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Sun Block Homemade

The following information is for guidance only. None of the following recipes or tips have not been tested on anyone other than me. I strongly advise you do your own research and proceed very carefully. Sunburn is painful, ages the skin and potentially very dangerous.

Disclaimer
Be aware of the risks of listening to someone who
a) doesn’t have any training in this field,
b) most of what they know comes from Google,
That’s me I mean.

If you want a better informed opinion I suggest you head on over to the Aromantics website. They will sell you everything you need to make sun tan lotion including recipes you can download as a PDF. They have been in this game for years and are far more qualified then I am.
The following is an account of my own experiences which may help you in your own research.

A Tannning History

I realised that I needed sun tan / block lotion and lots of it. And it needs to be applied regularly. Even in cloudy weather. I came to this conclusion just as I was giving up plastic. So not only did I have to learn to use sunblock and had to learn how to make it. I have been using zinc based, home-made sun block lotion for about 5 years now. I know it stops me from burning because I burn when I don’t use it. Obviously it has not been tested in a lab and I cannot guarantee results. I still try to limit my exposure to the sun but I feel this cream definitely helps me. I offer this personal account for discussion only. If you do decide to make your own lotion please do more research.

There is lots more information about sun protection here. Do read up before you decide to make your own.

Why Sunscreen
Sunscreens help prevent the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the skin.
There are two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA and UVB
UVB is the chief cause of sunburn and linked to sun cancer. UVA rays, penetrate the skin more deeply, and contribute to photoaging.
You need a cream that protects from both.

SPF
Sun protective factor provided by cream is measured in SPF
SPF factors only measure protection against UVB. You will need a cream that also protect from other kinds of rays.

SPF4 filters out 75% of UVB
SPF10 filters out 90% –
SPF15 filters out 93%
SPF25 filters out 96%
SPF30 filters out 97%
SPF50 filters out 98%
SPF100 99%
Source

Zinc Oxide
I have settled on zinc oxide as the active ingredient in my sun block.
This is a fine white powder easily available on line.
It coats the skins and so reflects the damaging and burning rays of the sun.
It protects the skin from UVA, UVB and UVC. According to www.aromantic.co.uk website (where you can buy zinc and get advice on how to use it), It is one the oldest and most effective sunblock and
It can be easily added to base lotions and oils.

No to Nano Zinc

So zinc is great BUT it is a white powder and stronger mixes can sit on the skin like a pasty mask. Make your lotion too strong and you look like Marcel Marceau. You don’t burn but you look freaky. To counter this some suggest using nano zinc.
Nano or micronized zinc oxide is zinc oxide that  has been ground to a very fine powder to reduce the size of its particles. Anything with a particle size smaller than 100nm is considered a nano particle. This means it spreads more easily and does not leave a white sheen on the skin.The worry is that particles this size may be able to enter the body.
Because of that I use normal zinc. In stronger concentrations it does leave a slight white sheen. It can also leave white marks on dark clothes. Wear white linen is the obvious answer to this. Or work on your locked in a glass box mime.

Using Zinc In Homemade Sun Block

Notes
There are claims that certain oils like coconut oil have a natural SPF. This may well be true but I strongly advise not to rely on this.
None of the below have been tested in lab and you have no accurate way of knowing  what SPF your lotion has. Proceed sensibly!
If in doubt Make your lotion stronger then dilute as you tan.
Too much zinc and you end up with white clown makeup. In this case you may have been overcautious.

 

You can add zinc to
home made creams and lotions (if you want to make a lotion there are some recipes here)
ready bought lotions
a base oil such as coconut oil.

20% zinc oxide  will give an approximate SPF of 30. That is by weight. So you weigh your base say 100g of cream then you add 20% or 1/5th of zinc. Which is 20g of zinc.You can see from the ratios below that SPF 15 is not half of SPF 30 so you cannot use that scale to work out your SPF factors.
For SPF 2-5: Use 5% zinc oxide
For SPF 6-11: Use 10% zinc oxide
For SPF 12-19: Use 15% zinc oxide
For SPF >20: Use 20% zinc oxide

These ratios were taken from DIY Natural. They have not been tested in a lab proceed with caution

Recipes

Masking Creams
Zinc
Thicker cream
Very strong and thick. To be used on vulnerable areas that burn easily.

First I make my own rather thick cream and then add the zinc at 20% ratio. This makes a super thick cream which is difficult to rub on large areas but great for masking specified areas. I use it to protect my great big nose and around my eyes.
For general application it is too tough and sticky.
Find out how to make cream here

Oily Cream
Zinc
Cream
OIl
You can thin the above thick cream down by adding oil. N.B. You cant use water for this. Add water and your cream starts to separate when you try to rub it on.
Oily cream goes on way more easily but obviously the more you dilute is lower the SPF factor.
The advantage of this cream is that it is thicker than oil so easier to apply – less dribbling.
It does not separate.

Sun Block Oils
Zinc
Oil – I have used both coconut and rice bran oil

More recently I have cut out the middle man or rather the cream and started adding zinc directly to oil. It would seem that my mother was half right!
Which Oil?
I guess you could do this with any oil but I prefer a lighter oil less gloopy than say olive oil.
I have usually used coconut oil as a base because it is light and easily obtained in glass jars. Some claim that coconut oils has an ability to deflect burning rays but the claims made for coconut oil are prodigious. Do not rely on coconut oil alone.
The problem with coconut oil in the UK at least, it solidifies below a certain temperature. This sun tan lotion needs to be liquid and well shaken before use because the ingredients separate. So if you use coconut oil, warm and shake it before applying.
More recently I used rice bran oil which is much cheaper and easily available. At least that is the case in Thailand. It is a light oil and does not solidify.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE
The ingredients separate so the lotion must be well shaken before use. If you are using an oil that solidifies like coconut you need to be sure it is liquid and well mixed before use.

SOME OILS MAY MARK YOUR CLOTHING. EXPERIMENT FIRST

Advantages Of Oil
Oily creams and oils are great for the beach because I feel they don’t wash off so easily in the sea as home made lotions do. And the oil itself seems to act as an added protection against the general drying effect of salt water and heat. My skin doesn’t feel as itchy. But then I am only using two ingredients no fragrances, no preservatives.
They give your skin a rather nice sheen.
And it is As Cheap As Chips
Adding zinc to rice bran oil is super cheap which means you can liberally apply this lotion. Very good if you are on a budget. Plus I get to use the oil for other things.
The disadvantages? – well it is rather… oily…

Sun Block Lotion
Zinc
Thin Lotion
Add zinc to a lotion.
Find out how to make Lotion here

Non OIly Sun Block
Zinc
Glycerine
This is a work in progress

But oily sun block is, well, oily. Anywhere near the hairline and it has the disastrous effect of making my locks all greasy. Not a problem on the beach where my hair is normally wet and again the coconut oil help protect it from going madly dry. But in town not such a good look.
Until now I have been adding zinc to a very thin, homemade lotion. It makes the lotion much thicker and I find it rather heavy to wear.

