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Small Cabin Forum / Off Topic / Single Use Plastics
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# Posted: 7 Jul 2019 10:15 - Edited by: ICC

Do you live in a location where at least some single use plastics are banned? Grocery bags? Bottles? Coffee cups?

If there is a ban has the ban affected your life? Or have you made adjustments to what you buy even if there is no ban in effect where you live?

As for me and where I am located, no plastics are banned where I live. Nor are there any glass, aluminum or plastic beverage container deposit laws here. But, I use cloth reusable bags (made from hemp fibers) to carry stuff home and recycle all the aluminum, plastic and glass containers. I try to buy meats at the butcher counter where they wrap my purchase in a paper sheet.

If you are "plastic conscious" what have you done to reduce or eliminate plastic packaging such as shrink-wrapped meats, pre-nagged foods, and so on?

# Posted: 7 Jul 2019 11:45

No ban here yet, but I suppose it will come eventually. I'm not looking forward to it because I really find "single use" plastic bags to be useful: reuse at grocery store, lunch bag at work, maybe boot liners during slush season, wet swimsuit bag, finally trash bin liner. Most get used 4+ times. Likewise "single use" deli containers. You can wash them many times on the top rack of the dishwasher. And since they are clear they reduce food waste. Back when I used opaque storage containers I used to freeze food and then forget about it until it was totally freezer burned and unusable. Now with clear deli containers you can open the freezer and immediately choose something to reheat for dinner.

# Posted: 7 Jul 2019 12:21

We have no plastic bags at stores, you can opt to buy paper. I wouldnt call those plastic ones, one time, everyone used them again, ie kitchen trash bag liners etc.

Cloth bags people bring in can become dirty and prone to issues, I dont know anyone who washes them.

All the plastics we use are not the ones ending up in the oceans, all our garbage is properly handled, separated, recycled etc. Those garbage piles in the oceans are usually less developed countries.

# Posted: 7 Jul 2019 17:51

No ban here for grocery bags, however, they will charge you 5 cents if you want one. I bring my own bags. I do have a use for the plastic bags, however - to clean up after my dog.

I reuse ziploc bags - just wash them and hang to dry and use again. I don't reuse them if they have had raw meat in them though.

I recycle most of the plastic we use here. Sometimes I will have a use for it as a container for something or other.

You will never get rid of plastic. Our world today is just too dependent on it now. I do, however, limit what I use. Instead of plastic wrap I will put things in reusable lidded containers. Sometimes I will just put a plate over a bowl of something that I am keeping in my fridge (instead of plastic wrap).

I know they are talking of banning plastic cutlery. I rarely use it, however, if I have a LOT of family visiting I don't own enough metal cutlery for them all and, honestly, I don't want to do all the dishes associated with it. So on those rare instances, I will opt for plastic cutlery, paper plates and paper napkins.

My pet peeve right now is the reusable bags grocery stores sell. I have a bunch of them because they didn't like my cloth bags (said they wouldn't fit their holder properly). The reusable store ones are actually made of plastic and you can't wash them in the washer. Yes, you reuse them but aren't cloth better? I also use cloth mesh bags for produce (instead of those flimsy and annoying plastic bags you pull off the roll).

Ontario lakeside
# Posted: 8 Jul 2019 23:06

Unfortunately most recycling programs are dependant on markets to sell the separated materials. Even in the developed countries much of our carefully separated recyclables are landfilled or burned. 057/why-your-recycling-may-not-actually-get-recycled-1.5099103

We have grocery totes (some 20+ years old) that we use for shopping, storage and loading out to the cabin. We also use the reusable store bags and in a pinch a one time use bag. The best use of plastic is to avoid it completely where possible.

# Posted: 8 Jul 2019 23:33 - Edited by: darz5150

Quoting: Ontario lakeside
Unfortunately most recycling programs are dependant on markets

Good Point.
Isn't it amazing how with all the money pissed away by our
" First World " guberments, that they can't find a way to recycle plastics etc. without having to ship it to China, who recycles/re uses/remanufactures and re sells it back to us for a profit?

