St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

Guest Blog – Gillian Clifton “January Rubbish Challenge” week 3

Gillian writes:

One soft tomato…

This is all proving a little bit more difficult than I expected! I mean – who’s stupid idea was it to do a rubbish challenge in January when the house is still full of thoroughly packed and packaged Christmas goodies? Oh yeah. That would be me! Ah well- onward and onward. Only 27 more days to go.

 I have one tomato left in the fridge that’s sitting in a plastic tray with cellophaney type packaging around it. I am putting off eating it so I don’t have to deal with the rubbish! We will definitely be shopping differently in the future. 

 On a more positive note I made another loaf today which is yummy. After a blind taste test we both agree that my loaf is better than Mark’s. We really should get out more!

Our Recycling Co-ordinator Sam Taylor adds:
Plastic has been getting more and more bad press lately, simply perform a google search for “plastic oceans” and you will see scores of images, documentary’s and films all showing the detrimental effect our disposable lifestyle is having.  The main problem with most plastics is that they are inert, so they will never decompose. If an animal consumes it (as fish, seabirds and other marine life show) it just builds up inside their bodies until they simply cannot function.  That is if they are not smothered with it first. PlasticOceanPromo11

In landfill plastic will just sit potentially forever, although, at least it won’t release any harmful gases.  Apart from reuse there is simply no clean or long term action you can take to recycle most forms of plastic.  Again the types you can recycle will vary depending on where you live, so please check with your local service provider for what you can recycle at home.  In York there is currently only the provision for recycling grade 1 and 2 plastic bottles.

If you are interested in crafting you might like to take a look at this site It is an open source platform that will teach you how to make small scale machines at home to recycle any type of plastic you wish into new products.  Whilst not for everyone it could make an interesting project for schools, scout groups or education groups.  (We at St Nicks have a few projects ongoing after which I will plan on having a dabble with these machines, so watch this space!).

According to rumours online (circulated by Huffington Post and the like) San Francisco have banned the sale of single use plastic bottles. I say rumours because I can find no credible source for the information, however, I really hope this is true and that other states and governments will start to follow suit.  Plastic bottles are one of the most easily recycled materials so it would be interesting to know what the plan for the less recyclable plastics would be.

An interesting video popped up on my facebook timeline today about a company that is recycling its waste materials from beer manufacturing into edible/biodegradable six pack ring holders.  The main advantage being that if they end up in the oceans animals can eat them or they will biodegrade rather than kill or clog up the ocean.  At home you could simply compost them (as sending to landfill may just contribute to the emission of gases).  It would be nice to think that more companies will start to innovate in much the same way. The link is below if you wish to see…

I hope that the increased publicity on the dangers and longevity of plastic in our ecosystems will spur people to change their shopping habits and force the change up the chain from consumers all the way back to producers. Fingers crossed!

18 May 2016 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: biodegrade, gas, landfill, ocean, oceansofplastic, plastic, recycling, Salt Brewary, San Francisco, sea, shopping habits, Tomato