Since the oil zinc success I have tried adding zinc to neat vegetable glycerine. It seems to work fine but this is a work in progress.
The resulting lotion feels a bit sticky when you are applying it but that soon wears off.
It is much lighter than zinc creams.
The ingredients tend to separate so it needs shaking.
It is very very easy to make.

Store Bought Creams
Apparently you can add zinc to a store bought cream to make a suntan lotion. I have never tried this as I gave up shop bought years ago. But considering the success off adding it to oil I can see no reason why this wouldn’t work. Do remember that zinc makes your lotion thicker and much whiter. It might be a good idea to use a thin lotion as a base.
Apparently it helps if you warm them first.
Let me know how you get on!

Applying Cream
Sunscreens are unlikely to be fully effective after 2 hours
According to the skin cancer organisation  “you need to apply 1 oz – about a shot glass full. Studies show that most people apply only half to a quarter of that amount, which means the actual SPF they have on their body is lower than advertised. During a long day at the beach, one person should use around one half to one quarter of an 8 oz. bottle. Sunscreens should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow the ingredients to fully bind to the skin. Reapplication of sunscreen is just as important as putting it on in the first place, so reapply the same amount every two hours. Sunscreens should also be reapplied immediately after swimming, toweling off, or sweating a great deal.

More

There is lots more information about sun protection here. Do read up before you decide to make your own.

Travelling Plastic Free For Months
This discovery massively reduces your plastic when travelling. I carry all my own home made plastic free toiletries with me to avoid creating plastic waste which can present something of a problem. A years supply of sunblock is a lot to carry. So now I compromise. I take my own zinc and buy coconut oil (or rice bran oil) while travelling. I mix the zinc into the coconut oil to make a sun tan lotion great for the beach.

Microfine Titanium Dioxide

This is another product you can use to make your own sun block.

“Microfine Titanium Dioxide is accepted as a safe Sun Barrier all around the world. This is because it is inorganic and has a record of having no adverse reactions to it. This makes it ideal for products used on a daily basis.
It can be used in Sun Screens, Moisturisers, Powdered Make-up, Lip and Baby products and virtually any Skin Treatment product.
Adding 5% Microfine Titanium Dioxide to a product gives it a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of approximately 10 and protects against 90% UVA/UVB and UVC radiation. Adding 10% gives it a SPF of 15-20.
Add during the heating of the Vegetable Oil in the Fat Stage of making your product.”
The following information is from the www.aromantic.co.uk website.

< span style=”color: #ff0000;”>Fragrance
Many recipes on line suggest adding essentials oils. In my opinion there is no real benefit to be derived from this as
they may make your skin more sensitive to light;
essential oils are resource hungry, have a large environmental footprint and should only be used on special occasions.
You can read more here

PLASTIC SPOILER

You can buy zinc on line.
It will come in a plastic bag- booo.
The best you can do is ensure the bags are polythene and so can be more easily recycled.
As I get huge amounts cream out of one small bag of ingredients, I consider it a worthwhile compromise.

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Plastic Free For Free

We are always happy to work with others promoting plasticfree products. Every so often we run a give away for fabulous #plasticfree prizes.
This month you are super lucky. WE have two!
Snact Fruit Jerky in compostable packaging.
WUKA period underwear cutting the need for disposables.

Snact

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We have 3 sets of 3 packs of Snact to giveaway.
Yup thats 3 packets of fruity goodness in sustainable packaging coming through your letter box for 3 lucky winners.
The onward packaging will also be compostable except maybe for some tape. And no Sellotape is not compostable.

About
Snact “make snacks from surplus produce. That’s produce that would otherwise be thrown away for being too big, too small, too ugly, or simply too abundant.

Better still this sustainable fruit jerky comes in 100% home compostable packaging – the first of its kind in the UK! The packet biologically decomposes within just 180 days and becomes a fertiliser for soil, behaving similarly to an orange peel.

 

Want to try for free? We have 3 sets of 3 packs of Snact to giveaway.Packs will contain
Apple & Mango
Apple, Blueberry & Banana
Apple & Raspberry

All are
100% fruit
Vegan & gluten free
No additives or preservatives
Less than 65kcal per bag
Made in the UK
In home compostable packaging. That means you can compost the wrapper at home!

You can read more about Snact, here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter by clicking the link and following the instructions.
Visit the Snact Facebook page and leave a like. YOu can do this once.
OR Comment here on the Snact page here on the blog as to why you want more compostable packaging. You can do this once.
OR Tweet our fruity tweet. You can do this once a day every day, each time counts as an entry to the draw.
OR DO ALL THREE
You can do all three options, No need to choose, Spread the love.Each time you like comment or tweet it counts as an entry to the draw.

The giveaway ends on the 30th of September.
The winner will be chosen at random.

NB
SORRY but this is only for people living in the UK
The onward packaging will also be compostable except maybe for some tape. And no Sellotape is not compostable.

Buy

Can’t wait? You can buy bars here

WUKA period underwear

Just for the Plastic Is Rubbish members, I would like to give two prototype WUKA period underwear this month, which mean you will be the first one to try it.
All you have to do is join the Plastic Is Rubbish Facebookgroup
Then Llike and follow us WUKA. and signup with us at www.wuka.co.uk
Also Tag your friend who would love this and help us reach out to every menstruating bodies all around UK.
Read more WUKA here: https://wuka.co.uk/blogs/news/eradicate-pads-and-tampons-exterminate

Sorry BUT you missed it….

Greencane Plasticfee Tissue Products

A great giveaway from a company called Greencane 
They make #plasticfree tissue products including loo roll. Wahey. They gave away
Mixed Box
32 Rolls of Toilet Paper (8 packs of 4 rolls)
6 Rolls of Paper Towels (3 packs of 2 rolls)
3 Boxes Facial Tissues

The products come in individually wrapped packs.
All the packaging is paper, card and or cellophone.
The cellophane is certified  as commercially compostable.
Delivered to your door in a cardboard box from their Brighton warehouse.
There may be some plastic tape on the box but they are working on that!
Anyone trying to live a plastic free life will know what good news this is!
I have reviewed these produce – you can read my review here.

