plastic detox, zero waste

12 months of reducing plastic

This year I have spent trying to reduce our plastic consumption and living a more plastic free life.  It’s not easy and lots of fails – although learning more every week.  I am super fortunate to live in a city where there are more zero waste shops opening.  Local to me is Fareshares, they are a small food co-op, Hetu, on St John’s Hill, Battersea and The Source Bulk Foods in Battersea and Chiswick to name a few.  I was delighted to read that Cook Food have started to switch their ready meals from black plastic trays to cardboard.

The easiest changes were milk, soap & loo roll, I use Milk & More for glass bottles of milk, fruit juice and occasionally yoghurt in glass jars [river cottage].  Loo roll I buy from Who Gives a Crap and soap I buy from Baileys Home as its fab soap and unpackaged.  In the bathroom I switch to glass bottles when I finished products and can find an alternative.  I’ve tried quite a few different types this year and Aesop are best for my skin so far.  Georganics are a good range of dental care products, although I have given up with the toothpaste – it is ok but just not as good as pearl drops, the mouthwash tabs I’m still using and bamboo toothbrush. I have found 100% recyclable toothbrush heads for my daughter’s Oral B electric toothbrush. The Earth conscious deodorant is good and I’ll keep using that, cardboard push up tube and available from Baldwins.  Shampoo & conditioner I refill at Battersea Source bulk foods.  We swaped from plastic razors to Edwin Jagger – British made razors and replaceable metal blades.  We also switched from paper tissues to cotton handkerchiefs, we prefer the mens plainer versions.

I’ve stopped using teabags and only buy loose plastic free tea, so mostly we drink PG Tipps, coffee I drink less often and when I do its Lavazza as its plastic free in ground  & beans.  Baldwins also supply larger bags of herbs including loose camomile flowers, perfect for a non caffeine drink. My laundry is now done with refills of Bio D – as is the washing up liquid, their laundry bleach is not plastic free; for this I use Mangle & Wringer and it comes in a paper bag.  General everyday multipurpose cleaning I use an old spray bottle 50% white vinegar & water.  It does have a scent of vinegar, but this goes and it cleans really well.  I also use white vinigar as rinse aid in the dishwasher and as a fabric conditioner [1/4 cup per load in the washing machine].  In the dishwasher I use Sainsbury’s dishwasher powder as it comes in a 1kg cardboard box.  For bin bags I use biodegradable bags and instead of cling film I use wax wraps, they work brilliantly, covering bowls, wrapping food and in the freezer.  For lunches we use Mintie stainless steel lunch box and snack pot [no spills so far] and also a food flask from Bulk Foods Battersea.

If I have time I’ll walk to a greengrocer, but that is only if I have a free morning.  I’ve a basket and bags – love our string bags as they are so light and carry loads.  My water bottle travels everywhere with me and so does my fountain pen – now I’m used to ink again I love it.  Another great stationary product I’ve wrapped to is brown paper sticky tape that is biodegradable & packaging free, found at Choosing Keeping.

plastic detox letter

I’ve written countless letters to companies asking them about their plans to reduce plastics and found this much better way to contact them, [my printer & inks are HP, they have a free recycling service for cartridges] emails have a way of being ignored.  If you’re trying or planning to reduce, best tip is to start small and with items you can change easily – that way you’ll stick to them.  It’s almost impossible to shop in our supermarkets without buying unnecessary plastics and I do hope with time and pressure from us customers we can change that – although I am getting rather fed up with the super wooly answers from the likes of Waitrose and all the other major stores.  Some brands like Jakemans, have implement changes and that is brilliant.

If you have any tips on plastic free living do get in touch!  I have compiled a map of South London with stores where its possible to find plastic free items – click here for the PDF: plastic free map. And I also have a plastic free pinterest board.

 

This is not a sponsored post and I have not been gifted any items to mention the companies.

Advertisements
sewing, slow fashion

Dutch wax fabric dressing gown

IMG_8457

I’ve been working on another shawl collar dressing gown as a Christmas gift.  The fabric is a great Dutch wax pattern I found when I went to Middlesex Street, a treasure trove of fabric shops! The fabric, I thought called out for a little lift and I ordered 3 super bright neonish Kona solid.  The yellow worked brilliantly, wish I had recut the cuffs and will do that next time, possibly adding to the pockets as well.

