I have been known to get emotional over wasted food before (read more here), but this time I managed to keep it together 🙂 This milk got spilled on day 12 of Plastic Free July and is part of a longer milk and now bread related saga… I started buying milk in glass bottles from the milkman for several reasons:
- It is plastic free
- It is organic and unhomogenized
- It is British (so localish i.e. not imported from overseas)
- It is not from a supermarket.
However it has not been a smooth ride so far – I had a few issues with getting the order right to begin with (my fault not theirs) and although that is sorted now it is all still fairly new and my son was excited about finding the milk on the doorstep. He wanted to carry it to the kitchen (he’s 6 and very enthusiastic) and did a great job until putting it down where he managed to miss the worktop entirely. As you can see the milk bottle lost the fight with the floor 🙂
So there is obviously the downside that milk in glass bottles is breakable and with two small kids I do need to supervise them closely when they decide that they absolutely must be the ones to get it out of the fridge and pour it on their cereal!
My other concern about the milk is whether or not the farmers are getting paid fairly for it. I am buying the milk from Milk and More which is part of Dairy Crest. I read an article in the Guardian here from 2012 which seems to imply Dairy Crest are not paying farmers a fair amount but it is a bit vague and perhaps out of date, so I gave Milk and More a call to try and find out what percentage of the cost of the milk goes to the farmers. They have been very evasive about it so far and each person I speak to has told me they don’t know at which point I ask to be put through to someone who does. I’m still waiting for them to get back to me with an answer…
I don’t know of any viable alternative plastic free, supermarket free, organic, unhomogenized milk options locally so I am going to stick with this for now until / unless a better solution comes along.
Bread and milk have been a bit of a bone of contention in my house. Ever since I stopped shopping in supermarkets I stopped buying enough bread and milk to last us all week. Instead I bought them little and often, but sometimes (ok very frequently) I entirely run out of bread and milk because I haven’t had a chance to pop to the corner shop to get more. So I decided to give ordering bread with the milk a go so that we stop regularly running out of bread.
I naively didn’t expect that it would be left outside my door in a plastic bag though. Yes the bread comes in a plastic bag (I am allowing this exception as I rarely eat it – it is for my family and student), but it doesn’t need to come in another plastic bag! When I spoke to them about the milk I asked them not to put the bread in a plastic bag next time so hopefully I won’t have this problem again!
So what happened throughout the rest of days 8 to 13?
I did have a couple of successful mostly plastic free days during this period (only I was plastic free, not the rest of my family). I found it easier to be more plastic free the days that I wasn’t at home.
I bought plastic free cucumbers from the Food Market in Lewes (find out more about the market here) and my mum kindly gave me a cucumber she had grown herself, so I can happily eat cucumbers again! I also made plastic free chips. I was making baked potatoes anyway and decided to make the chips in the overn at the same time to freeze for later use. I open froze them on the non-stick oven sheets pictured (to make sure they didn’t stick together while freezing) and then put them old ice cream tubs to store longer term.
Single use plastic I used/ chucked/ recycled specifically for me during days 8 to 13:
- I used and bought mayonnaise (plastic in the lid)
- Stickers on fruit
- Plastic in butter wrapper and on the label.
- Tomato puree (plastic lid)
- Olive oil (plastic pourer/ in the lid)
- Tahini (plastic in lid)
- Coconut oil (plastic in lid)
- Toilet paper packaging
- Vinegar for washing – comes in a plastic bottle with a plastic lid
- I recycled a plastic bottle which contained a water purifier for our fish tank – I do absolutely nothing for our fish tank – my husband does all the hard work, but I do get to enjoy looking at it, so I guess this is shared plastic…
I also went to a wedding, ate food and drank lots of wine which would have had plastic packaging, but I didn’t see it – so it doesn’t count 🙂
Single use plastic I used/ chucked / recycled that wasn’t for me during days 8 to 13:
- Cucumber wrappers
- Kids stickers and sticker sheet backing
- Random plastic bubble wrap off the kitchen floor
- Packaging associated with kids toy (was given to my son a while ago for his birthday but we only just got round to opening it)
- Bin full of sweet wrappers (not mine:) )
- Pen went in the bin as it was broken by my son
- Bread bags
- Marmite jar lid
- My parents left behind some plastic rubbish which they thought we would be able to recycle but we couldn’t (they very kindly babysat for us while we were at the wedding).
- Fizzy drinks cans – apparently they are plastic lined (read more here)
- Tea bags – many tea bags contain plastic – read more here.
- Rice bag – I buy rice in bulk 5kg bags, but I decant the rice a bit at a time into a smaller container. I finished decanting the rice on day 13 and had two bags – an outer very strong looking bag and an inner flimsy plastic bag to deal with. I keep the outer bags but the thin bag went in the recycling.
That’s it for now, but I will be back with more plastic related posts soon!!!
Other UK bloggers going plastic free can be found writing at Westywrites, Plastic is Rubbish, Westwick Dreaming, Second-hand tales, Sustainable Witney, My Zero Waste, Plastic-Free July in Croydon and Mommy Emu – take a look and why not join us on our plastic free journey!