# Posted: 9 Jul 2019 00:46 - Edited by: ICC

We need a cultural shift in our thinking. Because we have the blue (or green where I live) bins many of us feel good about buying plastic bottled water and tossing the bottle in our bin. It is a bad habit. It would be better to not use the plastic in the first case. It can be done. The same thinking can be applied to the so-called single us "grocery" bags. A good friend just came back from France where those are no longer used. Everybody manages quite well with reusable bags they carry from home or office. And if one does not bring a bag they pay a fee for each sack used.

# Posted: 9 Jul 2019 09:40

We recycle, newspapers, plastic containers, cans, etc in our blue bin . Other waste that they will not receive, in the blue bin goes to garbage bin. I may get shot down, now . I have no problem burning , some of our garbage and recyclables in our wood stove during the heating season. They are petroleum based, or dirty paper. We burn wood all winter. Have a natural gas furnace. Drive a car. Pretty hard to escape using petroleum products.
My wife uses cloth shopping bags. We don't throw out garbage, coffee cups, on the street. When we are done with it. JMHO. old243

# Posted: 9 Jul 2019 11:48

We have become a single use society. But it wasn't so for my grandparents. Milk and soda came in glass bottles that were wash and reused.

The ten layers of consumer packaging didn't exist. Shop owners would pull items from a box and hand them to you. No packaging

Cars were fixed at home with every owner knowing how to do basic and advanced maintenance. Gramps would grind and seat valves in his car.

There was all sorts of recycling going on that did have markets. Paper and rags were leaders.

We unlearned all of this for convenience and marketing desires.

# Posted: 9 Jul 2019 17:55 - Edited by: moneypitfeeder

What we have an issue with is NY recycling laws. We found a place in a town that we often go to when we are up there (abt 40 min away), but the rules are horrible. We don't want to get paid for them, we just don't want them going to a landfill! We now end up separating out recyclables and taking them back home with us for recycling. What we found was glass, no way unless it's marked with a NY stamp, same with cans. We didn't even try to recycle plastic there. We take stuff up in our "camp box" (a huge rubbermaid tote)
and if we need more they are in paper bags that we can burn or compost.

At home (or shopping at camp) we use fabric covered "boxes" that collapse flat. They fit well into shopping carts, and we can load them with pretty heavy stuff, if needed. I try to buy as little plastic as possible, even buying only produce that is sold "loose." I have several lightweight nylon mesh bags that I can use to contain and weigh the produce, and haven't had any grocer take issue with them.

# Posted: 30 Aug 2019 20:40 - Edited by: Janemarie

Our local grocery store just banned them. I am fine with it. In fact, we are doing everything we can to reduce plastic. I now buy no single use plastic. I even use bamboo toothbrushes, and there are good ones, much cheaper than regular, (1.45 each) available form a company called Zero Waste Cartel. I grow and can most of our own food, and we reuse the jars, of course, and we have grocery bags. we also do a lot of ferments. I make my own cosmetics. We buy in bulk in reusable bags. In short, we are those nut jobs you are looking fo I use a deodorant wrapped in cardboard. It works fine. Ditto lipsticks and lip glosses. But, we did it one category at a time over a two year period, one thing a month. One month, shopping bags, the next month, toilet paper, the next month, shampoo and conditioner, the next month, produce bags, etc. It became a game. Now, we can't imagine living any other way. We got nice canisters and use them. we got our act together on having things ready when we go to the store.

# Posted: 30 Aug 2019 23:06

. It does take some thinking, getting used to remembering containers you need to take when you go shopping, but it is doable. Thanks for checking in on this thread.

# Posted: 31 Aug 2019 08:24

Quoting: Janemarie
the next month, toilet paper

they make reusable toilet paper

kidding and good for you, nice example your setting

# Posted: 8 Oct 2019 04:50

Great and encouraging thread!

We are on a mission this year to reduce plastic in our household too, and that's our decision.

Unless it is a juicy leftover or sandwich condiment, wax paper works fine for lunch box food. We have glass containers (mason jars and pyrex dishes) for other types of leftovers.We have cloth bags and mesh bags for grocery shopping.

However when shopping in bulk we find that cardboard boxes and paper bags work fine. We never take a plastic bag at a retailer as I would rather carry it out to the car than watch those plastic bags fly around the neighborhood and get stuck in my trees.

Yes, we still use Zip-loc, foil, plastic wrap...but not as much as we used to. It just takes a conscious effort like any other habit.

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