The fabric has to be pre washed, because of the treatment it has and washed brilliantly.  Not had any shrinkage problems so far and it comes in 5.5m [6 yard] lengths, this dressing gown takes 5 metres.  I’m a huge fan of this type of cloth, great quality and in an abundant array of patterns. The pattern is based on a previous dressing gown I made earlier this year and blogged about here.  That was also made in a Dutch wax print and I use it everyday.

Now to get back to work as I’m busy with commissions that need to be finished before Christmas!

sewing, slow fashion

sewing gifts for men

I wanted to share a few DIY gift ideas for men, I have made a dressing gown for my brother this year [more of than in my next post].  But with @my_plastic_free_journey_uk have tried to come up with some good gifts that don’t require much or any plastic.  First up:
purl soho tie.jpgPurl Soho tie

A fun gift for a tie wearer and can be made out of any fabric, be that comic book, silk or Liberty Print.  Or you could knit a version – there are lots of patterns and the Wool Warehouse has a free pattern.

Shaving items can be very synthetic and bad for the skin or packaged in lots of plastic, so here are a few ideas:

For a pre shave oil:  Pour 100mls olive oil and 100mls jojoba oil into 200ml bottle.  Add 4–5 drops of essential oil to the oil mixture – lavender, rosewood, vanilla and frankincense are great.  Seal and shake bottle to mix ingredients.  Don’t forget to add a lovely label.

Shaving cream tutorial.  or this recipe: Place 100mls coconut oil and 100mls shea butter to a glass bowl and microwave for aprox 30 seconds. Stir and microwave an additional 30 seconds. If mixture is not completely melted, microwave an additional 10 seconds.  Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to mixture and a few drops of essential oil and stir.  Refrigerate until solid and then whisk for until mixture is fluffy.  Decant into a jar and add a lovely label.

Mustache Wax, here is a good tutorial.

Beard Oil: 50ml coconut oil, a few drops of argan oil, few drops of essential oils – rosemary, lemon or mandarin are great.  Pour into a jar or metal tin – Baldwins do a great range and have all the ingredients as well. Do add a lovely label.

Bags are a great choice if you have time, there’s still a few weeks to go!  Merchant & Mills have fabulous patterns and I liked the Costermonger.    The kitbag is a fab tutorial, has a real vintage look to it.  And if he takes lunch into work, what could be better than this lunch bag by Purl Bee?  If you add an insulating batting would be fab all year round.

Do hope this may have helped spark a few ideas, if you don’t have time Etsy has some fabulous products.  If you have a gadget mad man, there is a wooden iphone speaker that is brilliant – not just for men either!

Please note this is not a sponsored post, all items chosen by me.

plastic detox

#plasticfreeJuly

toothbrush_toothpaste_dental_care

This month I have finally managed to get plastic free toothpaste, mouthwash & a new type of bamboo toothbrush that is 100% biodegradable.  All found at The Source Bulk Foods in Chiswick, although you can also find the toothpaste and mouthwash on Etsy.  The charcoal toothpaste is good and a thousand times better than the first powdered charcole powder I tried, apparently not as popular as the mint and the mouthwash is great, pop a tablet in half a glass of water and hey presto – mouthwash.  Very easy to travel with.Kiehls-Logo

I was chatting to the manager of Kiehl’s in House of Fraser in Victoria and she told me that they take returns of old packaging to be recycled and very soon will be launching their products in recycled plastic.  It’s a great recycling scheme, would be brilliant if more companies did this and as Kiehl’s is owned by L’Oréal maybe something all L’Oréal brands could be doing.

sand-castle-desktop-background

As promised last month I have researched sunscreen and although I didn’t need it for my holiday, goodness on my return home the heat was such a shock.  So far I have covered up while out and about, although today did spend quite a few hours trying to track down sun protection on my local high street.  Plastic free is very hard to find on the high Street and seems to be an online only product, will keep looking!  Etsy as usual came up trumps and I found one made here in England.

