets have vanished which is unfortunate as I no longer know what to do with my ‘bag for life’ when it dies and also a lot of food packaging says ‘recycle with plastic bags at larger stores’ and this no longer exists….. I think all recycling info needs to be updated on packaging. A surprising amount of stuff has no info at all. It is probably irrelevant anyway considering the UK exports most of its recycling and now that both China and Malaysia have closed their borders to our waste we need to man(or women) up to the reality of it and deal with our waste, whether recyclable or not, ourselves.
I also inspired a friend to try and go plastic free for a week. A great challenge I think. She hasn’t been doing brilliantly so far, it is super hard! She bought a bin to organise her new recycling regime but unfortunately that bin was plastic. Bought cardboard advent calendars for the kids…yay! BUT they were wrapped in plastic, And she was chatting about blue plastic socks at the swimming pool which I have no idea what she is talking about as I have never in all my days witnessed such a thing. BUT anyway, the first step is recognising your impact which I think Katie’s week of trying to go plastic free has done for her whether successful or not it was a step in the right direction…You should all try it yourselves. And please leave me some comments so I don’t feel like im rabberling on to a plastic wall!