Politics, Economics, Religion,

Too much plastic packaging… trying to make a change

I’ve often wondered how butchers can hand game/meat for 14/21/28 days to no detriment (even to great benefit) of the meat but the minute its ‘packaged’ for sale it has a shelf life of about twenty minutes.

Being increasingly frustrated by the mixed plastics used in its packaging in supermarkets, much of which is recyclable, I’ve chickened out (until today) in voting with my feet.  And I’ll tell you why because I think my fears are echo’s in many of the population.

The idea of going to the butcher is daunting….

when the meat is pre packaged you now the price to volume ratio  You probably buy more by the packet price than the packet weight.  When you go to the butcher you have to tell them how much (in weight) you want.  What if I ask for a kilo and it fills 3 bags!!!  I have no idea.  What if I ask for two chops and hey ask me what thickness I want when normally I select a pack that just looks right.  What if they weigh it and bag it and its more money than i wanted to or can afford to spend.  How embarrassing.  So in the past I’ve scared myself out of it.

However, today I decided it was high time to start voting with my feet.  I decided I was going to be brave.  Ditch the supermarket and go and talk to my high street butcher.

Oh my goodness, how nice were they!

I went into Morgans Family Butcher on the High Street in Builth Wells and explained I wanted to try to buy meat without having any single use plastic and had brought some tubs from home if they didn’t mind using them.  No drama at all .  They were extremely nice ,in fact, despite them still having single use bags (They have a stock that still needs using) They are transitioning to biodegradable carrier bags and paper bags.  They were equally happy to put stuff into my own tubs.

paper packaging, my meat will breathe and last longer. I bet it will taste better too

This got me thinking back to that first question.  The answer was not surprising.  Plastic containers as used in supermarkets, make the meat sweat and go off quicker.  The meat will last me longer in their paper bags.  Now when I consider this answer, it’s hardly rocket science, in fact it practically screams ‘obvious’ at the top of its voice. Its something we used to know.  Butchers and shops, before supermarkets newer  sweat sealed their meat to sell.!

Before Morgans cut my chops they gave me a visual of how thick a cm would look.  I didn’t have to imagine it.  And if I’d wanted I could have ordered it by £’s rather than weights or portions.  The next customer did and they didn’t flinch.

It was quite exhilarating.  I bought a very large free range chicken that looked so much better than any of the free range ones I’d seen wrapping in plastic in the supermarket; pork steaks and beef mince.

I had the same concerns with buying fruit and veg from a green grocer or market stall.  Yet the end of my tether had been reached.

Check this out – all from the local market in The Groe.  OK I ended up with more potaotes than i intended because I was embarrassed to change my mind about the new potatoes.  My problem not theirs, they could not have been nicer.  They even carried it all to my car,

I put in a Tescos on-line shop earlier this week.  I always request no carrier bags and then the order arrives and all the fruit and veg not already sealed in shrink wrapping (bloody hell, my cucumber does not need a condom!) arrives in a single use plastic bag, even more environmentally unfriendly than the forsaken carrier bag (at least those I can reuse a couple of times before they die).  Against each product I wrote a note, please do not put these in a single use plastic bag.  Yet when it arrived the pineapples, bananas, and everything else were in these horrible little plastic jackets.  I was cross and just about to remove them and return the bags with the driver, when I thought to myself ‘hell no’ and returned all the fruit and veg to them for a refund.You should all try it, its empowering.  Corporations will only change practices when their pocket is effected.  They can then pretend their being ecologically moralistic but they won’t ever do it if it doesn’t affect their bottom line.

I asked for no bags…I plan to peel my mango and pineapple, don’t know how you eat yours.  The carrier contains a free range chicken, already sat on a hard plastic trail and heavily sealed in strong plastic casing – it went back too

This was what I put on Facebook and Twitter…. still awaiting a response

I always order ‘no bags’. Yet when the order arrives everything is in separate little single use plastic bags – worse than carriers because they have no other use.
So on this order against every item of fruit and veg I put a note “DO NOT PUT IN A PLASTIC BAG”. Yet 80% of my fruit and veg did (picture). The poor delivery man said “ITS THE LAW” and “NOTHING IS ALLOWED TO TOUCH THE TRAY”
I don’t eat the outside of a pineapple in the same way i don’t eat the carton holding my yoghurt , yet the pineapples etc were in a bag.
The chicken which is on a plastic tray and wrapped then in firm plastic was also encased in an addition layer of a single use bag!
All these items have been returned to your store for a refund. I WILL NOT BE SHOPPING FOR FRUIT AND VEG WITH YOU AGAIN. Tomorrow I will go to the market.
By the way my leeks and my avocado managed to arrive without bags so well done that picker (or maybe you need to sack them, after all they BROKE THE LAW!!!!!!
#saynotosingleuseplastic #itsnotthelaw #bemoreecofriendly#youllloosecustomers #thisisthetipoftheiceberg
Theer picker appears to have ‘broken the law”, three leeks and 1 avocado without plastic bags! Someone needs sacking for this abomination!

People (on the whole) are getting more and more angry and frustrated about more and more things.  This is bourne from powerlessness and a feeling of being ignored.  Declaring a climate crisis and doing something about it are too different things.  Take our governments , they declare a climate emergency because they feel it will gain them votes at the elections, yet continue to invest billions in fossil fuels because it’s these industries that fund their existence… follow the trail of greed.

Now I know that for many people it’s a matter of cost or time, I’m not trying to be sanctimonious. But for lots of us most things are a matter of ease and habt, but what I’m saying is, I thought this would be hard , and it wasn’t it was easy.  More fun even.  And a little exhilerating.  I felt like I was making a point and it was heard.  I’msimply suggesting if we all changed one thing, what a difference it would make.  The power of group action at a manageable level.

People are becoming increasingly fed up with the lip service they are being faced with.  All talk no action.

However we all have small ways we can make our voices heard.  Not shopping where they won’t implement change is an easy example.  And not only does it mean the supermarkets will begin to feel the pressure, it will give a resurgence to our high streets.  Local people, local products, local businesses.  That’s helping keep the economic benefit within our community /country; AND it’s reducing the carbon footprint of products.  If you shop in your local butcher you beef/lamb chicken is more likely to have come from a local farm rather than be imported using subsidies from Europe, New Zealand etc,; and, maybe, if more of us bought our fruit and veg from a green-grocer, we would get more locally grown, seasonally relevent fruit and veg with better taste….. Have any of you ever eaten Spanish strawberries in March? They’re fucking tasteless and they’ve travelled thousands of miles in refrigerated containers wrapped in plastic packaging before persuading you to part with your pound coins in order to eat a bowl of disappointment!

*** I will end with a chuckle, the market stall was fantastic, but I asked for loose peppers as they only had them plastic wrapped in threes. He saw no irony in offering to take them out of the bag and dispose of the plastic for me and allow me to buy one.  I nearly accepted too!

And who knows maybe they will start seperating them in future so I don’t know they were plastic bagged when bought wholesale.  I bought my loose red peppers in Co-op, Builth Wells.  Yet they have no right to be sanctimonious , other than the peppers there was not a loose apple, banana, brocolli or popato in sight.  We can only do what we can do.  One small change per household will add up to a shit storm of change and a massive impact for a great cause.  Don’t do everything, do what you can.  One less plastic bag at a time X  Power to the People <3


(1) Comment

  1. This is my first time visit at here and i am really pleassant to read all at one place.

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