HappyNaturalsEtsy has a SPF 30 – 40 and comes packaged in aluminium screw top pot. Made to order.  Raw Love is a brand from the USA, it’s a zinc oxide (non nano) broad spectrum with a SPF35.  Cocoalohasurf  all natural & waterproof facial broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen SPF 45, that comes in untinted and 2 other shades.  Shade, all natural sunscreen,  broad spectrum UVA and UVB.  Again it contains non-nano zinc oxide.  Suntribe natural sports & face sunscreen, with an SPF 30 with broad spectrum UVA/UVB.  It is water-resistant, reef safe and contains the least ingredients of any of the products I’ve found – only organic beeswax, coconut oil and non-nano zinc oxide.  Again Kiehl’s would also be an alternative, not plastic free – but you can take the bottle/tube back to Kiehl’s to recycle.

My search for a good mascara continues and other plastic free alternatives.  I have found a refilable mascara by Kjaer Weis and will do more reaserch into the refils.

This is not a sponcered post and all views are my own.

plastic detox

#plasticfree April

IMG_2568

I was appalled to hear yesterday about Sainsbury’s adding even more plastic packaging, you can read more about it here and here.  Has no one ever told Sainsbury’s that may be they should consider giving advice on washing hands after touching raw meat instead of adding to the #plasticpollution problem?

hand washing

Did you watch the One Show last night, about #plasticpollution? I do hope that the Sainsbuy’s board and share holders were watching (as well as all the supermarkets and shops)! Ok, rant over. This month i have got into more of a routine and helped enormously with the discovery of Source Bulk Foods, Odd Box and a couple of amazing butchers, groucery shopping has become easier.  Source have risotto rice, popcorn, baking powder, organic sugar, sweets and so much more, if you’re in London it is so worth a visit.  This month I switched to their shampoo and conditioner refill, so delighted to have found it there.  Also trialed a facial cleanser bar and found it too drying for my face, a friend suggested Neals Yard  – so will head there for ideas.  Any suggestions?  I liked the Made for Life balm, although prefer a facial cream wash – Liz Earle’s cleanse and polish is my all time go to and sadly that’s in double plastic and not refillable.

geo

Georganics on Etsy, they have toothpaste, mouthwash & natural floss as well as bamboo toothbrushes.  As soon as my toothpaste is finished will try, they also have coconut oil pulling, has anyone tried this?  Sounds intriguing.

 


Finally, while pottering around my favorite garden centre with my youngest nephew, we kept seeing plastic pots and decided to try growing things from seeds.  I recently bought a fabulous new magazine called The Flower Patch, in there they show how to make origami seed pots.  Fun to make and great at recycling old newspapers, my garden in super small and I don’t need loads – the loo roll and egg box ideas in the clip above are great too.

plastic detox

establishing habits and routines

I have been trying to carry on with my #plasticfreeJanuary and when items need replacing have sought plastic free when i can.  I had tried BioD and wanted to see how well other brands worked.  While searching came across Mangle & Wringer, natural, non toxic cleaning remedy. The bathroom balm is brilliant, easy to use, works so well and not a spray in sight.  The laundry powder and bleach made washing whites simple and the natural bleech can be used all over the house.  The items were well packaged and plastic free, just delighted and will carry on using this.

I’ve also making the change from pump liquid soap to bars of natural soap, the bars i found are from Baileys Home and Garden in Ross-on-Wye.  Really lovely soap and have no packaging, making them a fabulous zero waste purchase.  My second delivery of Who gives a crap arrived and is a brilliant plastic free product, although the box is huge!  Gradually finding new products, cotton floor cloths to replace old well-worn microfiber cloths (Baileys Home and Garden).  Labour and Wait also have a good range of natural cleaning products.  And with all this cleaning my poor hands need a little care and pampering, found a plastic free intensive shea butter cream at L’Occitane.

If you have any plastic free tips, do share!

I have bought all these products and this is not a sponsored post.

All views are my own.

plastic detox

#plasticdetox | what I learnt in January

plastic soup

I thought I’d round-up on January’s plastic detox and what I’ve found easiest to do and what I am planning to keep doing.

