To what extent do you think about the environment when making food choices? Do you tend to recycle packaging or food waste? If not, why not? What would encourage you do to more?
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It would be great if London had a city-wide composting scheme. Currently, only some boroughs are doing it...
It can also be challenging to buy fresh fruit and veg from the supermarkets without plastic packaging - anything you could do?
Indeed, the supermarkets are the culprits in plastic waste generation and should be confronted by the Mayor.
Completly agree, the Mayor should be putting pressure on London Councils to have the same recycling schemes for the entire area.
And also pressure should be put on supermarkets to reduce or eliminate packaging.
Get your fruit and vegetables from stalls: they wrap them in paper. And it's much cheaper than from the supermarket.
yes - composting would be ideal. It has been reported that my borough only recycles 22% of what is put in the recycle bins. When I start to think of what I alone throw out - it boggles. I would like to feel more certain that my efforts are worth while.
Entirely agree - it would be great to have a city-wide composting scheme and put pressure on supermarkets to reduce uncesseary plastic packaging.
Ideally, every Londoner would have access to composting - whether it is their own garden (in which case garden owners need to be educated about the benefits of composting), or a communal facility accessible for both waste composting and compost collection (by whoever needs it).
The inevitable problem is that many people live in big blocks of flats with communal gardens. A little compost would be useful, but soon the rotting food will be piling up on an industrial scale. With no farmland for miles, there's nothing to do with that much compost. Pretty soon there will be mountains of slurry with flies and rats.
Nobody will bother to walk their food waste down to the local tip, especially as it is neither particularly local, nor open at a convenient time.
Therefore, for people in flats, we're stuck with local councils offering food waste collection. It's a good scheme, but only so long as the council does not build itself a mountain of compost with nothing to do with it. We don't have THAT MUCH open space, in comparison to the number of people generating waste.
One potential solution is to sell our compost to countries in deserts and semi-deserts, where people are struggling to grow their food due to poor soil. There would be a big risk that those countries would turn into dumping grounds for poorly-sorted, stinking slurry. However, we currently sell our ordinary rubbish to Scandinavia for them to burn to generate heat, so there is a potential for trade in waste.
The environment should be the ONLY consideration.
the rest will follow once this is achieved
The biggest problem with unhealthy eating is that the manufactures put FAR TOO MUCH sugar in cakes etc.
the do this for commercial reasons (sugar is extremely cheap). And enforced food safety legalisation.
extrreme sugar is lethal to bacteria.
Stale food is harmless to you (your taste buds would know if you haven’t been contaminated with excess all you r life). Even if a few defectives die from food poisoning, this would still be magnitudes less then the numbers that die from excess sugar: diabetes and cancer.
l have to eat cakes every day. ALL of it is horribly too sweet.
At home my cook bakes with fruit juice. It is still too sweet for me. I once baked a rhubarb pie w/o any sweet additions (and the rhubarb was at the sour end of it scale). It was divine for me.
i don’t cook ever. You don’t change gearboxes ever
Why do you HAVE TO eat cakes, Joe? Can't you opt for a soup or a salad or a bread roll?
Extreme stress & deprivation.
Hardly any two councils collect recycling the same way in London, a uniformed approach would be less confusing and why there are no restrictions for what food can be sold in, why not only recycleable materials otherwise premiums are attatached and the shops have to provide unwrapping facilities so folk can take less packaging home. Packaged veg and fruit irks me. I end up with one or two rotten items if I have to buy a pack of tomatoes or apples.
Maybe that's the real reason for all this plastic packaging. Maybe they want to sell us a few soggy fruits without us noticing!
All unsustainable packaging should be banned from takeaways and fast food outlets. Most litter on the streets comes from these sources. If London set the example other cities would follow suit, very soon all packaging would be biodegradable/sustainable.
Totally agree on this one. All non-recycable packaging should be banned.
Also, supermarket chains should be held responsible for wrapping anything in non-recyclable packaging. That will hopefully force them to look at reducing their plastic packaging.
Good idea, but I'd also like to see people learn to use a bin, with a bit of enforcement here and there. I don't like wading through bottles, cans and sandwich wrappers every time I walk down the road.
I think we need more litter collection. I would pick up more bottles if I could take them to a shop and earn a few pence for doing it. Unfortunately, litter-strewn streets are becoming the norm, both in London and all over the world. People will continue this trend unless we demonstrate that litter does not go on the wall, in the gutter, out of the window or into the nearest bush.
