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  Reply # 2074304 16-Aug-2018 09:05
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Just wash your produce carefully if it has touched a supermarket trolley as they carry quite a bacterial and viral payload - either from their users coughing and sneezing on them, to handling them with unwashed hands, to placing they leaky-nappy clad babies in them.

 

 


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  Reply # 2074310 16-Aug-2018 09:13
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MikeAqua:

 

None I have seen really analysed the impacts of plastics that end up in the environment.  For example if a disposable supermarket bag ends up in the ocean what happens vs durable plastic bag vs a hemp bag vs a cotton bag vs a hessian bag.  It's a difficult topic to analyse, but it's the impact that most interests me. 

 

Where I landed as explained in another post is that I have almost eliminated shopping bags altogether.

 

 

Yeah I'm getting toward a similar mindset. The airport countdown in chc in particular is a good case study. I can sit there eating lunch in the sun on any day and see a rental van/car turn up with a bunch of tourists make an immediate b-line to supermarket and fill a trolley. Only to not understand the lack of bags, or get the cheap ones and dispose of as soon as its unloaded into the car/motorhome fridge.

 

Along with all the see through packaging of the goods just purchased. Yesterday one of the red rubbish bins was fill to overflowing - at the top, plastic sushi trays.


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  Reply # 2074312 16-Aug-2018 09:21
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Yeah, it's individual product packaging like sushi trays, bags of apples etc that annoy me the most.  I'm not sure how bad polystyrene is for the environment but I hate that stuff, So bulky and incompressible, Not recyclable. Easily substituted by egg carton style packaging that is recycled paper. 


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  Reply # 2074332 16-Aug-2018 09:42
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MikeAqua:

 

The supermarkets I shop at have paper bags.  They worked just fine in the 1970s.  Most fruit and veges don't need a plastic bag at all.  With a little common sense and care, they can just go straight in the trolley or basket until the check out.  After checkout is another issue, but at least the bag within a bag has been avoided.

 

Pre-packaged meat and poultry, I really don't see a practical alternative for.

 

 

It goes without saying, that moisture is the enemy of paper. In the 1970's how many items were "damp" in your grocery shop, vs today? The variety of food today is incomparable to that of the 1970's.

 

This Government did what was trendy in the hope of a few votes and to distract from the real issues, rather than think through whether they were actually helping achieve the ultimate goal.


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  Reply # 2074352 16-Aug-2018 10:17
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Oblivian:

 

Not sure if it's been mentioned. But on an environmental level paper bags take 4x the amount of water and expelled contaminant energy to produce.

And from memory (article on tv a few weeks back) 8x the cost.

They compared paper and those $1 jute ones to plastics. And you had to use most things 12-14 reuse times to 1 to break even on production value/costs.

Edit.. found
https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/not-all-plastic-evil-bags-may-more-environmentally-friendly-than-some-alternatives

https://i.stuff.co.nz/business/96890019/are-cotton-or-paper-bags-really-better-than-plastic

 

 

The first part of the eco mantra is 'reduce' - so for best effect on the planet, we should avoid single use anything no matter what it is made of.

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 2074355 16-Aug-2018 10:18
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kryptonjohn:

 

Just wash your produce carefully if it has touched a supermarket trolley as they carry quite a bacterial and viral payload - either from their users coughing and sneezing on them, to handling them with unwashed hands, to placing they leaky-nappy clad babies in them.

 

 

I routinely wash all produce before use.  Always have.  Always will.  The trolleys I use are too small for babies and I'm yet to see one in a basket - but then I don't shop at Pak n Save.





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  Reply # 2074431 16-Aug-2018 11:50
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Pumpedd:

MadEngineer: What are paper bags like in practice? I’ve been to
Manila where plastic bags were banned due to causing floods from blocked water ways and drains. Carrying groceries without handles gets boring real quick so say good bye to seeing people lugging their groceries by hand back home for any decent distance/quantity.

Pro-tip - don’t place anything that’s below ambient temperature in paper bags. The condensation will promptly land your loot on the pavement.


What do you think supermarkets packed groceries in 20-30 years ago?


I bought several items from Mitre 10 this week and was told I couldnt have a plastic bag, but I could purchase a paper bag for 20cents. I laughed and left all my goods at the shop and walked out. Is this the best retailers can do? Its all about money for them.

I’m well aware they were used back in the day. I trust that mitre 10 visit was an empowering experience for you.

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  Reply # 2074443 16-Aug-2018 12:17
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MikeAqua:

 

Pre-packaged meat and poultry, I really don't see a practical alternative for.

 

 

Vegetarianism cool

 

Even more so with frozen goods.  Perhaps frozen peas could perhaps be packed in cardboard boxes, but I expect the board would have to be plastic coated - probably making it far worse for recycling than plastic bags, as well as difficult to re-seal when using part of the contents only.  Frozen veges are an extremely good idea from an environmental POV, and usually nutritionally as good as fresh - and often better.

 

 


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  Reply # 2074446 16-Aug-2018 12:31
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Kyanar:

 

Ge0rge:

 

Surely these have to be banned under the new law banning single use plastic bags? They're much less likely to be used a second time, even as a bin liner, they have no handles, and are pitifully small - yet still just as much as an environmental hazard.

