Single-use bags of all materials are bad for the environment.
Far better to buy a strong bag for life, made of a robust material, which can be recycled at the end of its life. Bear in mind the stronger the bag the more resources have to be used to make it and transport it. You have to re-use a tough bag anything between 10 and 500 times. So no environmental benefit if they are all sitting in your cupboard! If you do have a stash of carrier bags the Foodbank and some charity shops may need them, but check first!
Our General Manager boasts about his 15 year old bag for life, purchased in Ireland, from Dunnes, the department store that featured in Father Ted. It has been re-used around 400 times, only to be outdone by his Waitrose jute bag, over 1,000 times!
Glass is heavy and energy intensive to make, aluminium is mined from tropical forests, paper is made up of chemicals and again uses energy to make it and transport it. Steel incidentally is the most recycled material in the world. Recycling does use less materials than making things from new resources, however it is better not to produce rubbish in the first place.
Drink tap water and never use bottled water except in a real emergency. (Leaving tap water in the fridge overnight, and then put in posh bottle, that will generally trick the in-house water aficionado!).
Plastic like all of the above has its negative side, if like any resource, it’s not used wisely and disposed of irresponsibly. All domestic plastic packaging, (with the exception of, cling film and polystyrene) can be recycled on the Isle of Wight, via the green wheelie bins. All cans, glass bottles and tetra packs can also be placed in the green wheelie bins. Paper and card goes in the black container inside the green bin.
A list of where to donate other recyclables can be found here;
The Footprint Trust ask our supporters to donate postage stamps and currency to help us raise funds.
Tupperware and other quality brands of re-usable containers last for years. Large coffee jars are ideal for this job. Sealed containers help preserve food and prevent contamination, and thus reduce food waste.
So-called biodegradable plastic can contaminate the recycling process, and can release microplastics into the environment. Other biodegradable packaging has to be specially processed in industrial scale composting plants. If placed in a landfill site it may give off methane, a greenhouse gas, and toxic leachate liquid.
The less we all use of any of the above, the better.