ALL of my recyclable packaging is sorted into the appropriate bins and collected by the council. ALL of my food waste (of which there is precious little) is put into the appropriate bin for collection. I used to compost this myself but it took ages to breakdown so now the council collect it and turn it into compost for the garden which is free for residents to collect themselves. When shopping I ALWAYS take bags with me. Yes sometimes I will buy bagged fruit and veg because there is no choice but I never put loose vegetables, fruits etc into those little seperate clear bags. Completely uneccessary!! Sometimes I shun vegetables and fruits which have travelled half way around the world but I dont do that often enough I admit.
I think I am doing my bit for the environment.
Thanks everyone for your views. A few of you have mentioned food packaging.
What do you do with leftover food? Or packaging from food you've eaten?
We keep leftover food - eat it the next day, cook with it to make it into something new (e.g. too many chips from the chipper made into a faux spanish-style omelette!) or freeze it. There should be no excuse for throwing perfectly edible food away.
Leftover food goes into the food waste that is collected by the council weekly. The packaging gets sorted by recyclable and non-recyclable, and put into the bins provided by council.
I have tried home-composting - putting some food waste, grass and plants after tidying the garden however it takes ages to compost.
We have no scope for home composting, so use food waste recycling where possible. We also recycle all the food packaging we can, but still end up throwing away a lot of single use wrappers and plastic films. We do try and avoid wrappers where possible for things like vegetables, but its not easy. Market stalls are great and all, but there are none that are convenient to get to near us, especially when you've worked all day and are looking to buy your food on the way home of an evening. Supermarkets and convenience stores both need to take responsibility and ditch the plastic.
I don't throw away perfectly edible food. The small amount of mouldy fruit I have to get rid of goes into my normal household bin. There is no food waste collection in my area. The communal garden has no compost heap and it gets plenty of rotting leaves already. Where I do my volunteer gardening, we have a compost heap, but it is HUGE already - and nearly two miles from my home.
I put my polythene packaging in the plastic bag recycling bins at the supermarkets.
I enjoy buying only loose fruit and vegetables at the supermarket. I put them on the checkout counter and let the person on the till sort them out, weigh them etc. I usually get a rather grouchy grunt or two from them but I just clearly state that the day they start to provide recycleable packaging, I will use it. Until then - no packaging! If everybody did the same we would soon solve the packaging problem.
I amke absolutely sure that only thing that can be recycled are put into the recycling bin, so no polythene at all
Yes - including buying as little food in non-recyclable packaging as possible (no packaging ideally) to buying in-season produce as much as possible, buying minimum food that has clearly been imported (e.g. avocados, mangos). I recycle as much packaging as possible though something needs to be done about all the 'crispy' plastic that is non-recyclable - can we reduce this as the first step to reducing plastic packaging?
Food composting absolutely needs to be available everywhere, including businesses and recycling education at all levels (starting from children) needs to happen!
Polystyrene should also be banned, plain and simple.
Sell more things loose - and encourage customers to bring their own containers for items which maybe harder to manage loose.
I try to buy products with the least amount of packaging, where possible. The problem is supermarkets and shops are too quick to wrap everything in plastic packaging.
I do not compost food wast, although I would like to. At Present my local authority provides a small kitchen caddy for food waste, the difficulty is that it has to be emptied into a very large wheely bin for collection. As there are only two of us the amount of food waste is small and sits in the bottom of the wheely bin where it sticks, rots, and smells.
Last summer for some reason my bin wasn't emptied and I ended up with a bin full of putrid waste, maggots and flies. I had to scrape and clean the bin in the street.
Until there is a more suitable solution, with small compostable bags for the kitchen caddy, I will not risk that horrible mess and smell again.
My local council provides a 7lt caddy for the kitchen and a larger one 25lt? for holding prior to disposal. They also advise the use of compostable bags in the caddy, note these can be bought quite cheaply in bulk on the internet. On collection day the larger one is taken by the crew and emptied into a wheeled container about 1.5cubic metres in size that is then emptied into the lorry when full.
When this scheme was introduced I must admit that I was worried that the bins would stink, but that doesn't seem to happen.
You can buy biodegradable waste sacks of various sizes in various high street shops, including Waitrose.
Can you rinse out the food bins under the garden tap after the council empties them? (Maybe with a bit of bleach and a scrubbing-brush.)
We have a hot composter bin in our boiler room. We mix all kitchen waste as vegetarians. Mixed with 50:50 ratio with wood chip given free by tree surgeons. Produces compost in 4 months. No smells. Fully sealed container about size of a wheelie bin. Use compost in garden and on our allotment where we produce 40% of our veggies.
