I started a blog on shopping without plastic full of hope but there is very little change ‘on the shelf’ by the major supermarkets. There was the major announcement by Iceland Foods which sent all the other supermarkets into a fenzy of meetings and public relations statements to calm down the public freny which they see as maybe temporary.
If anything, as far as I can see, the public frenzy is only just starting with many people voting with their feet and seeking alternative suppliers such as local greengrocers, milk in bottles, bakers, butchers and fishmongers. Some of the town markets and farm shops have see an increase in enquires about plastic free produce and are sourcing paper bags for the customers.
If I call into Morrisons, Sainsbury and Asda etc., it is only for basic essentials now. I try to get supplies from anywhere I can and it is a measure of the current situation that I was excited about the purchase of a loaf of bread from a the Post Office Shop and Cafe in Beetham, near Milnthorpe. It looked tasty and was supplied in a paper bag. It tastes fantastic.
I may have to make a round trip to Beetham every week (near Milnthorpe) but as I have mentioned this on the ‘Plastic Free Cumbria’ Facebook, here, and on Twitter. I may have to phone and reserve a loaf.
Plastic Free Cumbria has over 6000 followers in only a couple of weeks.
I am still using the loose leaf tea and buying fruit and vegetables from Morecambe Market – as I mentioned its open Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, I did buy a loaf of bread from the Single Step Wholefood Co-operative on Penny St, Lancaster a week ago too. Otherwise. Using up most things I can in the cupboard and freezer and will replace with the best alternatives I can find. At least Aldi do some frozen food in cardboard boxes without inner plastic. Some Kievs and fish.
Will have to visit Iceland Foods though and see if anything has changed. The problem is that unless there is a highly visible sticker – how are we to know if the whole product is plastic free?
The supermarkets are bogged down in supplier contracts etc. Just imagine a farm with an expensive machine costing £100,000 or more with the pickers sat along a boom on either side, all the mechanism is geared to popping stuff in plastic bags, either there or in a farm building, so it will take time to make changes.
In this article there is a mention of the South Lakeland District Council
LIB DEM MOTION TO BE PUT TO SOUTH LAKELAND DISTRICT COUNCIL
This council will become a single use plastic free council by phasing out the use of single use plastic products such as bottles, cups, cutlery and drinking straws in council activities, where it is reasonable to do so, by the end of 2018 and to encourage our facilities’ users local businesses and other local public agencies do the same by championing alternatives, such as reusable water bottles.
Lib Dem South Lakeland will also:
Be promoting the refill scheme, whereby retail businesses agree to free water refills. The app that allows businesses to sign up is really easy.
Have a free water fountain in our reception area and look to have them all around the area.
Investigate having locally branded water containers for sale.
There was also a council meeting in Lancaster in Sep 2017 about plastic related matters.
Link above refers to Item 56 – in the Lancaster City Council Meeting 27th September.
So things are moving slowly at the moment but the change is starting in the schools all over the UK with the @SAScampaigns schools pack etc and individual children such as @LilysplasticPickup publicising the need for change. Many towns, cities, counties and even Scotland are banning plastic straws and cotton buds and once they have done that = the rest of single use plastic will follow.
Possibly the only concern that could slow the ‘will of the people’ could be how quickly manufacturers can supply alternatives.
The bread was really good