Thinking outside the box

I don't have much in the way of rubbish.

I put the bins out around once a month or less.  The plastic and paper goes in the recycling, perishables [except meat] go on the compost heap and the rest goes into the black bin.

However the vast majority of the stuff that goes out is packaging of one sort or another.  What the fuck is it with packaging?  Everything has to come wrapped in plastic these days which not only adds to the bin contents but leads to endless frustration in trying to open things.

They insist on selling me stuff like cheese, rashers or sausages which comes in "resealable" plastic packs.  I don't think I have come across one yet that does actually reseal.  First I have to find the "peel back here" tab which involves trying to separate two bits of plastic which refuse to be parted.  If I do manage to separate them I then peel back the top layer only for the fucking thing to rip thereby destroying the point of the exercise.  Then if I do manage to keep the two bits intact they don't stick back together again which destroys the whole concept.

And don't start me on about those hard plastic cases!  You buy something simple like a light-bulb or a computer mouse and the fucking thing glares at you from behind an impenetrable seal of hard plastic which is impossible to remove.  The only way to open them is with a sharp pair of scissors, so you nip down to the hardware only to find that the scissors are contained in an equally impenetrable seal of hard plastic that you can't open without a pair of scissors.  Catch 22.

Who is the bright spark who decided to redesign lids on jars?  They used to come with nice vertical sides to the lid, but some twat thought it would be a brilliant idea to slant them.  Now if you remove the lid from a jar and place it on a flat surface, it's nearly impossible to pick the fucking thing up again because of its daft beveled edge.  I spend my time picking the fucking things off the floor after they have skithered away from my attempts to pick 'em up.  I have taken to carrying a magnet around to save my sanity.

Plastic two-litre milk bottles are another blight on my life.  They come with a screw top that is attached to a ring by a series of little bits of plastic.  The idea [I presume] is that the act of unscrewing the lid breaks the little plastic bits thereby releasing the lid.  Some fucking hope!  In the end I usually have to attack them with a sharp knife which usually slips.  If ever you see pink milk in this house its probably just the blood causing the discolouration.

As for those fucking things they sell tablets in… you'd need blood pressure tablets after trying to remove a pill from one of their precious strips.  The only problem is that the blood pressure pills come in equally daft strips.  What the fuck happened to little bottles?

It was never like this in the Good Old Days.

Nearly everything either came loose or wrapped in paper.  If it was liquid it came in a bottle.  Bottles were returned and the paper burned resulting in little or no waste.

And they talk about progress?

 

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Comments

Thinking outside the box — 10 Comments

  1. I used to return bundles of paper egg trays (half a dozen graded free range eggs) to a co-op vegetable shop; but one day they politely refused saying that a new EEC directive (remember that? now called EU)  stated that for health reasons such paper trays may not be reused. So I either light coal fires with the trays + empty cornflakes cartons and other stuff. Anything I can't burn in the fireplace goes into the blue wheelie bin outside the kitchen door, and I pay for its fortnightly collection by weight. I'm not allowed to have a bonfire in the back garden. If I belonged to a gun club I could recycle empty milk cartons by lining them up for shooting practice. Two months ago I used all election literature that came through the letter box as kindling for lighting winter fires – and nobody I voted for got elected, although my final preference was included in the final count. We've got to do something good for the environment in our own way without profiting the geezers.

    • The world has gone truly insane.  On the one hand we have Big Business firing more and more useless packaging at us and on the other we have the bureaucrats telling us we are creating too much rubbish and then charging us for its disposal.

      If I could get buy stuff without the packaging and persuade the dog to eat leftovers [she's a damn fussy eater] I'd have little or no waste at all.

  2. Use little shops, Gramps.  Our local greengrocer provides all those lovely old-fashioned brown paper bags for you to put however much stuff in you like (none of those nasty plastic ones on a roll that won’t tear off so you end up pulling out about six of the darned things and then having to tear them apart using both hands), and the deli counter at my “little general store” that I pass on my way to work cuts off only as much cheese (or ham or whatever) as you want and wraps in in greaseproof paper.  Our butcher does, admittedly, use plastic bags, but at least the stuff isn’t pre-packed and you can choose to have as much or as little as you like of whatever.  The milkman – surely the first and best example of the whole re-cycling ethos – keeps me topped up with (full-strength, full-fat) milk and takes all the rubbish away with him in the form of rinsed-out bottles (and, of course, he offers credit, too, as I don’t pay him until after I’ve had the deliveries for a few weeks). And the best thing is that in each case I can park my car, literally, feet from the front door of each shop, rather than facing a mile-long hike with a trolley with a dodgy wheel full of massively heavy carrier bags full of more stuff that you actually either want or need.  Oh, and contrary to popular rumour, they are cheaper, too.  Not if you supermarket-shop only for the really cheap “economy” ranges (most of which get slung away in my house, because they’re so tasteless and vile, so I’ve stopped even trying them), but certainly for good-quality stuff the price is comparable to big supermarket prices and, if you’re a real regular you’ll often get bits and pieces “chucked in” at a special knock-down price or, better still, free.  But then you know that, now, don’t you, Gramps …. 😉

    • One of the pleasures of country life is wandering around the village popping into the shops for a purchase and a chat.  I get a my meat, fruit and veg there.  The butcher's shop also has a nice little delicatessen corner with all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff.  The meat tends to come pre-packed but I don't mind that too much [the quality of the meat is really excellent, and local].  The greengrocer's also sources everything locally where possible.  What I tend to do is to place an order every ten days or so with the big supermarket for bulk stuff which is then delivered [and unpacked by the delivery bloke onto the kitchen table – no bags].  We used to get a grocery delivery every week, but lately it is extending out to ten days or even two weeks.

      Apart from anything else, shopping in the village is very social, the dog loves coming with me [she just lies on the pavement outside the shop] and it's grand and handy for dropping into the coffee shop for a mug and a chat.

  3. Can't agree more Granddad. It makes me want to burn stuff. But I would say that, wouldn't I? I am an incendiary, after all; arsonist is such an inflammatory term. Try it, it helps.

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