July’s Dustbin Demon

Filed in Blog by on July 2, 2008 2 Comments
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dustbin demonThis month’s dustbin demon is another of those insidious things that we all throw in the bin. They’re tiny, we don’t give them much thought, but I wonder how many of them we collectively ‘throw away’ across the globe?

I’m talking about those tiny, thin plastic strips that attach labels to things. I don’t even know what they are called: thin strips of plastic that attach labels to things I suppose.


This week, for instance, I bought a fresh pineapple. I figured the shell would go in the compost and it was a better option than its tinned cousin, where although the packaging can be recycled is not the best option. It still takes energy and resources to make and recycle a tin, after all.

But I do grant you that tinned pineapple is better than the ‘ready prepared’ pineapple that some of the larger supermarkets sell in plastic wedge shaped boxes; at an extortionate price for those who can’t manage to wield a kitchen knife and cut up their own tropical delight.

I personally find getting into those vacuum sealed plastic packs more arduous than chopping the fresh fruit, but there you go. And you miss out on the adrenaline rush of just missing your eye with the juice as it squirts into your face.

So there I am, happily cutting into this perfect piece of fruit for a smoothie. I put the shell into the compost bin and I’m just about to add the spiky top when I realise it still has the bar-coded label attached. I go to remove it and see that it is punched through one of the leaves with a plastic strip! WTF?!
plastic strip attaching pineapple label
I now have a thin plastic strip of plastic to get rid of. Which is so lightweight, it could easily get blown out of my bin or out of the rubbish lorry or out of the landfill and end up polluting the planet of choking some animal somewhere. <sigh>

Whenever you buy a piece of clothing, the majority of the price or size tags are attached by these pieces of plastic, stuffed toys have their ears pierced with them, shoes are married together with them, and now pineapples sport them as hair accessories. (Oh yes, and most hair accessories have the price attached by them as well).

The most annoying thing is that one of the ends of these tags invariably pings across the room at the speed of light and gets lost in the carpet, under the sofa or in the cat’s fur.

All the amount of searching about on your hands and knees cannot put off your inevitable fate that the aforementioned dustbin demon shows up when you walk barefoot across the floor, sit on the sofa in a pair of shorts or the cat parks it butt on your bed.

Ahhh, *there* it is…………

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (2)

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  1. maisie says:

    I totally agree Mrs Green,these thing are horrendous and also if you haven’t got scissors/knife handy then a nightmare to remove.

  2. Mrs Green says:

    Hi maisie!
    Oh the number of times I’ve nearly sliced my finger off trying to break through the bloomin’ things! It hurts my teeth to do it too.
    And of course, if little fingers get to them first, there can be all sorts of damage (especially to the item if it’s clothing!)

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