Plastic in tea bags was a major shock, always thinking they were biodegradable and finding out we had been drinking tea infused with PVC was shocking.  I have been trying various loose teas including herbal and will keep on with this, Brew Tea is delicious.  At home the charcoal filter is working well and I’m going to continue using these.  Finding plastic free fruit and vegetables at a good price was trickier in a supermarket,  OddBox has been brilliant and also seen our meals change as we use the different vegetables that arrive.  Switching to a milkman was the quickest and easiest swap of all, we now have milk and juice delivered in glass bottles. Milk & More is online and so easy to use.  I’ve also been baking our own bread on Sunday’s and find it relaxing kneading/bashing the dough, also have no plastic waste – so win all round.  In the kitchen I’ve also started using a compost bin (luckily our council has a curbside collection) and this has cut down the amount I place in the general rubbish, also noticed our recycling bin is a lot less – so gradually making headway there.  I have to use bin bags and have switched to a biodegradable version from Baldwins.

Flora, Poppy & Lurpak have all had their food changed and they don’t seem to mind, Lurpak took the change from pouches to tin’s trickier.  And I guess like most pet owners we are nothing but slaves to their total happiness.  The dogs love the Lily’s Kitchen and even though I thought the cost was high, have worked out that buying direct with a huge bag, makes the cost the same if not a little less than their original food – just this is plastic free and compostable.  As a result of the changes with pet food I have been shopping in Asda, the tinned cat food is so much cheaper there.  Noticed they have quite a few loose vegetables and herbs, more than Waitrose & Sainsbury’s. If I buy something that does have plastic wrapping I fold it up and send it back to the chief executive with a polite letter asking them to consider using biodegradable packaging.  Not had a reply as yet.  Find this method easier than dumping the plastic bags at the till and may have more of an impact with the decision makers rather than the poor cashier who doesn’t have any say on how things are run.

Plastic free cleaning has been a curve, not keen on the vinegar & water smell.  I have switched to Bio D and plan to use refills of the washing up liquid and the laundry powder works really well, as with all the Bio D, they contain no harmful ingredients and are Cruelty Free.  In terms of bathroom cleaning I haven’t swapped anything as my regular cleaner lasts a long time (bathroom Method), have stopped buying bleach for the loo and planning on experimenting with loo bombs.  Think the box of Who gives a crap loo roll will keep us going for months and definitely recommend it.

Bathroom cupboard wise things have been changing slowly, after my cleanser ran out last week switched from a plastic pump to a glass pot with metal lid and its lovely.  Different as it’s a balm not a wash, I use home-made muslin cloths to remove and definitely recommend this.  Also switched my moisturizer  close to the beginning of January from plastic pot to glass pot, although it does have a plastic lid.  If only Waitrose would consider putting the baby bottom butter in a glass pot!  Using an amazing bamboo toothbrush with compostable bristles and it is doing really well, I found this at Hetu.  Finally switched from a plastic razor to Edwin Jagger British made metal razor that uses old-fashioned razor blades, looking into the recycling of the blades.  Switching from liquid soap has not happened as yet, I use large bottles and the solid soap I’ve tried from lush hasn’t been all that great.  Will start switching and experimenting, Dr Bronner liquid soap was recommended to me, although this again comes in plastic bottles.  Shampoo & conditioner has been an ongoing challenge, one suggestion from Kate Arnell from Eco-Boost was to buy a bottle of shampoo from her hairdresser and they then refill there on – great idea if your hairdresser will do that.  Will keep on the search, so far all none plastic options from Lush have failed on my hair.

 If you have any tips at all, or products you’ve found that work for you, do get in touch!  Anyone found an eco pair of tights?

If you’d like to try Who gives a crap plastic free loo roll – here’s a code to get £5 off https://www.talkable.com/x/jeecau

This post was not sponsered and all views my own.

plastic detox

plastic detox week 4

Iceland_logo.png

Great news announced on 16th January, that Iceland will be going plastic free on their own brand frozen foods by 2023.  With my plastic challenge this month, I realised frozen peas and other frozen vegetables will be a no-no, Nigella’s pea & pesto soup is a winter soup staple as its so quick and warming.  This prompted me to email the major supermarkets a few weeks ago about their single use plastic packaging in their freezer department and what their plans were, a few responded.

