Thursday, 7 May 2015

Guest Post: Ditch the Bin

Today's guest post comes from Joe, one of our volunteers at TRJFPB.  He wonders - how hard can it be to ditch your bin?

A friend of mine recently introduced me to a film that has had a really big effect on me (after trying to convince me to watch it for over a year), called The Clean Bin Project.  Many of you may have heard about this, or seen it, but for those of you who have not, the basic premise is this: try to live waste free for a year.  The idea itself is easy enough to get on board with, but actually putting it into practice is almost impossible in today’s world.  I won’t go into too much detail about the film, but if you have not seen it, it’s worth making an effort to seek it out, I guarantee it will change the way you shop (in a good way).

The Clean Bin Project. Source 

So why am I writing about this on a blog about waste food?  Well, let me explain…

Firstly, as The Real Junk Food Project Brighton highlight on a weekly basis, a lot of perfectly good food is thrown away by supermarkets every day and ends up in landfill.  Furthermore, we as consumers end up throwing food away because we either buy too much or simply forget about it.  One of the major problems associated with this (apart from the fact that we are throwing away food when many people don’t have access to food or simply can’t afford it) is that food rotting away in landfill produces methane, and methane is a more harmful gas in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, over 20 times more harmful in fact.  More methane means more global warming.  You can help to combat this by composting at home, finding a local community composting site, or pestering your local council to collect food waste.


Secondly, the packaging surrounding our food is a huge source of waste.  I have been trying to buy all of my food without packaging for the last few weeks and it is almost impossible, even at my local greengrocer’s.  When I’m paying for food, the staff seem baffled that I am planning on taking my tomatoes home loose, and often try to covertly stick them into a plastic bag when I’m fumbling around for money.  I guess the issue isn’t so much the packaging, it is more a case of what it’s packaged in.  Plastic.  Plastic everywhere.  Grapes in a plastic tray wrapped in plastic.  Cucumbers vacuum sealed in plastic.  The list is endless, but often the only thing you can do is take your food out and throw the packaging away.  When I looked into it the majority of food packaging isn’t even recyclable (at least in my area).  So what can you do?  Well, you can become an annoying customer like me, and wherever possible buy items loose and unpackaged, or take your own bags.  You’ll get strange looks at the till (and possibly a reputation), but you will significantly cut down the amount of plastic that is being sent to landfill.  Furthermore, there are often local recycling plants which do in fact recycle a lot of these plastics, so save them up and make a trip once you have a few bags full.


And lastly, the reason I wanted to mention The Clean Project is because they have made a new film called Just Eat It, all about food waste (see, I said it would be relevant).  Currently it is only screening in Canada, but should arrive on our shores very soon, and I hope it is as effective as their previous project at convincing people that something needs to change.

Don't forget our very own Jess Hooper, a.k.a The Rubbish Junkie, blogs about living a waste free existence regularly here! You can also sign up to a great zero waste workshop on our crowdfunder page here

1 comment:

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