Wednesday, 26 March 2008


This week the BBC have been broadcasting reports from Midway Island highlighting the problems caused by plastic waste. Apparently every one of the 2 million albatrosses living on the island contains plastic and about one third of the chicks die from plastic mistakenly fed to them by their parents.

Over the last few years I have been trying to reduce, reuse and recycle my waste and, with the help of my local council's recycling scheme, have had success with paper, cardboard, batteries, glass, cans, aluminium foil, organic waste etc but plastics continue to cause me real problems. There is a plastic bottle recycling centre within walking distance but it only accepts certain types of plastic. This leaves me with a a binful of items destined for the dreaded landfill site.

A link from Bean Sprouts led me to The Rubbish Diet which has inspired me to raise my recycling game and tackle my plastic waste problem head on. And the best way to do this is to stop buying plastic. This is not going to be easy, and in some cases, I suspect, impossible. But if I can achieve a significant reduction then I shall have made progress.

So I have today bought what I hope will be my last pot of yogurt and am making my own following Melanie (Bean Sprouts) Rimmer's recipe. I don't have a kitchen thermometer so I have had to guess what 50 degrees feels like. I will find out whether I got it right when I open the thermos flask tomorrow morning!


  1. I saw a TV programme called "Wild Caribbean" (I think?) some time last year - a series about the various islands. One of them concentrated on a tiny uninhabitated(?) island where its beaches had literally become clogged up with plastic waste. I recall the presenter collecting identical plastic objects that had been washed up and simply laying them all out in regimented lines - a very powerful (and sad) image. I also seem to remember seeing a satellite photograph of plastic waste that "taken over" an island?! Last year on Iona (even!), it was noticeable that volunteers go round the island regularly to collect up rubbish that had been washed up. Sad indeed!

  2. How did the yogurt go? I used to make yogurt, but it was more for reasons of economy than the environment. Never managed to keep it going for very long.

  3. Hello Blue Hands
    To my surprise and delight my yohurt did set but the consistency was not as thick as I would have liked. Perhaps I did not give it long enough. Next time I shall try straining it to make Greek yoghurt. I also fancy the idea of making it into a herby cheesy dip/spread.
    I know exactly what you mean about keeping it going. I'm full of enthusiasm at the outset but it usually dries up after a few attempts. Watch this space,

  4. Hi Gareth - thanks for the mention. I hope it's all going well. I know your neck of the woods fairly well. My husband's family came from Lower Knowle. If you're looking at cutting down on plastic, have you come across Fake Plastic fish over in the states? She's doing a great job at slashing plastic waste. Anyway good luck with your own plastic reduction. Love the blog by the way.