 

 

Nope, they're an exemption. There's no practical alternative.

 

 

There is a practical alternative, we've been using it for the past 12 months. You don't need to put fruit and vege into a bag, put it loose into the trolley. We do this for all fruit and vege, even down to smaller items like brussell sprouts and yams. it's dead easy once you get into the swing of it. 


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  Reply # 2074457 16-Aug-2018 12:35
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kryptonjohn:

 

Just wash your produce carefully if it has touched a supermarket trolley as they carry quite a bacterial and viral payload - either from their users coughing and sneezing on them, to handling them with unwashed hands, to placing they leaky-nappy clad babies in them.

 

 

A friend recently said she didn't want to put fruit and vege directly into the trolley as she didn't want it handled by the check out operator. I asked her how many different people did she think had handled her fruit and vege to get it from garden to supermarket isle (something she had never considered!).

 

Is washing all fruit and vege just not plain common sense anyway?


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  Reply # 2074459 16-Aug-2018 12:38
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Does washing (in practice, rinsing) really have any effect on bacteria, apart from perhaps re-hydrating them? Assuming there's microscopic crevices for them to hide in, washing won't remove all of them and a handful left will soon multiply in to millions?


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  Reply # 2074473 16-Aug-2018 13:27
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debo:

 

There are degradable plastic bag options available.  

 

 

Degradable plastic bags are even worse for the environment, since they can only be broken down in specialised facilities that even Australia has vanishingly few of so don't get your hopes up for New Zealand, and they degrade into micro-plastics, which have an as yet unknown effect on marine life and the food chain.

 

kryptonjohn:

 

Don't know what a paper bag costs, but HDPE supermarket bags are a fraction of a cent. 

 

Bunnings have racks of cardboard boxes behind the checkouts you can help yourself to.

 

 

Those boxes are a great option. Already produced out of necessity as they're necessary for logistics, and can carry a large number of items. Downside, only really usable if you are returning home by car or by taxi. Very awkward to carry more than one box by bus or train unless travelling as a group (which, stupidly, doesn't give you any sort of discount on public transport, meaning that if five people travel by bus or train it is usually more expensive than booking a taxi).

 

MikeAqua:

 

The supermarkets I shop at have paper bags.  They worked just fine in the 1970s.  Most fruit and veges don't need a plastic bag at all.  With a little common sense and care, they can just go straight in the trolley or basket until the check out.  After checkout is another issue, but at least the bag within a bag has been avoided.

 

Pre-packaged meat and poultry, I really don't see a practical alternative for.

 

 

Paper bags are only viable for "not wet/damp things" (unless they're wax coated, which is absolutely terrible - worse for the environment than the plastic bag). Not having a bag at all works for many types of produce however - especially produce which already has natural protection (any fruits, for example). Not the greatest for things that tend to disintegrate all over your other products such as cabbages or lettuce though.


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  Reply # 2074474 16-Aug-2018 13:29
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kryptonjohn:

 

Does washing (in practice, rinsing) really have any effect on bacteria, apart from perhaps re-hydrating them? Assuming there's microscopic crevices for them to hide in, washing won't remove all of them and a handful left will soon multiply in to millions?

 

 

If you're cooking it, it should be unnecessary to rinse anyway as the cooking process is usually hot enough to kill off any harmful bacteria. If it isn't, no amount of rinsing is going to help anyway.


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  Reply # 2074483 16-Aug-2018 13:37
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Kyanar:

 

kryptonjohn:

 

Does washing (in practice, rinsing) really have any effect on bacteria, apart from perhaps re-hydrating them? Assuming there's microscopic crevices for them to hide in, washing won't remove all of them and a handful left will soon multiply in to millions?

 

 

If you're cooking it, it should be unnecessary to rinse anyway as the cooking process is usually hot enough to kill off any harmful bacteria. If it isn't, no amount of rinsing is going to help anyway.

 

 

That's what I was afraid of - I actually like uncooked veges and happily snack on crunchy raw asparagus, brussel sprouts, carrots, broccoli etc. 


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  Reply # 2074652 16-Aug-2018 22:33
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Kyanar:

 

debo:

 

There are degradable plastic bag options available.  

 

 

Degradable plastic bags are even worse for the environment, since they can only be broken down in specialised facilities that even Australia has vanishingly few of so don't get your hopes up for New Zealand, and they degrade into micro-plastics, which have an as yet unknown effect on marine life and the food chain.

 

 

Not true.  Degradable plastic degrades (the clue is in its name).  It does not produce micro plastics.  It does not need specialised facilities and will break down in the oceans. In landfill it doesn't degrade but I think that is an environmental advantage.  It contains catalysts that break down the plastic at a molecular level. The long-chained polymers themselves break down into smaller monomers, with can be consumed by bacteria. It can be designed at manufacture to last a set amount of time before the degradation begins.  It is also compatible with the current machinery for making bags, bottles, trays etc so its use can be implemented immediately.  It is still made out of oil and there is little additional environmental cost in its production, unlike bio-plastics made from plant sources.

 

You and others are getting confused with standard plastic.  It breaks down by mechanical fragmentation into micro plastic.

 

Does anyone know how long micro plastics last in the oceans? I would have thought that they would have a huge surface area so would oxidise reasonably quickly.

 

 


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