Tesco response was ” Regarding your enquiry, I have had a response from our Business Support Team.  They have informed me of that what we have been doing at Tesco is moving more and more of our frozen bags to pure polyethylene, which we will recycle at front of our larger stores with carrier bags. This is a service that local authorities do not offer, but shows our commitment to recyclable materials.  We have more being converted during 2018 and the next thing we need to get right is the use of the correct on pack logo. Hopefully our customers will see this change soon  I hope this helps.”  I have followed up with another email asking if they would consider paper in the light of Iceland’s announcement and have as yet to receive a response.

Sainsburys response to my initial email was  “I’ve spoken with our communications team who have advised of the following in regards to the following regarding our packages.  A trial using home compostable packaging was launched on our So Organics range. This was successful however any of our customers which didn’t have the ability to compost at home were still in the same situation they had previously been and were having to bin their plastic bags and trays. Also during the trial we saw feedback that in some cases it was taking a long time for the plastics to break down in the compost heaps where they were during drier or colder months.  At this time a lot of other brands and retailers we using bio plastics for some of their packaging.  Bio plastics look the same as oil based plastics it was leading to high levels of confusion and contamination from customers where there was plastic bottle recycling streams in place.    Due to this, currently there are no products in our range which come in biodegradable plastics, however I have passed your feedback on to our Resource Management team so they can look further into developing new packaging for our products.”  Then after the Iceland’s announcement, I asked if they would consider following Iceland and this email arrived “Thanks for getting back in touch with us recently regarding your query on our plastic packaging. I’m sorry you have some concerns on this.  In regards to your question about whether our frozen products will be plastic free, we would be unable to answer this at the minute.

Watrose,  had no answer and yesterday I received this email “Whilst I can see that my colleague Martin is currently waiting to hear back from one of our colleagues regarding your query relating to our frozen vegetables packaging, I felt it important to share with you our plastic packaging response in the meantime.   Reducing our impact on the environment is really important to us and we know it is to our customers too.  We share your concern about the use of plastics, so we’ve committed to making all our own-label packaging widely recyclable (using the widely recycled logo), reusable, or home compostable by 2025.  Much of our fruit and vegetable flexible plastic packaging (including the small bags to put items in) can be recycled along with carrier bags at a recycling point at the front of our shops, and we label these packs to encourage this. The contents of the recycling point are then baled and recycled. The fruit and vegetable offer includes pre-packed goods and a selection of loose products.  Earlier this year we launched our support for the Marine Conservation Society’s beach and river cleans across England – these focus on cleaning up plastic and other litter from our environment, which directly benefits marine wildlife.  Waitrose is fully committed to using packaging materials which least impact the environment. For several years we have worked with our suppliers to develop and trial alternative packaging materials.  We still have concerns about a complete conversion to these alternatives until we can fully assess the impact of these materials on product quality and can be assured that the right facilities are available to enable our customers to safely compost them.  The availability of fit for purpose home compostable material is technically limited and the composting waste stream is still very much in its infancy.  Our current policy is that only home compostable packaging that meets the requirements of the OK Compost Home standard should be used where there is no established recycling stream. We will continue to review our policy and we will extend compostable materials to other ranges once we are satisfied that suitable treatment facilities are available to our customers. We believe that there are challenges associated with home composting i.e. volumes that can be dealt with this way and the optimum conditions needed to ensure effective composting. For this reason, we believe it is important to ensure that industrial composting facilities are also made more widely available to consumers.  We are working with our suppliers and packaging manufacturers to develop and source alternative materials to plastic and our dedication to this is ongoing.

Thought it best to copy & paste the responses in full, I didn’t know about Waitrose’s recycling point at the front of store and will look out for this at my local store.  I’ve hears people removing all the plastic packaging at the till and that others collect the packaging and then post it back to the head office of the stores with a note.  This is my prefered route, far less confrontational and more lightly to have a response.

Bamboo Charcoal Water Filters

I have filtered my water with a brita filter for years and in our old home had a built-in Brita filter on the kitchen tap.  The jug filters are plastic and we used 12 a year, while the jugs are recyclable and last a long time, the filter cartridge is not recyclable in my area.  After looking into water filter methods, I found bamboo charcoal pictured above. They improve the taste of the water and the bamboo comes packed in a natural compostable pouch.  Boobalou is an interesting website, with some great plastic alternatives and when ordering you can opt for recycled packaging and also plastic free packaging.

