Posts tagged "biscuits"

How can I reuse or recycle chocolate/sweet tins?

After seeing Judith Williamson’s wonderful jewellery made from old sweet tins the other week, I’ve been thinking about what else could be done with them. T’is approaching the season for big tins of chocolates and biscuits after all.

Since they’re well sealing metal tins, they’re great for using for stuff that needs to be kept dry – a sewing kit, next year’s seeds stash, spices, flour, first aid kits/emergency kits, spare nuts & bolts in the garage… What do you store in them?

But do you use them for anything more exciting? Like Judith, have you use them to make anything fun?

How can I reuse or recycle plastic biscuit wrapping?

I am a fan of biscuits (aka cookies). I have written of my love of biscuits. I am eating a biscuit while writing this. I do try to make my own biscuits but we eat store-bought ones too – and that obviously means packaging waste.

My favourite shop-bought ones are McVitie’s dark choc digestives so I contacted United Biscuits (who make McVities and a number of other brands) recently about their film-y packaging. They got back to me immediately – which is great compared to most companies – but the news isn’t particular good:

“Packs are made from polypropylene, which is not biodegradable. However, it is recyclable, although I am advised that whilst there are facilities to accommodate this elsewhere, there are currently none in the UK. We are working with the government agencies to try and develop suitable collection in the UK.

Having said that, a lot of work is currently taking place in the packaging community to develop films from sustainable bio sources such as corn. Development of these films may result in biodegradable and compostable films suitable for packaging our products.

The silver layer present in some of our packaging, is a microscopic layer of aluminium used as a barrier to prevent the migration of oxygen into the pack. This increases the shelf life of the product from several days to several months.

We use many hundreds of tonnes of film every year and are very concerned not only by the environment but also by the fact that plastics are derived from a non-renewable resource, crude oil.

Our packaging experts are working with the country’s leading producers to find replacements that are safe, cost effective and environmentally friendly as far as possible.”


So they say it can’t be recycled – what are the other options? Aside from making more at home, I’m careful to bulk buy possible (keeping the excess air-tight to avoid spoilage) but not buy their multipacks, which are the regular packs in an additional plastic pack.

Are there any reuses for polypropylene film? Anyone know of any other recycling avenues to explore?

The Really Good Life: Baking things that’ll last

Hey guys, sorry I haven’t got time to write a full Recycle This post today – but can I point you to the latest article on my new blog The Really Good Life?

It’s about how to reduce food waste and having to rely on supermarket supplies by getting the most out of each home baking session – how to make baked goods that’ll last.

Do you have any tricks to stop bread, biscuits, cakes etc from quickly going stale?

Do you freeze dough or part-baked/fully baked items? Any tricks or tips?

Any special ingredients to include or avoid to make things last that little bit longer?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

How can I reuse or recycle out-of-date Weetabix?

a weetabix wheat biscuitWe’ve had an email from Jenna to our Compost This address:

I just found a box of Weetabix in my kitchen cupboard that went off last April! Can I compost it?

In a basic, non-sealed compost bin/heap, one of the general rules is avoid putting anything in there that might attract vermin. While I certainly wouldn’t put milk-soaked cereal in there, crushed dry Weetabix should be ok – it’s even recommended in some circles as a starter food for wormeries.

(Another general rule of compost heaps is keep it balanced and well mixed, so keep that in mind if you’ve got a lot of the wheat biscuits to get rid of.)

Aside from composting though, are there any old uses for out of date Weetabix? I have a half memory of a facial scrub/mask thing using Weetabix but a search doesn’t show anything up. Anyone know?

Best Suggestions

  • Reduce: Keep breakfast cereals like Weetabix in a sealed plastic container to avoid them getting soggy from the general moisture in your kitchen.
  • Recycle: Dry Weetabix can be added to wormeries or compost heaps as a “brown”. Chickens and wild birds are also a lot less fussy than we are about what is stale and what isn’t!
  • See the comments below for more suggestions and ideas