Buy

For lots more info and to order products  visit the website

U.K. Made Cotton Produce Bags

Do Your Bit Produce Bags From a U.K. Based company who make organic cotton reusable bags from fabric sourced from a fair traded local company.

Buy Here

Never mind, you can still enjoy the frisson of plastic free shopping by buying bags right now from the Do Your Bit shop

Tickets to see
You missed out on tickets to see Bea Johnson but there will be other opportunities. To win great free #plasticfree stuff.

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October

Because plastic is too scary – even for Halloween

Whhhooo oooo

Yes its time for spooks, ghouls and zombies to take to the streets and beg sweets.  We have put together a few tips to cut the plastic horror that results. Included are…

  • Get,(or make), some fabric trick or treat bags to take out with you – not to my house obvs.
  • Buy plastic-free sweets for when the ghouls come calling.
  • Use compostable, disposable partyware
  • Make a reusable, burlap witches hat .
  • make your own costumes

Check out the How To Halloween Plastic Free page for details. And please do add your own grisly finds and ghastly zero waste ideas  ….. love Hollies mushed beetroot brains!

 

This Year

see what we got up to the rest of the year right HERE

 

Updates

Compostable Coffe Cups

Look out for the lovely green van. Maybe you can hire it for your events. Not sure. You will have to contact them. As well as a great vehicle they are using compostable disposables. Mmmmmm.
London based
We’re a new mobile catering company coming soon! We’ll be serving excellent artisan coffee and bites out of our gorgeous vintage wagon!
Thanks to @BiopacLtd for our compostable coffee cups & other packaging! #TheWackaWagonCo http://www.TheWackaWagonCo.com

Straw Wars

All Bar One
Are cutting plastic straws…..
It’s simple really, over the next year we’re going to reduce our straw usage by a third.
Don’t worry you can still sip away merrily on our delicious cocktails and soft drinks, and for those crushed ice cocktails we’ll be offering replacement eco-friendly options.
So why does this matter to us? Our own research show just how many straws are in use and in turn, creating an environmental problem. To give you a snapshot of just how many straws we use at All Bar One:
Straws are served in 25% of our drinks
An average of 1,600 straws a week in each bar (about 13,000 a day as a brand)
We purchase 4.7 million straws a year
We need your help, we can’t make this happen without you, the change starts with how you enjoy your drinks and we ask that when you do, you don’t ask for a straw. Let’s all work towards making a difference and get rid of plastic straws for good.
We’re also calling on other bars to join the pledge and get involved in the #StrawsSuck movement.

Check out the website HERE

Weatherspoons
Are also giving up straws for new year.
From January 2018, Wetherspoon chains will no longer automatically put plastic straws in their drinks, instead using only biodegradable paper straws. The pub chain claims this will stop 70 million plastic straws from heading to landfills or finding their way into the ocean, where they can cause damage to all kinds of sealife. The plan is part of a massive campaign called Refuse the Straw, which urges pub chains and restaurants to stop handing out plastic straws willy-nilly.

Read more
HERE

If you really need a straw, there are some options here – reusable or compostable. Read more.

Some more loose food here…

Hi, I have a stall on Northampton Market every Tuesday and Wednesday doing “Scoop and Save Herbs Seeds and Spices” where I encourage folk to bring their own jars, otherwise it’s a resealable reusable freezer bag…

Apples

October is the time for apple harvesting. If you don’t have your own tree you could try a PYO farm. There are hundreds of orchards offering this in the southern counties, rather fewer up here in the north.Check out this great farm finder website

Urban Harvest

Otherwise you coud get involved in some of the urgan harvest programs. They pick and distibute unwanted fruit. Abundance in Manchester is one such. From the website…

“A mature garden fruit tree produces more than the average family can eat. And at the same time there are lots of people in our city not able to access fresh food.

Abundance Manchester is a voluntary project which picks surplus or unwanted fruit from gardens and public trees around South Manchester and distributes it to local groups and communities who can use it. We also collect and distribute surplus vegetables from allotments.”

I have listed a couple more here.

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Fair Share Fabric Project

In 2015 I pledged to  use no more than my fair global share of fibres. I was trying to determine what is a reasonable amount of clothing. After all one mans over consumption is after all another’s nothing to wear.

How Much

However there can be little doubt that we in the UK are consuming fibres in a hugely unsustainable way.
Heres how many textile fibres are produced annually: Total fibres, both natural & synthetic, around 8.5 million tonnes Rough calculations suggest that the average amount of fibres per annum, per person in the world, works out at 11.74 kg.
We in the UK are using 55kg of fabric per person and 35kg of that is on clothes. We are obviously taking more than our share of fabrics produced.
If everyone on the planet was to have 35kg of clothes each year, production would have to triple.

Synthetic Versus Natural Fibres

One of the much touted benefits of plastic is that it reduces pressure on natural resources. Nowhere is this more true than in fabric and fibres.Producing natural fibres is certainly resource intensive. And synthetic fabrics have moved on since the early days of crimpolene and can now convincingly replace anything from wool to silk. They used to make the sheerest of stockings to the thickest and woolliest of fleece jackets. Dirty old fishing nets can be recycled into saucy bikinis.

And at a fraction of the price. So much so that synthetics now make up 60% of the market.

While using synthetic fibres means that less space is needed to grow cotton or flax, less pesticides are used and vegans can be pleased that less sheep need shearing and silk worms dont need to die for us.

But of course synthetics come with their own very real and severe environmental costs. Not least is that every time a synthetic fabric is washed it releases hundreds of tiny little plastic fibres these are washed out into the sea with grave consequences.

Some Will Have To Go Without?

If everyone on the planet was to have 35kg of clothes each year, production would have to triple.
This is unsustainable.
To replace all the synthetics with natural fibres would also have a huge environmental impact but synthetics need to be phased out.
So if we cannot produce more, we have to consume less. Or accept a huge global inequality where some have more clothes than they can possibly wear while others have a few rags.

Well not on my watch

Global Rationing
If we cannot produce more, we have to consume less. the purpose of this project is to see if I can live within my global share of natural fibres as produced at the current rate. And cut synthetics.

This is how the equation works for me:
We cannot exceed current levels of production:
We cannot expect others to want less than we have:
We cannot swamp the market with synthetics:
Therefore I have to live with my global share of natural fibres.

Global share 11.74 kg per person
of which 3.8 kg is natural fibres.
The rest is synthetics.
As I don’t like synthetics I try to stick to 3.8 kg of natural fibres.
Just so you know a kingsize double duvet cover from Ikea weighs in at 991 grams and a Marks & Spencer short-sleeved tee-shirt is 156 grams.

