-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Soft Plastic Recycling

Month 7 – July it’s Soft Plastic


As when I decided to go Vegan back in 2013, I started with the food, gradually as I did the next shop I swapped over the milk and butter and cheese, we obviously stopped eating or buying any meat but finding substitutes didn’t happen over night.

My husband Peter then joined me a few months later as he felt better not eating meat every day, every meal as it was me shopping & cooking the food we all ate.

Our kids were young at the time 3, 5 & 6 so swapping the younger 2 over wasn’t a big deal as they were at the stage of trying different food out all the time anyway. We also found after eating dairy they would throw up later in the day, so it was easier to just look for the V vegan sign on food than to keep checking for non dairy products for them.

Clayton, being Autistic had (and still has) a self limiting diet of dry brown or beige finger foods only so he wasn’t included in our switch, getting him to just eat was a struggle in its self.

Anyway…..my point is, nothing happens over night, going Vegan we started with food, it then progressed onto products, clothing, shoes, coats, linen, furniture, now we chose items without a second thought.

This progressed onto what was happening on our land and led us to permaculture, principles & design. Permaculture principle No6 is: Produce No Waste. This is the overall aim.

Just making 1 swap starts to make a difference to our planet. What could you do today?

This is a bit different this “swap” this is more of a location swap of soft plastics to be recycled

This months blog I have concentrated on what is still going out of the house. Soft plastics was something I looked into last year and it became apparent there was not much going on.

There was very few places doing this, there was locations dotted here and there to collect certain items like crisp packets or coffee pods etc… but nowhere I could just bag up everything weekly and drop it off.

Until……my local Tesco started displaying a huge bin at the front of their store saying drop your soft plastics off here.

So this is what I started doing

How Did We Go About This?

I started by putting a clear bag near our recycling boxes, we already had a box where we collected bread bags to drop off but I thought I was being careful at shopping but realised there is so much soft plastic materials that I just cannot avoid…..well for now.

Our recycling area in our home

23 August 2021

Tesco completes roll out of soft plastic collection points and expects to collect and recycle 1000 tonnes of plastic a year

Soft plastics are not commonly collected by local councils for recycling and often thrown away

From today, shoppers at all of Tesco’s large stores will be able to bring back any soft plastic packaging for recycling. The supermarket expects to collect more than 1000 tonnes a year and will recycle as much of this material as possible back into products and packaging sold in Tesco stores.

The national roll-out was brought forward by Tesco in response to overwhelming customer support during the 171-store trial earlier this year in Wales and the South West, where close to a tonne of soft plastic was collected a day. In the trial stores, 85% of customers said it helped them to recycle more than they would have done otherwise. Customers also reported that they like the convenience of being able to combine recycling with their shopping.

The collection points will allow customers to return all their previously unrecycled soft plastic, such as the clear film used to wrap meat and fish, crisp packets, fruit and veg bags and sweet wrappers, rather than having to throw it away. Most councils don’t collect soft plastic from homes for recycling so it typically goes to waste.

Taken from: Tesco Soft Plastic Rollout
Our local store

What Do We Put In Here?

Here’s what normally goes in here during a week

  • Crisp bags
  • Larger multipack crisp bags
  • Top film off the vegan ham/chicken
  • Chocolate wrappers
  • Sweet wrappers
  • Microwave rice bags
  • Biscuit wrappers
  • Pasta bags
  • Rice bags
  • Salad bags
  • Ice lolly wrappers
  • Ground coffee bags
  • Insides of cereal boxes
  • Frozen vegan mince/quorn
  • Bread/roll bags
  • Pouches from various
  • Multi can wrappers
Crisp bags & multipack bags
Pouches from various items
Sweet wrappers, multipack & insides
Frozen soft packaging & microwave rice multipack bags
Bread/roll bags & pasta packaging
Films off vegan ham/chicken & ice lolly wrappers
Multipack can wrappers

What Do We Do With It When It’s Full?

Once the bag is full which is usually every 10days or so, so 3 times a month I take these full bags to Tesco and just pop it in their allocated soft plastic trolly bins.

Our local store

Why Do We Do This?

Firstly this has reduced our waste coming from our house hugely. Our general waste bin is barley 1/4 full for collection after 3 weeks. We could easily not put out this bin for collection for 3mths and I bet if we looked into whatever is in this last 1/4 of a bin we could completely remove this.

That is next on my list!

We already compost any food waste (which is very little as we are good at using up left overs the next day.

We recycle all cardboard waste into the garden either sheet mulch or shredded into the soil

We have spent this year removing as much as we can from our plastic waste, check out Jan-June blog posts if you missed them 🙂

-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Deodorant
-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Hair Care (Part 1)
-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Cleaning Products
-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Toothpaste
-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Hair Care (Part 2)
-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Kitchen Items

Putting Your Soft Plastics To Good Use

There is still so much recycling being done that STILL does not get recycled. I like reading what Tesco is actually doing with the softs plastics they receive.

I believe they HAVE TO be part of the solution. Ideally they will be zero soft plastics/plastics at some point, but in the mean time they need to be responsible for what they are selling. Not just Tesco (its just our local) all stores selling products need to have the global responsibility for what they are selling and the harm they are contributing to the planet

Article on making soft plastic into Bin Liners: Tesco and Berry strike soft plastics recycling deal

Tesco & Berry Partners

Article on making soft plastic: Heinz partners with Tesco on soft plastics recycling drive

Heinz & Tesco Partners

Making The Swap

There is only 1 reason this month to make some swaps

1. The whole reason is to stop soft plastic waste just going STRAIGHT to land fill. If there is a way to support and stop this all together, we are here for that!

🌳Permaculture Principle No6 – Produce No Waste

🌱Vegan Living- To Do No Harm

👣🌎Small steps is better than none at all! What small change could you make this year? Could you look into your kitchen items too? What changes could you make to reduce your plastic waste?

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Published by buildingafoodforestscotland

Building a Food Forest -Scotland Edwardian 1903 Home & Garden in Scotland Planting With Permaculture Design

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