I love this idea. I am so neurotic about the idea of stuff going to landfill that my house is mainly filled with polythene, packing noodles and old bits of plastic that I cannot bear to send to the dump and do not trust my council to recycle properly.
TerraCycle recycle everything. All bits of weird plastic, cigarettes (!), styrofoam shite, old broken toys! They send you a box, called a “Zero Waste Box” that you fill with the particular offending stuff and then when it’s full they will come and collect it. They take it to their plant and do crazy things with it like turn it into watering cans and stuff.
I have got myself a box for terrible plastic, (aforementioned packing noodles and polythene), and one for a general living room clear-out, which involves old plastic broken toys, old shitty paintbrushes and paint palettes, crappy free toys on the front of magazines, all that shite that those bloody LOL Surprise slags come wrapped in. You can even get a mixed one for just the nightmare jumble of shite, (although there are restrictions on exactly what you can toss), that you cannot bear to send to landfill.
It’s not cheap. Both boxes, with a 20% discount, cost me £250. Giles did his “WHAT?!?” scared-woodland-animal face at me when I told him.
I mean, it’s sort of insane to have to cough up this much just to do a good thing, but there we are. As far as I’m concerned I can’t think of a single thing more worth spending money on.
Alexandra Minton says
Brilliant! Definitely getting this x
Great shout Esther – personally I think that collectively we need to put pressure on our local authorities to provide the needed recycling infrastructure even if purely in a collection basis – ie they collect that stuff and Terra pick it up in bulk- as a planet we can’t rely on a handful of people to donthebright thing ( plenty can’t afford that either) we need to do this at scale or the impact will be pointless…. plastics are a part of our lives and whilst we are all Re-examining of usage, they are not going away anytime soon- we need to reduce, reuse and recycle but to do the latter properly it needs buy in from Govt and infrastructure- for example there is a big push on bioplastics right now – plastic made from plants/starches etc – so the key benefit is that it is sustainabley sourced as opposed to coming from oil – but is still plastic and crucially it cannot be recycled alongside ‘normal’ plastic so needs its own recycle channel – which we don’t have right now AND it looks and feels like normal plastic so people will recycle it in the same bin which then screws all that recycling up completely and it will then end up in landfill instead…… the whole thing is way more complicated than : plastic is bad paper/cotton is good- we’ve seen that recently with a look at how much water and energy is needed to make a pit of jeans or a t-shirt!! Sorry to rant but this issue to SO important to get right and there is so much Mis-information out there!!!
Have you read Bea Johnson’s “Zero Waste Home”? Seriously, it will make you want to change EVERYTHING about your life, what you use, how you shop etc. Brilliant. In the meantime, whilst I inch my way towards this sort of lifestyle, i’ll be checking these boxes out. Thank you! 👍😊💚
Wow, that’s food for thought. I guess if the cost of proper disposal was built into the buying price we might all think twice.
But as one of my very good friends often says of the economy ‘buy more shit, or we’re all fucked’
Hayley C says
“LOL Surprise slags” made me snort out loud. The plastic they generate should be illegal. Thanks for sharing about the box. Will check it out.
Fucking hate them. Kitty has 2 and is allowed no more
Good God. I have just watched an ‘unboxing video’ for a Big Surprise Ball and am a) revolted by the whole thing and b) so relieved these were not around when I was young as I would have luuuurved them.
Not trusting the council to recycle it properly … so true.
Am reasonably cross with Barclays who have sent me a whole new plastic pin code thingy when all I needed was 4 new batteries; surely each branch could just keep a box of batteries to hand out??
New batteries for those are fairly standard and can be picked up easily for a couple of quid from any shop that sells a half decent selection of batteries.
Jesus. Sustainability is a luxury.
I know it’s insane
I just wish that being environmentally friendly wasn’t so bloody expensive!! I literally can not afford this at the moment, admittedly on maternity pay but would still struggle when working. Everything from fashion to homewares to recycling costs so much more when trying to be environmentally friendly. We all need to change our mindset and be a less throwaway society. The recent Stacey Dooley and the drowning in plastic documentaries have been a real eye opener that the problem is so much bigger than I realised and filling my council recycling bin isn’t going to cut it anymore
Great idea Im going to check these boxes out but agree with everyone the government should be throwing these at everyone not making people pay for them makes me FUME. Im also going to check out that book thanks Louise! I watched that documentary last weekend Drowning in Plastic on BBC i player. So shocking and upsetting those poor little birds choking to death and not nearly enough is being done about this and we are all complicit. My house is full of shit and stuff too Im not actually sure we NEED any of it. I try to cut down on buying shit and stuff but I have three teenagers and it just seems to appear and accumulate. Dont get me started on packaging in supermarkets and amazon deliveries? Its like the world is mad? Have to ask what are the surprise slags? Im a bit out of date but made me laugh. My daughters are teenagers now but they used to be obsessed with these disgusting plastic slaggy dolls called little brats so Im guessing its something similar!?
From the Guardian:
So, for example, when British people are asked in surveys about the actions they can take to be more responsible about global warming, domestic recycling always comes top. Reducing air travel comes far down the list. But the global warming impact of our Mediterranean holidays is hundreds of times more than the toll from not recycling. We see the plastics going into the dustbin every week, but pollutants from jet engines are hidden. So people who carefully sort their recycling every week continue to fly. And businesses that are trying to be ethical devote more effort to reducing packaging than getting their employees to travel less.
Some food for thought! I found it helpful.
Re landfill guilt, I think the overwhelming majority of London waste doesn’t actually go to landfill anyway and it’s taken to a special plant and burned for energy instead (although I am sure there are plenty of issues with that too).
Thanks Alice. I am totally hysterical about waste these days, I ought to do some actual research and inform myself rather than just screaming that we’re all doomed…
Have you guys come across a firm called Recono (https://www.recono.me/)? They pick up and recycle old electronics (and I think other things like fridges etc) – what I liked about them is a) they are free, as Stacey and Diana above say, recycling should not be a luxury and £250 sounds absolutely insane to me, I have to admit, and also they guarantee complete data wiping and security, which I don’t think I would necessarily trust councils to actually make the effort to do this and I do rather worry about old emails/log-in details flying about!
This is fantastic! Thank you. What a great idea, I will get onto them I have so many shit old electronics hanging about x
Nothing more satisfying than getting rid of a whole load of that old crap! X