But can it be done? Cautious reply after 2 and a half years is yes it can.

You can read more on the subject and check my figures and sources here.

Whats Sustainable Clothing?
Plastic-free, fair-trade, ethically made and lots more.You can read my clothing manifesto here
You can read more on the subject and check

Second Hand Clothes
Can I buy second hand clothes to supplement my allowance? No. I can buy second-hand but it has to count as part of my allowance.

By Year Synopsis 

2017

The counting Has started….

2016

I used
3.835 natural fibres
318g synthetic fibres
Total 45g regenerated fibres
So I am over on natural fibres but way under on synthetics. Read more.
However in 2015  I bought 3.15 kg of natural fibre products and 3.2 kg of synthetic fibres. – so I had a 65g surplus of natural fibres to use up.

2015

I bought 3.15 kg of natural fibre products and 3.2 kg of synthetic fibres. See them here.

2014 & What I started with

Rationing might not seem so much of a burden if I already had a hundred outfits and enough sheets to stock a small hotel. I dont. You can see my original wardrobe here

Bought
knickers
2 pairs of trousers
1 nightie
1 Bra

Had

Tops, Cardigans & Jackets
4 no Long Sleeve Tops – cotton
1 grey – 2010
1 striped – 2009
1 blue – 2011
1 red – 2014 year
Ranging from 5 to 3 years old except the red which was bought last year.

6 no T Shirts & Vests – cotton (10)
1 grey – had for ever.
Marks & Sparks 2014 156g each – no hangers
1 black
1 navy
1 pale grey
1 vest – years plus
2 no Other (12)
wool tunic that I made from woolen fabric I have had for years. I have been wearing that for 18 months? Possibly longer.
Cotton shirt bought in India 2011

2 no Warmer wear & Coats (14)
1 synthetic jacket pre 2011
1 nylon raincoat pre 2011

4 no. Bottoms (18)
Shorts Summer 2014 Synthetic Fibres
Trackie bums cotton don’t know how old – over a year.
Thin long trews hot thin cotton bought Summer 2014
Thick long trews cold corduroy Autumn 2014 Marks & Spencers

1 no Skirts & Dresses (19)
Linen dress made for Observer Awards 2014

Underwear & Sleep
Knickers (20)
I have counted knickers as one because for some reason I feel shy about telling you how many pairs of pants I own!?
Philippino pirate pants
M&S sometime last year
France 2014 a pack of knickers
2 no Bras (21)
1 reasonable bought spring 2014 synthetic fibres
1 utterly awful that I only wear when the reasonable one is in the wash. At least 2 years old
4 no Socks (25)
2 thin pairs of socks – new before we left – gift.
2 thick pairs of sock – made by my mum.

5 no Sleep & Swim (32)

  • 1 nightgowns warm
  • 1 nightgown cool 2014 M&S
  • 1 Merino long johns 3 years at least
  • 2 bikinis years old– all synthetic
  • Towelling dressing gown
  • thin cotton dressing gown

7 no Outerwear Hats & Shawls (39)
1 wool hat 2013
1 straw hat 2014
1 wool scarf gift 2013
3 pairs of gloves
1 no shawl

2 no Work in progress (41)
Spotty dress work in progress bought from charity shop
Sleeveless long vest / sleeveless tunic most cotton bought in Malaysia 2011

4 no In storage (The cupboard we don’t talk about) (46)
Coats
1 smart – wool years old
1 very warm sheepskin second hand ages ago
2 waterproof  walking coat- synthetic years old
1 raincoat – synthetic cant even remember when

Other fabrics

back packers flannel

Plastic Free Alternatives

Want to live plastic free…. or at least massively reduce your plastic footprint? Here are a whole load of plastic free products sourced and used by us as part of our boycott.  While we are happy to try out new products if sent to us, we work for no one and say only what we believe to be true. 

Live Free

Start here with some superfast ways to cut your plastic trash
Watch out for Sneaky Plastics –  in places you might not have known about.

Disposables & Reusables & Refills

Welcome to the wonderful world of reusables delve into refills and when push comes to shove, be directed towards disposables.
Reusables
Refills
Disposables

Plastic Free Products

The easiest way to find a #plasticfree alternative in our huge database of products is to use the search function (#grandmothersuckeggs!) However we have also organised them by other criteria.

By Category Everything from food to gardening  to personal care
By Task 
Want to know how to wash the pots, #plasticfree? Check out these posts organised by task!
A to Z organised… erm…alphabetically
By Place
Towns organised alphabetically that have #plasticfree/ packaging free/ zerowaste shops. Find them here.

 


By Shops

Food
Try your local shops first. One of the joys of living plastic free is mooching round the local shops seeing what you can source. You might be suprised. Asian Supermarkets and Polish Delis are particularly good.

Here is a list of food types by category with purchase details

Loose Food A to Z

Find out if a shop near you sells bulk food loose. This is stuff that that normally comes plastic packaged ie rice, pasta and salt. And yes these shops do exist in the U.K. There’s just not many of them.

Heres a list of towns with shops selling loose food.

Supermarkets & Chainstores 

Because sometimes we have to shop there and yes you can get plastic free and zero waste stuff. Read up about them plus
eating for a week, plastic-free, only from supermarkets  – a case study.


Bags & Packaging

Shopping plastic free means taking your  OWN PACKAGING. Check out the plastic-free shopping kit here.

Milk 

Delivered in glass bottles but double check before you order

Lifestyle 

Make It Yourself.
Sometimes you just have to make it yourself! With #plasticfree scissors.Find out how to craft your own clothes, cosmetics and other useful things

Composting – it’s the future of rubbish

Travel – how we travel the world plastic free.

The Directory

The Plastic Free U.K. Directory lists #plasticfree projects and businesses.  While there are many plastic free initiatives out there  they are often plasticfree by default rather than intention. The people featured here acknowledge the issues of plastic pollution and are taking  steps to address them.

Links

Links, People & Organisations

Get The Knowledge
Information about science, green issues and other related subjects that impact on the plastic debate can be found at Useful to know

Wrong Place?

Try another chapter….
Welcome a quick introduction to everything
About Plastic  everything you need to know about plastic and somethings you wish you didn’t
Bad Plastic – why you need to cut your plastic consumption
Cut plastic – how to cut unnecessary plastic out of your life & meet the other people doing it.
Links & Projects –links to other plastic free people, the U.K. directory and out other projects
Us & The Boycott –About us the blog and the boycott rules
Site Map

 

 

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Greaseproof paper/ waxed paper

Baking paper – also known as greaseproof bakery paper or parchment paper, is grease proof paper that is used in baking and cooking. It provides a heat-resistant, non-stick surface to bake on. It used to be made by beating the paper fibres. Now it may have a plastic or chemical coating.