Plastic free breakfasts have been more of a challenge, my daughter’s regular cereals are mostly in a plastic bag, inside a cardboard box.  So we have switched to Flanhavan’s oats as they come wrapped in paper, not plastic as the stores own (much cheaper) plastic wrapped versions (found Lidl have own brand porridge oats in paper).  I’ve been trying out different over night oats flavors, below is an Ella’s kitchen version (click on the photo).overnight oats

If anyone has more plastic free cereal idea’s would be great to hear.  Still haven’t found a good alternative to my almond milk, I use Alpro unroasted & unsweetened almond milk and sometimes Rude Healths.  Both these brands use Italian almonds, after reading about the US almond production and bee health.  I have discovered London Nut Mylk when I visited Hetu, although they sell out so quickly have never managed to try.

IMG_2356

I found a zero waste community shop, reccomended to me by a lady in Baldwin’s called Fareshare, its has bulk options and organic produce.  Lots of pulses, peanut butter and vegan options.  Last monday evening I attended a talk on sustainability at Daylesford Organic Pimlico shop, the panel included Kate Arnell from ECO BOOST and Hermione Taylor from DO NATION, nutritionist Rhaya Jordan and Environmental Scientist Tim Field.  It brought up many interesting topics including zero waste, plastic soup pollution, organic v industrial farming and ways to cut down and make our lives more sustainable. Here is a link to the notes from the talk.  The main points I got were, reduce, reuse, recycle and eat seasonally if possible.  Eat organic and reduce the amount of meat we eat and when we do, buy grass-fed, naturally reared and maybe becoming a weekday vegitarian.  When I craft or look for fabrics to make clothes I do look at the fabric composition, but it has become more and more of an issue for me – not to buy fabrics that contain plastics.  Use what I have at home, but when replacing items only to have natural fibres.  I know it becomes a mindfield and working full time myself sometimes finding time to find everything can be tricky, having the dog foodBrew teaveg boxand milk delivery helps.  Some companies also deliver meat & dairy items, such as Riverford.

If you’ve been cutting down on plastic this month, how have you found it?  What have been the best alternative things you’ve found?  Any tips you can pass on?

plastic detox

Plastic Detox week 3

bamboo-sustainable-biodegradable-hydrophil-toothbrush

This week has been a little easier, getting in to the swing of things.  A lovely friend gave me a stainless steel straw she found at Lakeland, planning on making a little pouch for it so I can take it around in my handbag.  I managed to find a bamboo toothbrush at Hetu, has nylon4 bristles that do biodegrade.  It’s proved to be a better toothbrush than the bamboo version I had from Waitrose last year.

borough-market-entrance

I am lucky not to live very far from Borough Market, the butcher and fish monger there both wrapped my purchases in paper – happy not to use plastic.  I also found Borough Wines, they have a great selection of wines, including sulphate free natural wines and have a refillable bottle.  I’m no wine connoisseur and enjoyed the rose, another great place for sulphate free wines is The Organic Wine Club and they have a brilliant selection, including some excerlent prosecco and one amazing sparkling red.   My local farmer’s market was another good source of plastic free foods, the olive seller was happy for me to take my own pots.  The Old Post Office bakery also have a stall there and their sourdough bread is great, again wrapped in paper, although I have been making bread every week now for quite some time.  Started off ok ish with the odd heavy disaster and now the bread works out well, so no need to buy bread wrapped in plastic.

biod-laundry

I discovered an interesting shop called Baldwins in Elephant & Castle, I managed to find Bio-D laundry powder (plastic free) and Laundry Bleech (plastic free).  A friend also discovered a place in East Dulwich that sells BioD refills, if your interested in trying it and not in SE London their website has a map of places to buy and also refill.  Speaking of refills, if you carry a bottle of water and want to stop and top up, there is now an app to help you find a place.

clifford James handkerchiefs

Last week I ordered a dozen mens white handkerchiefs, so I could always have 1 or 2 in my bag and no need for plastic wrapped ‘pocket tissues’.  Mens handkerchiefs are larger and much more useful than the dainty ladies versions, although do search ebay for super cute vintage children handkies!

