Cling film – or plastic wrap, as it is known elsewhere in the world – is a thin plastic film which clings to itself or other smooth surfaces, meaning it can handily cover food without the need for any extra devices or fasteners. Cling film can be made from a variety of plastics, however the original and most popular material is polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Not only is there talk of this plastic being harmful to human health, it is also a single-use product, meaning it is ending up in landfill and in our oceans where it is causing harm to the environment and nature.
What is the threat to human health?
Plastic is made up of chemicals, and there has long been concern surrounding the leaching of these chemicals into the natural environment, and transference of them into our food and drink. This worry has led to the recent popularity of ‘BPA-free’ plastics for food and drink storage. However, the main problem with cling film occurs when it is heated up:
As time goes on, there is increasing chatter about, and hope placed upon, biodegradable plastics. In theory, they sound like a good idea on comparison to ‘regular’ plastics; a strong material which is used for its purpose, and then naturally breaks down over time, leaving no trace – or so we assume. These newer plastics aren’t quite the angelic material they claim to be though, as you’ll discover in this article.
What are Biodegradable Plastics?
Biodegradable plastics are the supposedly more eco-friendly versions of regular plastics, which are celebrated for the speed in which they are able to biodegrade. However, depending on what they are made from, these plastics require specific environmental factors to trigger the degradation process – for example: a heat of 50C, plenty of oxygen, or exposure to water.
It is a common misbelief that home freezers are in our kitchens only to store ready meals, oven chips, ice creams and ice cubes. In fact, if you check inside the majority of British freezers, I imagine that list won’t be far wrong. However, what most people don’t realise is that the majority of foods can be frozen. Not only is this convenient, time-saving and money-saving for us, but it also means we can freeze foods before they go off, therefore dramatically cutting our chances of producing food waste.
Armed with the information below, you can now happily save money by purchasing food whilst it’s on offer (hello, buy one get five free offers!), safe in the knowledge that you’re getting a great offer, and you won’t be wasting a scrap of it.
So, let’s get started on cutting food waste. What can be frozen?
When thinking about a Zero Waste lifestyle, we often consider what we do inside our homes but we should also consider our outdoor space, and what we can do in our garden to reduce or eliminate waste too. Below we have compiled a list of tips for cultivating a Zero Waste green space you and your family can enjoy for a lifetime.
With so much talk of the negative impacts of plastic on the environment these days, it’s easy to forget about paper; another product the world produces and wastes far too much of. Of course, paper is readily and easily recycled in the UK these days, but recycling should be the last option in every household, as it uses energy which otherwise wouldn’t be required. In this article I hope to inspire you with ideas for paper reuse, and get you to think about every piece of paper or card that enters your house. If you’d like some ideas for reducing your paper waste, so you have less to reuse, this article should help.
So, how can I reuse paper or card?
There are so many options available to you before you fling your paper straight in to your recycling bin. Give one a go today!
This competition is now closed. The winner was Julie Parkinson of West Yorkshire. Thank you to all who entered.
Lunch can be a tough thing to turn ‘zero waste’ – especially if you work – as it often means grabbing something quick from a local shop, which will inevitably involve a mass of ‘single-use’ plastic packaging, which is destined for the bin.
A great solution to this problem is to pack your own lunch at home, however even that can end up producing a lot of waste – think sandwich bags, napkins, foil, and cling film. What you really need is a set of reusable lunch storage items, which you can then use over and over again, safe in the knowledge that you are being eco-friendly, as well as saving yourself money.
Win a Zero Waste lunch kit!
Here at Forge Recycling we have a fantastic lunch kit to give away, which will not only help you achieve a zero waste lunch, but is also made from non-plastic materials, so there will be no toxins leeching into your food or drink either! This brilliant kit consists of a stainless steel two-tier lunchbox, which contains a small extra container, a glass water bottle, and a bamboo spork. This fabulous prize is worth £50.
Father’s Day – just like Christmas, Birthdays, and many other annual celebrations – can be an occasion of excesses, where the issue of waste easily gets forgotten by most. But this need not be the case. This year, why not treat your Dad whilst also treating the environment, by not creating any waste? It’s a lot easier than you’d think. Take a look at our seven ideas below for inspiration. What would your Dad like most on Father’s Day? The chance to spend some quality time with his child or children is probably high on the list.
Take Dad to a festival
As Father’s Day falls in June, there will no doubt be a selection of summer festivals on in your local area. Festivals are increasingly popular, and now, aside from the classic music festival, there are festivals for food, beer, cider, wine, gin, specialist diets, film, board games, sports, and much more. There’s bound to be one your Dad would love.
Researchers based at Bradford Royal Infirmary are currently developing a wound dressing which utilises the thin, fibrous membrane found inside hen’s eggshells.
The researchers are from NIHR WoundTec HTC at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and are working in unison with a Norwegian company, Biovotecat, at the BRI site.
What are the benefits?
This groundbreaking research could be set to save the NHS millions of pounds, as wound management currently costs the NHS an eye-watering £5 billion per year. With 2.2 million wounds to tend per year, it is clear to see that the current cost of wound management is high. So, the eggshells cost less to buy than traditional wound dressings, but also the healing and anti-inflammatory properties of the eggshell membranes mean that wounds will heal faster and so treatment time will be significantly shorter too.
Eggs are a popular food worldwide, but we only eat the inside part. So, that leaves the outer shell for us to deal with. In the past – or maybe even now, still – you’ll have just thrown it into the trash without a second thought. However, there are much better things you could be doing with them, which are far friendlier for the Earth than adding to our landfill. Take a look at our ideas below for some ‘eggspiration’!
Use in compost & organic gardening
Eggshells can be composted, so there’s no excuse to ever throw your discarded shells into the rubbish bin! They can also be used alone, crushed, in organic gardening as a slug and snail repellent. Whilst keeping pests at bay, the broken shell will also be adding nutrients to your soil, unlike nasty, unnatural chemical slug pellets.
You may not even realise it, but the chances are your home is full of disposable items that you use (and bin) on a daily basis. These things add up quickly, and create a huge impact on landfill, when they could be avoided altogether. So, what are these items, and how can you live without them? We have done the research for you, so have a read and see what changes you could make in your household.
Also known as kitchen roll or kitchen towel, this ‘throwaway’ stuff is used in abundance in most households in the UK. According to research, households worldwide get through 6.5 million tonnes of kitchen paper annually. Whilst some will be composted or recycled, the majority will end up on landfill.