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Old 22-06-2011, 12:54   #1
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Waste Aboard ??

I have found a number of convenient prepackaged foods, that keep indefinately without refrigeration, and require minimal preperation...The downside is the enormous amount of packaging material for a minimal amount of food.

First they come in a box, shrink wrapped, with little packets with each serving. My family easily produces a cubic yard of trash each day! A good afternoon of drinking with friends produces a cooler full of empty glass bottles, not even to mention the empty plastic water or juice containers, used paper wipes, etc...

In the interest of NOT contributing to the giant island of floating waste in the middle of the pacific, how does one control generated trash to minimise impact?

A first step could be transferring to reusable containers before bringing aboard, but that just transfers the waste from sea to land, where it will most likely someday end up, ...well, back in the sea. Even canned food generates a large number of ... cans.

There must be a better way.
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Old 22-06-2011, 13:31   #2
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Re: Waste aboard??

Metal and glass are recyclable. Other than that, cook your own and don't buy prepackaged. But you knew that, didn't you?
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Old 22-06-2011, 14:25   #3
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Re: Waste aboard??

A similar conversation on SailNet recently has some suggestions: Trash!???? - SailNet Community
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Old 22-06-2011, 14:30   #4
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Re: Waste aboard??

Old dictum from my hiking/camping days:

If you can haul it in, you can haul it out.

Why are you choosing foods/drinks with so much excess packaging in the first place? Cook, bake or make your own. Earlier generations did it all the time.
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Old 22-06-2011, 14:46   #5
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Re: Waste aboard??

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Why are you choosing foods/drinks with so much excess packaging in the first place? Cook, bake or make your own. Earlier generations did it all the time.
When seas are rough, I'm not particularly interested in cooking, and those prepackaged meals can save energy and water. Just like dried beans and a pressure cooker are fine at anchor, and problematic underway, where canned sometimes make more sense.

For those premade meals, or wine in boxes, we ditch the cardboard while still ashore, and just keep the foil pouches and bags.
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Old 22-06-2011, 15:21   #6
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Re: Waste aboard??

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When seas are rough, I'm not particularly interested in cooking, and those prepackaged meals can save energy and water. Just like dried beans and a pressure cooker are fine at anchor, and problematic underway, where canned sometimes make more sense.

For those premade meals, or wine in boxes, we ditch the cardboard while still ashore, and just keep the foil pouches and bags.
I don't want to come across as rude. It is just that I have practiced a strong conservation ethic long before it was "cool". Being frugal (yeah, some call me cheap) means I avoid additional costs as much as possible.

As example, luncheon meats? Buy the whole ham and slice it with a food slicer as thin as possible. Like smoked meats? Cook a turkey, slice the breasts, put them in the BBQ with hickory/apple/maple chips. Use the carcass for soup, can it, and it's a meal in a glass. Pickle some carrots and cauliflower. Be inventive.

Why not prepare things ahead of time and package them, can them or freeze them (if you have a freezer). For those rough times, canned tuna works really well. Chick peas do well without needing to be cooked when they are soaked.

I'm just saying, pre-made meals are a good idea, but it is not necessary to buy them.
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Old 22-06-2011, 15:22   #7
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Re: Waste aboard??

My wife strips off and disposes of the excess packaging before she leaves the supermarket.
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Old 22-06-2011, 15:28   #8
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Re: Waste aboard??

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My wife strips off and disposes of the excess packaging before she leaves the supermarket.

Sensational.

I'd love to be a packing boy at your supermarket! Do other women there do the same?
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Old 22-06-2011, 15:30   #9
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Re: Waste aboard??

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Sensational.

I'd love to be a packing boy at your supermarket! Do other women there do the same?
What's a packing boy? Haven't seen one of those since I was, um... much younger
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Old 22-06-2011, 15:50   #10
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Re: Waste aboard??

Aldis here in US doesnt even bag your grocieries. we dispose of excess and dump probaly half the bulk then and there! she even brings the tupperware sometimes.
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Sensational.

I'd love to be a packing boy at your supermarket! Do other women there do the same?
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Old 22-06-2011, 16:10   #11
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Re: Waste aboard??

That mentality needs to be installed in other countries!

Travelling around the Caribbean you get everything bagged way beyond necesity. delicate items in a small bag to go in a bigger one. Cleaning products in a separate bag, then wrapped and then in a bigger bag. And if you interfer to try and reduce the packaging... watch out. The bagging boys are very protective about their jobs!

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Old 22-06-2011, 16:24   #12
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Re: Waste aboard??

It starts in the store--we often choose products not just for their food value, but for how they are packaged. For example, it is easier to get rid of glass jars and metal cans than it is plastic ones. Strangely, in the USA many products are offered in a large store in a wide variety of containers: glass, metal, or plastic. You choose the best one both for storage and for getting rid of later. Offshore the small amounts of biodegradeable waste generated by a cruising boat will do just that quite readily in the middle of the ocean--biodegrade. Obviously, you never dump any plastic trash overboard, but I will dump glass and metal that will sink. I smash glass so it really does sink and often will puncture or flatten cans that might be slow to sink . Nearer shore you have to work with whatever island infrastructure exists. In some places some of your trash might be actually desired by the locals--like cans and bottles, or even plastic bags and bottles for storage. In other places the locals just pile up their trash on some deserted spot and hope for the best, and we try not to dump in those spots though some islands require your to dispose of your trash in certain receptacles, which often end up in the trash heep anyway. In some places like that a bonfire on the beach might be a good way to get rid of anything burnable, while we always store toxic substances and plastics for later disposal in some first-world place. It is a wise practice in order to keep bugs off the boat to strip paper and cardboard from any packaging before it gets on the boat.
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Old 22-06-2011, 16:40   #13
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Re: Waste aboard??

I keep the 2 litre plastic milk bottle when empty and stuff any plastic rubish in that, it is amazing how much can be packed into one of these bottles.

EDIT: Then it goes over the side.................only joking it goes in the bin on shore.
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Old 22-06-2011, 17:20   #14
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Re: Waste aboard??

i stomp all that is left after i remove things bugs like to travel in(cardboard) and make it as small aS POSSIBLE, bag it , spray the bag with bugkill, place into another bag, then making sure all is double bagged and stuff from nature goes back to our momma, with holes in bottom of cans to sink em-the stomped down and sprayed and bagged stuff gets saved for next fuel stop or if i have to go into a marina, their bins. i reuse some plastic bottles.
my stowage place for this is my shower-- is not in use during passages, so is good for the job.
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Old 22-06-2011, 17:37   #15
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Re: Waste aboard??

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Originally Posted by capn_billl View Post

A first step could be ....

There must be a better way.
Correct, as other have already said you have to start at the source and avoid the stuff at the store. It seems in the saying "Reduce, Reuse & Recycle", the reduce always get the short shift.

It's not as easy but its like the saying ..."There are always two choices-two paths to take. One is easy, and its only reward is that it's easy."
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