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Thread: Idea for supermarkets to help reduce plastic?

  1. #1
    Not Quite a Noobie
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    Idea for supermarkets to help reduce plastic?

    I was looking sadly at the bag of rubbish in my van, surprised at how much we're still accumulating and started thinking to myself that I wish there was a way to just take a container to supermarkets and have it filled up instead of having to buy a new bottle/jar, etc.

    So then I wondered - why can't supermarkets have a space where you take your empty plastic/glass container or whatever and you just refill your olive oil/veg oil/sunflower oil from a little tap? It's something they could maybe have by the "deli" section. It would be great to have this option for people who buy containers/bottles of water as well, although I'm not sure if supermarkets would claim that this wasn't possible due to "health & safety" reasons of having to keep the water sealed in individual containers? It could maybe also extend to vinegars, cordials/squash.

    Additionally, there's not reason why grains couldn't also be bought without the packaging and just weighed into small bags, say (a bit like you do on the fruit/veg section). The weigh bags could be hessian and reusable.

    Supermarkets are probably a long way off the latter and I guess a lot people in this day and age are all about convenience so they want to get in, get their shopping done quickly and get out, rather than mess about with measurements and remembering to bring your container, and then there's people who just shop online anyway.

    But what do you think? Would you be happy to take refillable containers to supermarkets? If anyone was going to take it up, I'm imagine Waitrose would be the most likely candidate but then maybe others would follow suit.
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  2. #2
    We used to have a similar shop around here in the 80s, though they used a little plastic bag to put your different bits in. It was lovely to be able to choose your own ingredients for things like muesli, etc.
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  3. #3
    Heavenly Creature
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    It is a good idea, but I doubt the supermarkets would take it up.
    This would mostly be because some customers would make a lot of mess, leave unpaid measured food behind (waste) and health and safety.
    I stopped buying bottled water years ago because drinkable water comes out of the tap in the UK. It was also due to the waste, but mostly cost.

  4. #4
    Really, it should be possible to buy most things that way. Shampoo, washing up liquid; the possibilities are endless.
    I'd be very interested, because the cost would hopefully be cheaper.

  5. #5
    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Not sure how viable that idea would be because people will inevitably make a mess,take the piss by taking more than theyve paid for and imagi.e the queues waiting to fill stuff.Bad enough going to supermarkets as it is.
    I quite like the norwegian (i think) scheme where you get credits from the store toward your next shop for returning recyclable containers to the store.
    Bit like the deposits they used to have on soft drinks bottles,there was an incentive to take them back to get your deposit back.
    Far too much waste these days,I agree.
    Last edited by NomadicRT; 13-07--2017 at 12:29 AM.
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...
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  6. #6

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  7. #7
    Heavenly Creature
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    The only real way to cut down on plastic packaging, in supermarkets and anywhere else, is to minimise its use in manufacturing and most kinds of goods packaging, food or otherwise.
    Its called legislation, and while some people may think its a bit big brother, there ain't no other way that packaging, a very profitable industry, is going to change anytime soon.
    Yeah, we all try and do our bit, but the vast majority aren't at all bothered, they got more important and pressing things to think about, like who's doing who in the soap operas...
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  8. #8
    Batshit Crazy. groove's Avatar
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    stop buying pre-packed and buy loose? and *yay* if Waitrose do it, cos then i would be able to afford to shop at Waitrose.....NOT!

    lots of places can manage it for loose mushrooms in paper bags, why not everything else?

  9. #9
    Heavenly Creature
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    All supermarkets sell loose veg. They offer plastic bags for them, but you can reuse them.

  10. #10
    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Well,in the old days lol..we used to buy everything loose.It was wrapped in paper bags or brown paper or strong paper sacks and you took it home in proper reuseable whicker shopping bags,or bags your mum had made out of old material.
    Milk and drinks came in bottles that were recycled.
    There was actually very little packaging waste except a load of brown paper(or white if it was from the fish shop or the butcher) and it all got reused for various things,if it was clean it was kept for jobs round the house or stuffed in our clothes in winter to keep us warm .If it was dirty it got screwed up to light the fire with.
    Then suddenly retailers and manufacturers wanted everyone to buy everything in pretty boxes,cartons,plastic bags and plastic bottles,blister packs and polystyrene... and the rest as they say is history.
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...
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