It can be used for cooking as a liner to prevent food from sticking to the pan.
It is also used to pack greasy foods like butter.
In the US it is more often called parchment paper.

Not to be confused with waxed paper. They may look the same but are different products. Waxed paper  actually has wax on it. This too creates a non stick surface but it cannot be used at high temperatures so cannot be used for baking.

Waxed paper was often used for wrapping food. In many cases it has been replaced with plastic laminated paper. It looks like waxed paper but isn’t.


History
Greaseproof paper was first developed as a replacement for parchment by the  engineer Otto Munthe Tobiesen in 1894
During the paper making process, the paper pulp is beaten hard so the fibres bond more firmly. This results in a paper of high density with a small number of pores. It is now less absorbant making it reisistant to grease, fat and oil.
Natural greaseproof paper does not have any chemical treatments or coatings. It can be recycled, composted or burnt.

The New “Greaseproof” Paper
Since those innocent days various different types of greaseproof paper have emerged. These no longer rely on the way the paper has been made but rather  are  treated, coated or laminated papers. They do not get their grease resistance from denser fibers but from various additives. However they look just like the original greaseproof paper.
They fall into into two types; greaseproof paper for packaging and greaseproof paper for cooking.
The treatments for “greaseproof” paper include
Plastic lamination
Chemical
Silicone coating

Greaseproof Paper For Packaging

Greaseproof paper and waxed paper were often used for packaging. Though waxed paper was the more often used product. However the two are often confused and the names used interchangeably.  When talking about packaging the information applies to  both greaseproof and waxed paper or card.

They are used in the food industry for many things including wrapping food such as butter and making nonstick containers for microwave food.
Two common forms of treatment are
Lamination
Chemically treated

laminated
Where the function of the product is merely to stop grease leaking through the product like for instance a butter wrap the paper may be coated with a thin layer of plastic. This is often the case with food packaging where a product wants to maintain an old time look. Don’t be fooled by those charming greaseproof paper bags and butchers wraps on the deli counter. Check them very carefully.
Obviously this kind of greaseproof paper cannot be used for cooking as the plastic will melt and burn.
Read more about laminated paper here

Chemically Treated
Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) are a family of man-made chemicals? They are used
as a surface coating for paper and cardboard they make them water and grease resistant and so suitable for packaging processed foods.
They do not break down easily and can last in the enironment for years.
They have been found in both soil and water.
When they enter the food chain they are retained in animal tissue leading to a process called biomagnification, meaning that they are passed on up the foodchain from animal to animal and because they are stored in the body for years the amount increases exponentially as they travel up the food chain.

You can read more about them here

Greaseproof Paper For Cooking

This type can be used for both cooking and packaging. But is usually used for cooking. It is also called parchment paper.

Silicone Coated
To give parchment paper a really non stick quality some companies are coating it with silicone. Silicone is a kind of synthetic rubber. You can read more about that here .
Sierra say of its silicone coated paper “The baking paper’s silicone coating prevents food products from sticking to the paper or cooking pan. Silicone is an ideal release agent due to its pliability, natural lack of toxins, high insulationability, and heat resistant capability.”

Compostable?
If You Care supply genuine greaseproof paper products. But while the paper may be green and unbleached, the non stick quality comes from a coating of silicone. They claim their paper is compostable but silicone certainly isn’t biodegradable.
“Experts from the University of Maryland Extension Home and Garden Information Center said, “We would not recommend composting the parchment paper,” but acknowledged that they could not cite specific studies on the topic”

https://livegreen.recyclebank.com/because-you-asked-can-i-recycle-parchment-paper

Quilon Coating
This is (I think) a Teflon product also used to give parchment papers a non stick quality. I know very little about it other than that some are claiming it is toxic. I am currently researching it. All input welcomed.

Uncoated Papers

Are they even available? If You Care never used to talk about the silicone coating on their greaseproof paper which makes me wonder was it always there or is it new? And if it is new, is it to replace the toxic Quilon coating (that I never knew about either). If the former, are all parchment papers coated with something and we just never realised?

More to think about

Reasearch is ongoing and any input is greatly welcomed.
Beyond gourmet and Regency wraps have been mentioned as being only parchment paper but have not as yet answered my emails. Neither have If You Care.

As yet I have been unable to find an uncoated paper for cooking so I won’t use any.
I buy butter that comes wrapped in paper which I just have to hope is genuine parchment paper. I have my doubts but it is the best I can do.

Why buy unbleached parchment paper?
Until the 1990s, chlorine was mostly used for bleaching paper because it does the job very efficiently. The downside is that the process results in dioxins. Paper mills a major sources of dioxins in the environment.
Dioxins are known carcinogens that bioaccumulate in the food chain. You can read more here. They are very nasty and we do not want them lurking in the water or our body fat. Thankfully safer alternatives are being developed. Please consider choosing one when you buy any paper product.

Unbleached – BEST
No process is used to brighten the fibre and the resulting paper is the natural brown colour of untreated wood pulp.

When buying bleached paper heres what to avoid and what to buy

Elemental Chlorine. NO.
This is the old school method. A chemical gas is used to brighten paper fibers but results in the most dioxins.

Elemental Chlorine Free. IF YOU HAVE TO
“Uses a chlorine compound, most often chlorine dioxide, that significantly reduces dioxins but does not eliminate them. Paper companies using ECF often say that dioxin is “nondetectable” in their wastewater. This refers only to the sensitivity of prescribed tests, and does not necessarily mean there are no dioxins. State-of-the-art tests are often able to detect dioxins when prescribed tests find them nondetectable.”

Totally Chlorine Free YES
Non chlorine alternative bleaching processes, including
oxygen,
peroxide
ozone bleaching systems

None of the above result in dioxins or chlorinated toxic pollutants.

Processed Chlorine Free YES
When recycled fibres are used in the finished paper this tells you that the recycled content was originally bleached without chlorine or chlorine compounds as well as new the virgin fibres.

The Worldwatch Institute (Paper Cuts, 1999) reports that a mill using standard chlorine bleaching will release about 35 tons of organochlorines (dioxins and chlorinated toxic pollutants) a day. An ECF mill will release 7-10 tons per day. A PCF/TCF mill will release none.

