Week 20 – Good Old Plastic

We have just had two busy rubbish-free-weeks. Since the rules on what plastic we can recycle have tightened up, we have gone back to making bread and last night we had burritos – with beans we soaked and with tortillas I made from scratch (dry beans, flour etc bought from Bin Inn). If you followed our earlier blogs you’ll know that the tortillas have been a long time coming as I had been previously failing in the rolling out process. Last night’s burritos, while a tasty meal, were still ‘unique’ looking.

I went to the butcher with a container for the first time too. He is a great butcher and uses only brown paper and grease proof paper whenever possible, but for wetter stuff like mince he usually uses a plastic bag (which we had been washing, drying and recycling). So this time I asked him to put it in the container. He didn’t seem to find it odd, which was a relief because it felt odd! When I got home and went to freeze the mince I suddenly wasn’t sure how to do it. I usually divide it up into smaller amounts and put it in seperate plastic bags. Plastic keeps it fresh and doesn’t wick out the moisture when it defrosts. As it was I just used plastic in the end as we still have so much of it in the house. I thought – what on earth did people do before plastic? – and then I thought what a non-premise that is. So much has changed, its just not comparable. Before plastic there was a general store at the end of my street and I would have bought meat fresh everyday. The older people in our street also tell me that a mobile fish monger (just like Mr Whippy) used to come around every night too. Who would need plastic then? Apparently you just used to go out there with a dinner plate and he would put it straight on.

This week’s rubbish includes three small plastic bags from takeaway souvalaki. I guess we weren’t vigilant enough, we saw him initially wrap it in foil and we saw him put it in a brown paper bag and hand it to us… but we missed that in between those two layers he’d put a little plastic bag to stop moisture seeping. Incidentally the plastic bag was really needed, so I don’t know what that says. Maybe we should have eaten it there or taken our own plastic bag? Next time we can use the bags from this time.

We also acquired about a teaspoon full of clipped wire ends when an electrician from Meridian came to fit us with one of those new automatic meter reading devices. When I saw the scale of what he was doing it did cross my mind that we would be left with arm loads of waste but miraculously everything went back together. Next week I think I will continue on the theme of the difficultly of living without plastic because right now I am a bit stuck on how to live without it.

6 thoughts on “Week 20 – Good Old Plastic

  1. This is really brilliant and I really admire your stamina. Wouldn’t it be great if services like mobile fishmongers came back. In my neck of the woods, most people go out to work so I guess they wouldn’t get much business.


  2. Loving the blog… ye are an inspiration! Though I hate to admit that whilst travelling it is soo hard to limit on plastic! Definitely going to try and follow in yer footsteps when we get back to Ireland.


  3. Read about your efforts in a magazine, really enjoying reading how you are going. I always thought we were quite stingy in what we threw out but from reading your updates know we can do better. In the magazine article I read you stated that you had been sent a recipe for soda bread with no yeast, is the recipe available? Good luck with the rest of your rubbish free year.

    Thanks! I will email the recipe to you.


  4. Hi – I was talking to my sister and mentioned that I had found a great recipe for tortillas. She said that she had read on here that you were having trouble making them so if you would like the recipe let me know 🙂
    They came out perfectly first time making them so it must be easy!!!

    We would love the recipe! We tried cooking them again the other night and they were better but still doughy. You could post it here, or email rubbishfreeyear@gmail.com. Thanks


  5. I’m looking forward to your ruminations about plastic. It does seem to be rather indispensable at this point of our economy. We recently threw a Solstice Party that generated very little rubbish, yet entertained perhaps 80 people. We used cornstarch plastic cups and biodegradable plates, a keg instead of six-packs, and encouraged folks to bring things from their own kitchens. If you have a moment, check out the pics I posted on my blog, you’ll see we had a hugely fun time!


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