Posts Tagged ‘waste’

Zero waste supermarket

June 9, 2014

I find annoying, when I go into a supermarket and find everything is shrink-wrapped and overpackaged. One of the worst offenders is M&S who then have the gall to charge 5p for a plastic bag. They claim this goes to environmental charities. It does not, only 1p, and I doubt even that. It is greenwash by M&S, and an opportunity to rip off gullible customers.

And where fruit and vegetable are sold loose, as for example Waitrose or Lidl, why am I forced to use plastic bags, why not paper (which I can recycle on the compost heap)?

One reason why I buy off markets, it is seasonal, cheaper and fresher, and I can pop in a paper bag. At least I could. I notice some stalls are switching to plastic, which is a retrograde step.

Americans produce an unbelievable three pounds of trash every day. I do not produce that in a week, probably not in a month.

It is therefore good news, that a German supermarket Original Unvertpackt has moved to zero waste. The launch of the supermarket has been through crowd funding.

Customers are invited to bring in their own bags and bottles.

I remember Neals Yard Wholefoods, in an old warehouse in Neals Yard in Covent Garden. Everything was in bulk, you shovelled out what you wanted. Freshly ground peanut butter in large jars.

Original Unvertpackt is only a small step in the right direction. We have to recognise an end to growth, an end to the purchasing of worthless stuff, that goes on a one-way trip from mining, sweat production, sitting in the house for six months, then on its way to landfill or recycling.

M&S cynical exercise in greenwash

April 26, 2012
M&S CEO Marc Bolland and Joanna Lumley at The Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, London for the launch of new campaign 'Shwopping'.

M&S CEO Marc Bolland and Joanna Lumley at The Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, London for the launch of new campaign 'Shwopping'.

I listened with growing incredulity to the M&S breathtaking crass hypocrisy and exercise in greenwash on You and Yours BBC Radio 4 this lunchtime.

M&S are shedding crocodile tears at the amount of clothes that are dumped every year in landfill. A billion items of clothing they claim. Their solution is that we take all our unwanted clothes to M&S for recycling, and no doubt replace with new clothes whilst we are there.

Cut out the middle man, take your clothes direct to a charity shop.

Support slow fashion, not fast fast; dress for style, not fashion; buy quality, not rubbish.

Is it necessary to replace what is in a wardrobe every few months with new clothes?

In M&S their food is over-packaged. I suggest we return all our packaging to M&S.

M&S charge 5p for a plastic carrier bag. Read carefully the small print: Only 1p goes to an environmental charity. This a cynical ploy to milk the customer and to distract from their over-packaging.

Why no paper bags in M&S for our loose fruit and vegetables? The bags can then be recycled or composted.

The stuff we buy spends less than six months in our homes before it continues on its one-way linear trip to landfill or incinerator.

- The Story of Stuff

M&S compared the recycling of clothes through their stores with the successful recycling of glass bottles! When was the last time anyone took a glass bottle back? We recycle glass, not bottles!

Yes, we need to reduce our waste and energy consumption. We do so by reducing consumption and increasing recycling, not by taking our unwanted clothes to M&S and whilst we are there replacing old for new.

When you donate to charity shops, choose the smaller charities who do not throw away after a couple of weeks what you have taken the trouble to donate. Avoid Oxfam and British Heart Foundation who rip off customers with the prices they charge. Another reason to avoid Oxfam is that they are the partners in this greenwash scheme with M&S to encourage increased consumption.

Are people really this gullible that they fall for a cynical exercise in greenwash?

Shwoping is a slick marketing campaign to encourage easily led fools to empty their wardrobes and run off down to M&S to buy more clothes. Green it is not.

A green campaign, which shwopping claims to be, would encourage slow fashion, to buy quality, to value our clothes, not throw them away.

Shwoping is not sustainable fashion.

Slow fashion’ was coined by Kate Fletcher. It has evolved from slow food, is part of the slow movement.

- Do we recycle enough of our clothes?
Disposable clothes
Oxfam rips off its customers (yet again)
M&S launches ‘shwopping’ scheme
Joanna Lumley joins M&S to launch shwopping
Joanna Lumley launches Marks & Spencer’s Shwopping campaign

The Story of Electronics

November 11, 2010

The latest film from the Story of Stuff team focuses on consumer electronics and the problems of waste, recycling and toxic components.

Sales of consumer electronics, particularly mobile phones and computers, have soared in the past two decades, with one billion of the former sold in 2007.

Although Europe and the US have set up e-waste recycling systems, much of the e-waste ends up being illegally exported to less industrialised countries, where the laws to protect workers and the environment are inadaquate or not enforced.

As well as giving an overview of the problems, The Story of Electronics also urges major electronics companies to start taking a stronger lead in making longer-lasting, recyclable and toxic-free products.

Filmmaker and activist Emmanuelle Schick told The Ecologist that the industry should be forced to list the ‘ingredients’ of chemicals in its products, just like for food.

‘I think people in general think electronics are pretty harmless, except for the use of mobile phones, so it would be interesting to see how that would affect people’s relationship to electronics.’

Also see

The Story of Cosmetics

The Story of Stuff

The Story of Stuff

October 9, 2010

In the natural world there is no such thing as waste either in time or space. The output of one process is the input to another.

All loops should be closed. We should either use natural materials that can be reused, recycled or composted; or our manmade materials should parallel the natural world and form closed loops. We should have zero waste. All toxic materials should be eliminated.

All trade should be fairtrade.

Also see

The Story of Cosmetics

Lush Cosmetics – Our Environmental Policy

Lush Cosmetics – Our Environmental Policy

October 8, 2010

In the natural world there is no such thing as waste either in time or space. The output of one process is the input to another.

All loops should be closed. We should either use natural materials that can be reused, recycled or composted; or our manmade materials should parallel the natural world and form closed loops. We should have zero waste. All toxic materials should be eliminated.

All trade should be fairtrade.

Also see

The Story of Cosmetics

Lush Supporting Climate Rush in Liverpool St Station

UK can achieve ‘zero waste’ without incineration

The Story of Stuff


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