CONCLUSIONS

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Mosquito Repellent

It’s that time of night when sitting on the balcony becomes a feat of endurance rather than a pleasure and it’s down to those vile biting mosquitos. Time to take action… but what kind. I could of course slather myself in DEET…

DEET Was developed by the American Army and remains the most effective form of bug repellent known to man. It is a great weapon in the fight against malaria. But it can irritate my skin and has had other negative press. Plus it comes in plastic.

So what of the alternativee? Needless to say the internet offer everything from wristbands to essential oils. Lots of testing has been done which conclude that these range from considerably less effective to completely useless. “Two devices in particular came under harsh criticism from the scientists: bracelets containing herbal extracts and sonic mosquito repellers, which claim to use high-frequency sound to drive away mosquitoes.” And dont bother with citronella candles. You can read the rest here.
That said there is some evidence that certain essential oils (including citronella) might  work.SO let’s discuss the options.

Why DEET
Just to reiterate N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (deet) DEET is the most effective insect repellent ever.
Then (2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-piperidinecarboxylic acid 1-methyl ester (icaridin), p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD), and ethyl butylacetylaminopropionate (IR3535)-based repellents also provide protection against biting arthropods,
Malaria & Other Nasty Deseases
Malaria is extremely dangerous and kills masses of people each year. DEET Will protect you from mosquitoes and many other disease bearing blood suckers. If you are in a malarial prone area then it is an essential means of protection and I advise you consider it. Medical plastic is exempt from the boycott. To quote DEET must be the “first choice for those visiting areas where malaria or other arthropod-borne diseases are endemic remains formulations with higher concentrations (20–50%) of deet.
Higher concentration icaridin and PMD preparations are the most useful alternatives to deet where they are available”
Read more here

How Strong?
What do these concentrations mean? A higher concentration of DEET means it will last longer. 20% DEET offers up to 6 hours of protection. 50% DEET which offers 12 hours of protection. If you sweat heavily you’ll need to re-apply it more often, obvs.
According to the British Medical Journal anything with over a concentration of 50% DEET will not be any more effective. Read this very good write up that discusses all the issues and gives clear advice on how DEET should be used. Access it here.

Bad DEET
But if you are not at risk from malaria you might want to limit your exposure to DEET. While DEET is generally thought to be safe there are reports of possible reactions. On a personal level I find it irritates my skin but then again so do most perfumes and some soaps. However it is not just me. Reactions to DEET have been documented. And they can include Hives or mild skin redness and irritation. The more you use the worse it gets. People using products containing a large amount of DEET over a long period of time may have more severe skin reactions that include blistering, burning, and permanent scars of the skin.
Wikipedia are even more worrying and report that
In the DEET Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) in 1998, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported 14 to 46 cases of potential DEET-associated seizures, including 4 deaths. The EPA states: “… it does appear that some cases are likely related to DEET toxicity,” which may underreport the risk as physicians may fail to check for history of DEET use or fail to report cases of seizure subsequent to DEET use.[21]
The Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices of Cornell University states that “Everglades National Park employees having extensive DEET exposure were more likely to have insomnia, mood disturbances and impaired cognitive function than were lesser exposed co-workers”.[22].
Read it here

Which Alternatives Work
So for those munchy twilight hours when the biting, but non-malarial carrying beasts are out DEET seems rather a chemical sledge hammer. In these cases I have been using Cintronella essential oil mixed with Rice Bran oil as a mosquito repellent. Based on nothing more than a quick skim of alternative bug sprays on the internet and the fact I have some Citronella oil. The internets claims all kinds of wonderful qualities for Citronella but I tend not to believe them. So consequently I didnt know if my homemade repellent really worked i.e.if it actually repels Mosquitos. But I felt it did and it certainly seems to soothe bites and reduce irritation. So I decided it was time to do some research.

Citronella
Citronella is  obtained from the leaves and stems of different species of Cymbopogon grasses. And it might just work. This is a quote from some research that seems reputable.  “From the available literature and information, we can conclude that the complete protection time for citronella-based repellents is less than 2 hours”
Read more here

But 2 hours is all I need. I can live with the occasional bite at other times it’s the twilight feeding frenzy I object to.

Using Essential OIls
Essential oils are concentrated and so should be used with some care.
Do not apply neat to the skin.
It is good practice to do an allergy test
Do some further research into the oil you plan to use

Disclaimer
Be aware of the risks of listening to someone who
a) doesn’t have any training in this field,
b) most of what they know comes from Google,
That’s me I mean.

Making Mosquito Repellent
You should never use essential oils neat so the Citronella has to be blended with a base oil. And there is very little data avaialable on what kind of percentages to use for the oil to be effective against biting beasts.

Generally Most essential oil/ aromatherapy sites say that mixes of essential oil to base oil should not exceed 5%.
A good rule of thumb when seeking to make a 2% dilution is to add 12 drops of essential oil to each fl. ounce (30 ml) of cold pressed carrier oil, lotion, vegetable butter or other natural lipid/moisturizer.
There is a useful dilutions chart here

And then there is this:
For adults:
Sensitive skin: .5 to 1 percent dilution = 3 to 6 drops per ounce
Normal, healthy skin: 1 to 2.5 percent dilution = 6 to 15 drops per ounce
There is lots of useful information here

My Mosquito Oil
So I added Citronella to a base oil at a 5% ration. I have used coconut oil, rice bran oil and rapeseed oil as bases. All work well.
I spread this on all exposed flesh when the sun begins to set. I only apply it once.

Obviously we are not talking about huge percentage of active ingredient here. Certainly not the 30% of DEET creams. How effective this oil is I have no way of knowing. I can only say it seems to work for a limited period of time.
AND PLEASE NOTE
These blends have not been tested for skin reactions or allergies. It is worth remembering that DEET lotions have been used for years and have been well tested.
I am telling you of my own experiences for your information only. You should do a lot more research before proceeding. And proceed with caution.
None of the above have been tested on anyone other than me. All I can say Is that I have used essential oils for a long time with no ill effects…..
Also
Essential oils are resource hungry, have a large environmental footprint and should only be used on special occasions. You can read more about essentials oils, what they are and how they are obtained here.

Buy

Plastic Alert
Vegetatable oil will nearly always have a plastic element unless you are lucky enough to find a refill service. Even if you buy in glass the lid will be plastic lined. But even so this represents a huge reduction in you plastic consumption. Read more and links on where to buy, here.

Same goes for essential oils.

More

There is an interesting breakdown of mosquito myths here. Plus some useful advice on how to avoid them.
And this is an interesting article on using plants to deter insects
And I am looking into this.
“PMD: Lemon Eucalyptus (Corymbia citriodora) Extract
The principal repellent component of lemon eucalyptus extract is PMD, which is the main by-product of lemon eucalyptus hydrodistillation.
The active component is prepared through acid modified extraction of leaves or a synthetic version of PMD is used in the majority of commercially available preparations.”
Read about it here.