Packaging - put into appropriate box for council collection
Bones etc into council food waste box
Vegatable peelings etc into compost
Spare cooked meat into cat.
Councils don't recycle polythene food wrappers (and nor does the cat).
We need to ask supermarkets to provide us with the facility to take off the excees cardboard before we leave! And why are fish packaged in such a way that you need the strongest scissors to get into them? I really struggle as I have arthritis. Often it is the food producers who are at fault and who we need to find a way to change their habits.
We struggle with the amount of cardboard we get from Amazon - whilst we recycle it, the bin is often over-flowing.
I agree all London boro's should provide a food recycling/composting facility for flats.
And what about community wormeries? We have just bought one - with a grant - for our local community garden. We hope to produce good compost and fertiliser but it can't cope with all the waste - but we are trying and composting leaves etc. But why couldn't we acquire one free from our Council or Veolia? Would save them work and cash...
Don't use Amazon. They use too much packaging, they congest and pollute our roads, and they treat their staff badly.
You need to work WITH supermarkets, etc., not just berate them - the plastic packaging is there because we all demanded food that would keep fresh longer.
For recycling, a common London-wide policy would make things easier, both for the individual and the recycling facilities.
The biggest problem is for large blocks of flats, especially the older (mansion) blocks that simply do not have the space for multiple recycling bins.
For many, it is simply a matter of education, but there are those of us who are trying our best with the tools we have.
Don't leave the fruit and veggies in the plastic wrap. They go wet and soggy in there and rot quickly. Don't use paper bags either, unless you are trying to ripen something. Just put the fruit/veg on/in plastic and glass boxes and plates, or put them on a cool surface, e.g. on some kitchen tiles on the work surface.
We are trying to recycle as much as possible. Unfortunately there are a lot of materials which cannot be recycled yet. Also in Fulham there is no option for a green bin. Reducing waste would be best achieved if people would have to pay per bag of waste!
More recyclable packaning needed in the shops and as little as possiblen packaging. packaging is too big in most cases. Packaging is mixed and renderd unrecyclable (paper and plastic that can't be separated, tapes around paper..). Make a law to change that. Paper over plastic. Soutwark has got very good recylcing scheme, expand to all of uk. Recycling education and training from nursery school. More specific recycling bins around public areas. Awards for best recyclers.
I always think about the environment when buying food, and recycle wherever possible.
I do my main grocery shopping online and it's nigh on impossible to get vegetables in anything other than plastic wrapping.
All plastic wrapping should be scrapped, especially as we now know there are viable alternatives.
We live in a larger modern tower in Tower Hamlets and the council doesn't seem to provide composting options for us. So the organic waste just goes into the normal waste - which really hurts. I think it should be mandatory for councils to provide organic waste collection.
A lot but choice is limited. We have a greengrocer who sells mainly loose fruit in brown paper bags and veg, but is not open outside working hours. We have our own compost (smelly but rewarding) and the Council collect bones, cooked and baked food etc weekly.
Could not supermarkets (who are open when we want to shop) use cardboard packaging and brown bags ? Is there no clear packaging that is recycable ?
How about reusable or swappable packaging ? It seems absurd to throw away egg containers, and why not have similar for other loose fruit. Plastic is acceptable when it is reused and eventually recyclable,
We recycle as much as we can. However, the packaging of ALL food stuffs needs to be reduced to the absolute minimum. What is wrong with selling foodstuff loose like we used to do many years ago? There was very little food poisoning and the like then. There is no justification for excessive wrapping of these products.
There needs to be a push to ensure that healthy food is more affordable for people. Also plastic packaging should be removed - most of it, especially the film, cannot be recycled.
We recycle as much as possible along with compost. In Southwark we have a great recycle centre for all the big or large items.
Napkins could do with a change. Currently a napkin comes in two half's. We cut in half and one use half each. Don't need more. If simple and has little impact except on ribs night.
Encourage more bars and restaurants to stop serving with plastic straws.
I bought some cotton napkins in Woolworths years ago and I'm still using them (washing them in the washing machine, of course).
Food choices are made on what i like, want and can afford. My council has a 5 bin collection which is difficult to manage but has to be done. Then the council where i work has a 3 bin collection - both are operated by Veolia - and i wonder if all the waste goes to the same operational plant for processing. Recycle packaging and food waste at home and work would be 'yes' but i am not sure if Veolia resort the waste at the processing plant.