Posts Tagged ‘Reducing Waste’

How our plastic bags get recycled

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Thought you might like to see this youtube video that shows you how plastic bags are recycled.  This video shows a recycling plant in the United States.  I am looking into what happens to our flyaway plastics (or film plastics)  in the UK and hope to have lots of lovely facts and figures for you shortly.

Recycling Video Tapes

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

I’m doing a bit of research on how to recycle video tapes.

I checked out the Recycle now website and they suggest donating to charity shops, libraries or schools, but I know my local charity shop can’t take video tapes any more – they just can’t sell them these days.  When was the last time you played a video tape?  Do you even have a video tape player?  Are you wondering what a video tape player looks like?

Well… I’ve seen a number of tweets and emails asking how best (or how even) to recycle video tapes but so far no solutions.

The Recycling People take video and audio tapes but at a cost.  For example up to 50 tapes costs £15.  Prices get cheaper (per piece) for larger quantities so would be worth getting together with friends to get best value for money, but – AND THIS IS A BIG BUT (like mine) are people really prepared to pay to get stuff recycled? I have my doubts.

So time to do some investigation I feel.  If you know of anywhere that recycles video and audio tape for free, please do tell me. In the meantime…just shut the cupboard door on them and hold off the temptation to bin them.  I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.  Promise.


Sell-by dates canned

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Hmm! Have you seen these headlines?

Sky News tells us ”Sell-By Date Binned In Push To Cut Food Waste… in a bid to cut £12billion worth of good food” going to waste. The Daily Mail front page tells that simpler labels will save families up to £680 a year. Wow that’s a lot of money.

Can you believe we waste so much food? But there has been confusion about the various ways food is labelled and what exactly this means for you and me.

Some foods are labelled with a Display Until or Sell By date as well as either a Use By or Best Before date.  It is only the Use By or Best Before date that we need to look at and it is useful to understand the difference.  The other dates are for the shops to help them with stock control.  The Use By date is the one you and I need to take most notice of.  This is the date used for food safety reasons and soon to help food producers label their foods they will have a decision tree ‘asking a series of important questions around the production of a food product from a microbiological perspective’. In other words could it make us ill!

The Best Before date is a guidance date to show when food may start to deteriorate in quality. This doesn’t mean we can’t still eat it.

Now the truth is I know I should be pleased that people all over the country are reading these headlines and might think twice next time they pull something from the cupboard with a best before date of last month. Maybe now they won’t just sling it, they might at least give it a sniff and a lick and 9 times out of 10 will realise it will go down a treat. Yes, I’m delighted, I’m jumping for joy (with a little help from Yolanda).

I’m a tad concerned I might have to hunt for my supper a bit harder from now. Oh for the rich pickings that ‘Best Before’ date afforded me!

The Circular Economy

Monday, September 5th, 2011

How do we get people to think of ‘materials’ rather than ‘waste’? If only the word ‘waste’ could be permanently resigned to the trash. Can manufacturers be forced to think about how their products would be redeployed at the end of their useful life? Can we reverse this ‘throw-away’ economy we’ve adopted in recent years?

Milk in a Bag

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Have you noticed that you can buy milk in a bag in some supermarkets now?

The milk bags are designed for use with a special milk jug and the idea is that it will reduce packaging – a saving of 75% compared to the plastic bottle. High oil prices mean that reducing the amount of plastic packaging is a very attractive prospect at the moment. And we are not just talking about reducing the amount of oil used for transporting the packaged goods to our supermarkets by reducing the weight of the packaging.  It is all too easy to forget that the plastic bottles themselves are made from oil.

My Milkman

The new milk bags are recyclable – you can take them back to the supermarket for recycling.

I still like to get my milk delivered in reusable bottles from the milkman but, for those that don’t have a doggy-choc carrying milkman, the bag and jug system seems like a good idea.

Smarty pants

Monday, November 30th, 2009

smartiesOh dear! I’m being nagged to go on a diet. Yolanda thinks I’ve put on weight. But in my defence, I have to say, it is all in a good cause.

I have been carrying out some important research. As the season of excess is upon us I wanted to find out what a green-living, eco-loving dog like me can eat, snack-wise, while watching The X-Factor Final and the Queen’s Christmas message without getting the blues about excess packaging.

Today, I’ve decided that I love Smarties. They come in a groovy hexagonal box made of cardboard which is 100% recyclable. And what’s more, all Smarties are completely yummy. There are no yukky ones in there that will languish in the packet and get thrown away.

Do you have a favourite colour of Smarty? I know you probably think mine would be green. But, just to surprise you, I don’t mind sharing the fact that my absolute favourites are the blue ones.

Calling all sweetie lovers!

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Are you a sweetie lover?

I love sweeties. All kinds of sweeties. But I promised Yolanda that I was going to try to stick to eating sweeties that come in recyclable packaging.

So, that means I need to do a bit of research. What sweeties can I still eat?

I came across a box of Quality Street in Mr Smith’s Bin the other day. Couldn’t believe my luck, but there were still three sweeties in there (and a bit of orange peel and a banana skin – you have to take the rough with the smooth!). I put the orange peel and the banana skin on my compost heap. I hope by this time next year it will be fertilising my garden. Then I set about doing some serious research. The three sweeties were all blue ones. Clearly nobody in Mr Smith’s house likes the blue ones, but luckily for me they’re my favourites.

As I unwrapped sweetie number one – step one in my research is to check that I like them – I noticed the writing on the side of the box.

Did you know that you can separate the wrappers and put the foil bit into your recycling box like you would a drinks can? The outer wrapper can go in your compost bin. How cool is that?

The instructions for how to dispose of the cardboard box say: ‘Remove the window from the empty carton and put the window bit in the bin. The card can then be quickly and easily recycled. Simply put it in your local recycling bank or kerb-side recycling box.’

It is great that most of the packaging is recyclable or compostable. It is great that they tell you that on the box. But why do they bother with the window? Couldn’t they find a way to make that recyclable too?

Are you ready to pledge?

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

How hard would it really be to make that decision to never, ever throw a plastic bottle in a rubbish bin (or a hedge or ditch or wherever else lazyitis causes people to chuck stuff)?

With more and more recycling points out and about this is getting to be more realistic all the time. When I was asking one of those nice people at the district council recently about whether we could have a recycling bin at out local park, he mentioned that one of the difficulties with provided recycling points instead of bins is that people often don’t use them properly. Can you believe, people put the stuff in the wrong hole?
I don’t know why people say this, but I’ve heard it said of things, that it is so easy a monkey could use it. I asked a monkey friend of mine and she said she thought it was pimps.

So what if you can’t see a plastic recycling point when you are out and about? I asked the monkey what she thought and she said ‘take it home, that’s pimps too”.

What do you think?


Gizmo the Geek, eco-freakSee our eco-tips then send us yours.



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    Did you know..?

    According to Recycle now , 73% of packaging in England could be recycled but we're only recycling 33%. How RUBBISH is that?