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Halloween labels and flour paste!

Print and stick  these creepy labels onto a wine bottles to make a suitably  themed halloween gift  – but don’t use avery labels as some suggest!  Print onto plain paper, cut out and attach to bottle of choice using homemade, boiled  flour & water paste.

I have included a boiled flour and water paste from this paper mache  making web page because it is easy and clear to follow but also because  I think the rest of the site looks fascinating. And inspiring. You could use some of the techniques to make ghoulish sculptures, masks or even reusable pumpkin lanterns. That would save you some work!

Obviously adapt the choice of beverage if it’s for a child’s party!

Flour and water paste attached labels wash off easily if you are using a reusable bottle… of course you are using a reusable bottle!

More ideas for Halloween can be found here….

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By Category

Back in October 2006 we gave up plastic, began sourcing biodegradable alternatives and blogging about. You can see our huge list of plastic free  resources here…

BY Plastic Free Product

Cleaning Up

It’s boring but it has to be done. How to keep your house sparkling and your laundry fresh with this guide to plastic free Cleaning up.

 

Disposables & Reusables & Refills

Welcome to the wonderful world of reusables delve into refills and when push comes to shove, be directed towards disposables.
Reusables
Refills
Disposables

Food & Drink

Food and Drink from alcohol to zucchinis, supermarkets to making this is  your guide to eating plastic free

Bags & Packaging – how to get your loose foods homes.
Loose food  shops selling loose, food that normally comes plastic packaged ie rice, pasta and salt.

How to start The three levels of plastic free food
Cookbook  – how to cook!

General & Home Made

General  stuff that multitasks or is difficult to categorise
Homemade sometimes if you want plastic free you just got to make it!

High Days & Celebrations

Index – with links to posts on 
Halloween, Christmas and other Special Days
Valentines Birthday / Mothers / chocolates and flowers kind of day
Wrapping and cards

And more…

Home/Garden/Office

Home and house related
Garden – come and hang out in our virtual potting shed  or have a go at  composting. 
Office – need a plastic free rubber? Give us a try!

Wo/m/animal People & Animals

Wardrobe Index
Personal Care Products
animals & pets

Buy shops
Loose Food FillSupermarkets & Chainstores 
West Yorkshire
HERE=”noopener noreferrer”>U.K shops for other people

The Directory

The Plastic Free U.K. Directory lists #plasticfree projects and businesses.  While there are many plastic free initiatives out there  they are often plasticfree by default rather than intention. The people featured here acknowledge the issues of plastic pollution and are taking  steps to address them.

Lifestyle

By Task
Want to know how to wash up plastic free? Can’t be bothered looking through the A-Z index?
Check out these work sheets.
Make Index
Composting – It’s the future
Travel
Back on the Road
In the Pack
Plastic Free Places Abroad
Water refills
How to back pack plastic free

Useful To Know

Interesting facts, definitions and are the alternatoves really any good? Read more

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How to do it plastic-free

Is our new category that takes the search work out of anti plastic blogging. It works like this. You want to know how to wash up plastic free?

Cant be bothered scrolling through the A-Z plastic free index for squezy and scrubbers and other  individual items?

Then go straight to HOW TO….

How to make it yourself plastic-free

There comes a point when living plastic-free  means making stuff. Sometime you just cannot buy what you want and so ...
Read More

How to Refill

Imagine a world where you returned your empty milk bottles to be refilled and took your washing up liquid bottle ...
Read More

How to go to the loo plastic free

There comes a time in every plastivists life when there really is no alternative – what you want only comes ...
Read More

Scour, Scrub & Wipe

Although I use natural cleaning products like soap, bicarbonate of soda and occasionally Ecover cleaning products, I prefer not to ...
Read More

How to wrap gifts plastic-free

Reusable Wraps Wrapping presents – cloth furoshiki using a square of cloth. Crackle paper made from recycled tents. Disposable Paper As much ...
Read More

How to buy Food

So you want to cut your plastic? Let's start with ... Food Try your local shops first. One of the ...
Read More

How to party…plastic free….

Organising a big bash? Nipping off out to buy some paper plates? WAIT!!! Given the choice between washing up and disposable ...
Read More

How to sew plastic free

This is an introduction to why you might want to and how you can start sewing plastic free. If you ...
Read More

Disposables compostable

Sometime you need a disposable - wether its a compostable bag for the butcher, biodegradable paper cups for the office ...
Read More

Exfoliate

Microbeads.... the newest way to exfoliate. These tiny particles, or microbeads, scrub away at the skin supposedly leaving it wonderfully ...
Read More

Cut Your Plastic

Because oil derived plastics are cheap, plentiful and versatile we use them for just about everything including one use throwaway ...
Read More

How to travel plastic free

Crossing land borders in South East Asia has been unusually stressful this trip thanks to the big bag of  white ...
Read More

How to wash the pots plastic free…..

By Hand...Sigh Washing up liquid and I use Ecover  in a refillable plastic bottle. I know the bottle is plastic but ...
Read More

Personal Care

People are always asking me how I stay so young and lovely looking with no plastic in my bathroom cabinet ...
Read More

Clean your teeth

Cleaning your teeth involves so much plastic what with the tooth brushes and tubes of toothpaste. And even plastic in ...
Read More

How to drink plastic free

Paper Cup? Nooooo plastic lined! Consider bringing your own. Here are some funky options. Plastic Pints Grim! Try a steel ...
Read More

How to buy food plastic free

If you want to  shop plastic-free then you need to take your own packaging. Seems like a lot of bother? ...
Read More

How to…menstruate plastic free

Why? Along with cotton buds, tampons, applicators and panty liners make up 7.3 % of items flushed down the toilet ...
Read More

How To Make Personal Care Products

It is so easy to make your own personal care products and the advantages are huge;  you get to control ...
Read More

How To Buy Flowers Plastic Free

You don't even want to know how many plastic wrapped roses we are going to get through on this one ...
Read More
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How to sew plastic free

This is an introduction to why you might want to and how you can start sewing plastic free. If you already know the answer you can follow the links to the specialist posts as listed.
plastic in ready made clothes
Guide to synthetic, regenerated, combination and natural fibres.
why I prefer natural fabrics over synthetics here.

