The quest for zero waste honey

Filed in Blog by on September 2, 2008 6 Comments
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The Green\'s quest for zero waste honey
It shouldn’t be difficult to buy honey should it? It’s readily available in glass jars as well as the plastic squeezy containers, which always retain a bit of honey in the bottom no matter what you do.

But glass jars are ok for zero waste, if they come with a metal lid, right?

Well, kind of.

What we’ve discovered this morning is that the majority of glass honey jars are sporting a plastic collar around the edge of the lid.

Is the fashion now to be seen with your jar of honey on a leash, walking it through Hyde Park? Why isn’t it good enough to just have the metal lid? The centre of the lid sinks down if the seal is complete, so why the need for a plastic seal?

In addition, many glass jars of honey have a plastic lid which doesn’t have a recycling code on it, so that’s too risky for our zero waste week.

You might think we could go without honey for a week, but Mr Green without honey is like a bear without honey or a Mrs Green without yogurt or a Little Miss Green without hot curry an apple for breakfast. He has it in his coffee, yes really, and without coffee first thing, he’s, shall we say, a little bit below par on the happiness and approachability stakes.

So off on a mission for zero waste honey we went. Four local shops later we found something that was ideal. It’s cost to the landfill was non existent, we generated a few car emissions in the process but it’s cost to Mr Green’s wallet was enormous.

One of the first questions people ask us is ‘So does going zero waste cost you more money?’ Pah – of course not we smuggly reply clutching our reusable shopping bags to our hearts, but Mr Green just paid four pounds for a jar of honey, whereas Lidls usually come up trumps for less than two pounds. Thing is, the lidls jars come with an unidentifiable plastic lid and we weren’t prepared to buy this this week.

The honey does have a feel good factor to it however. It came from our local shop, the one where we buy naked cheese from and the honey itself was born, bred and buzzed around by bees in Gloucestershire county – just a few miles away, so that gives a warm buzzy fuzzy feeling.  Maybe the bees came to our garden for nectar. I just hope it tastes good or I’ll have a growly bear to deal with in the morning.

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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 (6)

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  1. That is dumb…a lot of our jarred foods come packaged that way too, with the extra plastic wrap.

  2. Jaynie says:

    I’ve just checked our jar of local honey- no plastic ring! Thank goodness!

    It’s made by the parents of a pupil in the school where my OH works, and it’s delicious.

  3. Poppy says:

    I’m in the fortunate position of knowing a man-that-does, IYKWIM 😉 so no plastic on the lids of jars I get from him 🙂

  4. Hmm, must look at finding an alternative honey source…. Sans plastic ring seal.

  5. Poppy says:

    Tescos honey is 60 odd pence a jar and comes with just a metal lid.

    Or you could try the local bee keepers group, I know a few of their members sell honey around the forest and the stuff at work is only (ha!) £3.50 a jar, and cheaper if you by it from the guy who produces it, not sure about the lids though

  6. Mr Green says:

    Hi Poppy, so the question is … how to tescos retail it for 60p+ ? I wonder if it’s the same way as they retail Tee-shirts for 1.99 etc, etc… Sometimes the ‘ethical choice’ is a tough one and then you have to consider things like fair trade, eco-packaging and real/organic food quality. So many factors to consider.

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