IMG_2090

Finally, hair care.  Lush have a solid shampoo, it works although can be rather harsh as it does contain sodium lauryl sulfate,  still searching for a good hydrating conditioned.  The lush solid I tried was terrible in terms or ease of use and it just didn’t work for my hair or on my dog (she is a cavalier king charles with long ears that need conditioning).  Next I tried a conditioning treatment and that also failed, if anyone has any good recommendations for conditioner do please let me know.  As a disclaimer, my hair is highlighted and does need a good conditioner to stop it looking and feeling like straw.

plastic detox

plastic detox week 2

milk bottles

This week things have been interesting and challenging.  Our milk delivery has started and the milkman also delivers fruit juice in glass bottles, brilliant service and can recommend Milk and more.  I am collecting the foil tops and will be sending them off for recycling when I have a jar full.

IMG_7741

One of the trickiest switches made this week was weaning our 7 year old cat from his favorite Sheba pouches (not recyclable).  I have switched him to tins and trying dry food from Lilly’s Kitchen.  Lilly’s Kitchen dry food packaging are all completely compostable and recyclable.  The dogs have also switched to dry food in compostable bags from their  super healthy plastic tray food.  The poop bags I have been using for many years are biodegradable, I usually buy them in TK Maxx of all places.

IMG_2161 (1)

I went back to Hetu to try their refill washing up liquid and multi surface cleaner, price wise it was a little shock.  £1.80 for 300 ml, Ecover is £2.50 for 1L. So not sure I’ll go back for more refill.

used-tea-bags

Finally this week, tea has been a pressing issue, we normally drink Yorkshire tea.  I have discovered almost all teabags contain polypropylene to heat seal the bags and come wrapped in cellophane, again not recyclable or compostable.  I’ve been emailing and tweeting different tea companies and supermarkets to find out more and so far have found Brew loose leaf Tea is plastic free including the packaging, their teabags are made from SOILON, a 100% biodegradable material, so you can pop them straight on the compost.  Taylors of Harrogate contain plastic – though they are developing a fully biodegradable, plant-based alternative to their Yorkshire Tea bags at the moment.  Marks & Spencer tea bags contain plastic to seal the bags.  Clipper said ‘the filter paper in our pillow tea bags does contain polypropylene to provide the heat-seal function.’  Dorset Tea bags comprises of approximately 75% cellulose fibres, 25% synthetic fibres for the heat-sealing properties and 1% wet-strength resin.  Tetley tea, also contain plastic to heat seal.  Tesco teabags are all heat sealed with plastic with one exception, Tesco finest green tea Jasmine 15 tea bags 30g.  Co-Op also contain plastic as a sealant and said they are working with suppliers to find an alternative.  Sainsburys told me ‘At present all of our tea / infusions bags are not biodegradable. They contain a small amount of PVC in order for the tea bag paper to seal sufficiently. The tea bags used in the TTD new range are biodegradable.’  PG Tips tea bags are made with 80% paper fibre, again with plastic to seal the bags.  Twinings said “Environmentally sustainable products and packaging are important to us and we are constantly working with our suppliers to find the best solutions and innovations that can help us become even more sustainable. We have several types of tea bag design across our ranges and ensure that they are predominantly produced from a natural plant based cellulose material and are biodegradable and compostable. Our pyramid teabag range contains no plastic and is fully biodegradable, or if you prefer no bag we also have an extensive loose leaf range”.  Teapigs tea bags are made from soilon,  derived from cornstarch.   Lidl wanted me to give them bar codes for all the products for them to give me an anser, so I’ll be working on that this week and  Typhoo and Asda have not responded at all.  There are a few companies in London who sell loose leaf tea, Mariage Freres in Selfridges sell tea in tins and are happy to sell it to customers with there own containers.  Bluebird Tea sell in tins and again happy to sell to customers who take in their own packaging.  HR Higgins sell tea and coffee in a caddy and I am sure would allow you to take in your own pot, they have not responded to my email.

 

If you have any tips do please share and if you know of any good teas, do please comment.