Where to Buy 
fabric
Sewing Supplies
Patterns

See
The clothes I have made here

Introduction To Plastic Free Sewing

Making your own clothes is probably the only way to get them totally plastic-free. New clothes come packed in plastic and hung on plastic hangers. Even when they are made of natural fibres, the cotton used to sew them, buttons and care labels are all synthetic, plastic fibres. You can read more about the plastic in ready made clothes, here.
Plus the only way I can afford fair trade organic clothes is make them myself. And I get to support local fabric shops which is very important to me. As is buying U.K. made fabrics.

Here is my guide to sewing plastic free….

Fabric
First you have to decide which fibre – synthetic or natural. While they all have bad points, naturals are way better than synthetics not least because at the end of life they can be composted. Natural fibres are harvested from nature either from animals like wool and silk, or plants like cotton.  Most synthetic fabrics are derived from petrol. But there is a kind of in-between called regenerated fibres. The base material is cellulose that can be obtained from a range of sources including wood, paper, cotton fiber, or  bamboo. It is then converted through a chemical process into a fiver. the later is often touted as an eco fabric but treat those claims with caution.

Wool cotton and linen are really the plastic free way to go for me.

Organic & Fair-trade 

As many fabrics are made in poorer countries, do try to source fair-trade when ever possible. There are good reasons for trying to also source organic. Cotton especially uses huge amounts of pesticides.

I can only buy organic fair-trade fabric on line. Which leads to problems with packaging. So many people will send it out in plastic bags. But there is one company, Offset Warehouse who in addition to having fantastic fair-trade, organic, eco credentials, and a great range of fabric they will post out in plastic-free packaging.

Local Shops

Problem is fair trade and organic don’t come cheap and I can’t always afford it. Also I cant always buy it locally. So, without beating myself up about it, I also buy natural but almost-certainly-non-organic, who-knows-how-it-is-made fabric because I like to buy from local fabric shops. Buying locally is also buying sustainably. There are many very strong reasons to support local shops. especially fabric shops. There aren’t that many of them, you get to see and learn about fabrics, the staff know lots, they get people into sewing they provide all the bits and bobs you might forget to order online and like all local shops they need supporting.

Locally Made Fabrics

This year I wanted to source some locally made fabrics. In the U.K. the locally made fabric is wool. It is especially relavent to me as I live in Yorkshire a place once famous for its woolen fabric. There used to be hundreds of mills churning out meters of the stuff but those days are long gone. Indeed you may be surprised to hear that there are any working mills left. I was. But my research revealed that Yorkshire cloth is still being made by a handful of mills. What they turn out now is a luxury product. If you thought organic fair-trade was expensive check out these prices. £ 50.00 a meter is the cheap end of the market and way out of my price range.

BUT  down on Leeds Market there are folk selling end of line end of roll lengths for very reasonable amounts. And I am sourcing lots more

Buy

on line suppliers
Local fabric shops.

Sewing Supplies

Needles, Pins & Cotton 

#pfuk cotton

These can be tricky to find plastic free so you will pleased to know we have found these online suppliers who will post out in plastic free packaging
Organic cotton on a wooden reel.
Needles & pins in cardboard boxes

Patterns

I buy paper patterns  from my local fabric store.You can  download them from the internet but you might need a bit of sewing experience for this to be completely successful.
There’s no doubt that patterns ar expensive but you can make a surprisingly wide range of outfits from just a few basic shape. Check out my patterns here.

Scissors

You can buy all metal scissors from the C. Booths Hardware Shop in Huddersfield.

Other Fixtures & Fittings like buttons, zips and the rest can be found here.

Machine

If you want to be really hardcore, plastic free you will have to sew by hand. I did make some bloomers and a headscarf that way. It can be done but meh! life is too short.  So unless you buy and old treadle sewing machine, you will be using a modern machine with some plastic. Consider it plastic to cut plastic.

Results

You can see what I have made, here

More

See how to do lots more tasks #plasticfree right here

 

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Margerine

So I gave up margerine in plastic tubs and scoured the shelves for an alternative. Back in my more innocent days I used to think that marge wrapped in foil was plastic free. But that foil is lined with plastic.You can find out more about plastic lined foil here

You can get cheap Marge wrapped in what looks like greaseproof paper. Even that may not be what it seems. It could be plastic lined or  chemically treated rather than natural greaseproof paper. You can read about that here.
But taking all of the above into account, paper wrapped margarine is the best we can do.

Buying Paper Wrapped Margerine

I have found myself falling out with margarine – it is slithery, weird and synthetic so I only use it very occasionally. This information may well be out of date. Last time I looked Sainsburys & Tescos do paper wrapped.

Alternatives

You can often use vegetable oil in place of margarine or butter when baking cakes. Cheaper than butter healthier than margarine.  It  isn’t  entirely plastic-free either but I do what I can.

and then of course there is butter. Before the boycott I ate margerine because I thought it was healthier option but you cannot get decent margarine plastic free. It all comes in plastic tubs.

So I went back to butter. But what about the risks?  Isn’t that an instant heart attack?  seems butter is not so bad for you after all and some margarines are poison!
” there never was any good evidence that using margarine instead of butter cut the chances of having a heart attack or developing heart disease. Making the switch was a well-intentioned guess, given that margarine had less saturated fat than butter, but it overlooked the dangers of trans fats.”
“butter is on the list of foods to use sparingly mostly because it is high in saturated fat, which aggressively increases levels of LDL. Margarines, though, aren’t so easy to classify. The older stick margarines that are still widely sold are high in trans fats, and are worse for you than butter. Some of the newer margarines that are low in saturated fat, high in unsaturated fat, and free of trans fats are fine as long as you don’t use too much (they are still rich in calories).”
From Harvard Health 

ANd some more research revealed that margerine is Hydrogenated Oil and these are not so nice.
Hydrogenated oil is made by forcing reactive hydrogen gas gas into oil at high pressure in the presence of a palladium catalyst.
Hydrogenated oil is more stable, does not go rancid as quickly
It has a higher melting point, so can be used for frying.
It is used to make liquid oils more solid. Margarine is oil solidified.

Concerns
Hydrogenating oil modifies the chemistry significantly.
The fatty acids in oils are unsaturated fats. They are unstable.
Hydrogenating oil turns these unstable fatty acids into new more stable fats known as trans fats acids.
There are concerns that trans fatty acids may increase LDL, or bad cholesterol, and decrease HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol.
Because they are not natural the digestive system does not know what to do with them. They may actually bioaccumulate in the body.
Read more here

More

Go back to the oil index to read about the other fatty acids we eat.
What are  oils, waxes and butters and which do we use.?

Lots more plastic-free food here.

Find more sneaky plastics here….