The Anonymous Widower

Re-Use Rather Than Re-Cycle

I remember in the 1970s or 1980s hearing the Research Director of Pilkington on Radio 4, giving a defence of using glass as packaging.

He argued that one of the problems with glass coffee jars and sauce bottles was that after use and a quick wash, they looked like they could be refilled with new product. In those days, coffee jars were often used for the storage of small items like screws, clips and dry foods like rice and pasta.

Now we’ll buy a designer jars, like these from IKEA.

In those days a lot of milk and beer bottles were returned to the dairy or brewery, but are we going to send empty beer bottles back to some of the exotic places from where they came.

The Research Director argued, that the best thing to do with glass bottles was to smash them up and re-use for other purposes.

One of the uses he discussed was to use broken glass as an aggregate substitute in road construction. This does happen and I’ve read of by-passes being constructed on a bed of broken glass and seen broken glass being used under paving slabs.

Glass came from materials dug out of the ground and it’s going back under.

He also said that to create new bottles was cheaper, than reusing bottles, unless there was a direct link, like milk rounds from a dairy.

This morning on wake Wake Up To Money, they were discussing cutting the use of plastics. So I sent in the following text.

I wonder if black-plastic ready-meal trays could be replaced with a light-weight glass variant. Along with bottles, they would just be washed and crushed after use for aggregate. Several roads have been built on broken bottles.

It was read out.

Consider.

  • We drink a lot of beer that comes in glass bottles.  One of my beer bottles from Marks and Spencer weughs 280 grams.
  • They would be oven-proof, microwave-safe and freezable.
  • You could eat your meal out of the dish!
  • They might save on washing-up time.
  • They could go in the dry-recycling after a quick rinse.

But above all, they may have other uses.

I also suspect that the other pakaging could be similar.

Could a piece of plastic be glued to the tray in the same way?

My idea is probably total rubbish!

But some of Marks and Spencer’s pies already come in just an aluminium tray and a cardboard box.

They need to be cooked in an oven and are not microwavable.

The pie goes down the gullet and the aluminium tray and the cardboard box, go into the dry recycling.

One thing I will be right about, is to say that there are some clever packaging scientists and designers out there, trying to create a freezable ready-meal, that can be cooked in a microwave, that isn’t protected in anything that can’t go direct in the dry recycling.

 

 

 

April 26, 2018 - Posted by | Food | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Sounds like a good idea, however, I can imagine places banning the use of things in glass containers because of health and safety risks of broken glass. Most head teachers ban glass bottles etc, and I was in the theatre the other evening, and only plastic bottles were allowed in the auditorium.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | April 27, 2018 | Reply


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