Recycling and Waste
Some recycling links
Milk dispensers and plastic bottles
We are fortunate in having on the Black Isle one of the few dairy farms remaining in the north of Scotland, and that they sell pasteurised but not homogenised milk, yoghurt and ice cream from an 'honesty shed' on the farm. However, the fact that the milk is sold in non-returnable plastic bottles is a definite downside from an environmental standpoint. At least one person has told me - and there are probably others - that she will not buy milk from Black Isle Dairy for that reason.
Attempts have been made, so far unsuccessfully, to persuade Black Isle Dairy to change to selling their milk either in returnable glass bottles or by means of a dispensing machine which would enable customers to provide and re-use their own bottles.
A little research has revealed that there is a dairy farm in Aberdeenshire (when it started the only one in Scotland), which does sell milk from a dispensing machine, which also takes payment by cash or card. Although they claim to be interested in sustainability and make a point of selling glass bottles, the farmers have failed to take the opportunity of being even more environmentally friendly by requiring or encouraging customers to provide and re-use their own bottles, and provide plastic bottles free.
Press & Journal article on Forest Farm, Kinellan.
From an interview with Angus Willis of Forest Farm
"Sustainability is one of the fundamentals for us. We’re trying to produce our milk as sustainably as possible. All the cows are grass-fed for 22 hours a day and we’ve got quite a low intensity system. We’ve got glass bottles, too, which can be bought at the farm, those are re-usable and we’ve seen a lot of our customers coming back and re-filling the same bottle with fresh milk."
"There’s a lot of plastic being saved. Some of the families are saying they’ve not used much plastic since having changed to using our glass bottles. It’s been really well received. There’s a big movement away from plastic and the glass bottles look nice too so it’s been good. People use them for all sorts of things, sometimes even using them for things like vases, so it’s been great."
There is a farm in Ayrshire which seems to place more emphasis on using glass bottles, which they sell for £2. They sell their milk at £1.50 a litre, which is considerably more than the £1.20 charged by Black Isle Dairy and Forest Farm at Kinellan.
Let's hope that Black Isle Dairy may be persuaded to move towards installing a milk dispenser, and away from single-use plastic bottles.
Alternative Food Packaging project in North Berwick
In response to an item in the last newsletter, Heather Mack has drawn attention to a project being run by Scottish environmental charity Fidra
"Fidra is a Scottish environmental charity talking about how to make food packaging more environmentally friendly, in particular ways to make this happen in their local town of North Berwick"
The Restart Project
Mike Thomas of Transition Network has drawn our attention to this organisation, which offers assistance to Transition and other community groups in setting up their own repair and reuse activities. Restart says
"Get support to run a Restart Repair Event
"We’re The Restart Project. Like you, we know the pace of our consumption has real social and environmental costs. So, we’re building a network of people who want to do something about the throwaway culture around us by helping people repair stuff.
"We help local groups like yours run community events where people teach each other how to repair their broken stuff – to help them value and use it for longer. And we use the data and stories we collect to help demand better, more sustainable products for all.
"There are people in your community who already know how to fix things – and others who want to learn. By bringing them together in a local repair event, you can have an immediate impact on waste in your area, as well as reaching out to local people who might not have come across your Transition group before.
. . . . . .
"The Restart Project already helps a handful of Transition groups run their own repair events and we can help you too! Whether you’d like to organise your own Repair Café or electronics-focused Restart Party, we can help you get the ball rolling with how-to guides, event-management tools and personalised advice."
Although this is not obvious from the information in this email, a visit to the Restart website at https://therestartproject.org/ makes it clear that their main focus is on the rather specialised area of repairs to electronic devices and small electrical appliances.
TBI has from time to time considered running a more general repair and reuse project. If you would be interested in helping to run such a project, or have broken stuff you would like help with repairing, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Zero Waste Stores - Plastic Free Coastlines
TBI Director Vanessa Halhead has discovered some interesting videos about Zero Waste Stores (and various other topics), and wonders whether the idea offers any scope for a TBI project.
At the Transition Scotland gathering in Dunbar last weekend Martin Sherring came across a campaign started by 'Surfers against Sewage' in Cornwall, seeking support from community leaders to "come forward and unite communities to create Plastic Free Coastlines". Something here for the Black Isle, perhaps?
Unwrapped - A European report on plastic food packaging
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