Tetra Paks: What to do…

tetra pak

Tetra Paks are an ingeneous type of packaging which we all use on a regular basis – often when we purchase milk, custard, apple juice, ice lollies and similar liquid based products. The problem comes when we try to dispose of them. Because they are made from mixed materials (paper, plastic, aluminium, and sometimes wax), they cannot be put in with standard card or plastic kerbside colection boxes.

There is one solitary recycling plant which accepts and processes Tetra Paks in the whole of the UK – Halifax. This means opportunities to recycle Tetra Paks for those in Sedbergh and the surrounding area is quite limited. The nearest recycling bin which accepts them is in Carnforth, but is under the management of Lancashire County Council, so it feels quite naughty giving them packaging from custard consumed in Cumbria. A better solution has to be the manufacturers taking some responsibility.

Tetra Pak are a Swedish company, who have some bold statements about recycling on their website:

We take a proactive and pioneering approach to make sure cartons are collected, sorted and recycled so that they keep delivering value. When a recycling value chain is working well, it also prevents littering, saves resources and reduces climate impact – all of which are vital to our shared sustainable future.

Sounds promissing. I have written to them to ask for some clarification on what we in the UK can expect from Tetra Pak in terms of investment in new recycling technology. Watch this space!

What to do with all that pesky unrecyclable plastic?

How about fill an empty plastic water bottle and make an ecobrick? Really easy, strangely satisfying, and great for the environment! 🌎 Just follow the instructions below.
Zero Waste Sedbergh is now a drop-off point for your bricks. Once yours if full, just message via the contact page to arrange.

More info at (n.b. website down at the mo, due to demand)


Sedbergh’s First Repair Cafe, Tues 9th Oct

What a fabulous time we’ve had at Sedbergh’s first ever Repair Cafe! Thanks so much to the wonderful Simply Repair South Lakes fixers and sewers, who sprinkled their make-do-and-mend magic on numerous items once destined for the bin, and gave them a new lease of life!

We used the event to “test the water” to see whether something like this could work in Sedbergh on a regular basis. Judging by the amount of people we had through the door, and the amount of happy faces and positive comments, I think that is a resounding, yes! Many thanks to the wonderful Sedbergh Community Trust who funded the event: Hurrah for them!

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What’s it all about?

The idea of a Repair Cafe is to prevent objects and clothes from ending up in the bin unnecessarily. If something can be fixed or repaired, then we believe that is the best, zero waste way. We also believe repair cafes should be about passing on and sharing skills. It’s not about dropping off some holey socks for repair whilst you nip to the hairdressers – it’s about learning how to darn socks, from someone who may well have been doing it for years. It’s also about catching up with friends and eating copious amounts of cake (provided). Have a gander at my recent article in the local newsletter for more on making do and mending: Lookaround Oct 2018

Blatent Appeal for Volunteers

I am convinced that Sedbergh has enough talented fixers and sewers locally for us to run our own regular event (as opposed to hiring in an external team).

So the hunt is now on for electricians, fixers, handymen/women, and sewers. Volunteers do not have to be professionally trained or hold a qualification. They do need to be experienced in their chosen area of fixing, and keen to help others. Please note we would only ever ask fixers to tackle a repair if they were entirely happy to do so. We would welcome small and minor repairs, and would always encourage larger or more complex cases to go to specialist repair shops.

I am also in need of help setting the room up, putting it all back at the end, and with serving refreshments.

So please get in touch with me if you would be willing to give up a few hours of your time, just a few times a year.

Thanks to everyone who helped with refreshments on Tuesday, and to Sedbergh Community Trust for funding the event!

Lovely day for a litter pick!


Friday July 6th saw people from towns and villages across the area turning out armed with bags and grabbers, for The Great Cumbrian Litter Pick. Thanks to Judy and Merlin who spent two hours working with me in hot conditions around Sedbergh town. A small but dedicated team!
Thanks also to the guys at South Lakeland District Council for loaning out the equipment. And to Friends of the Lake District for organising the whole event!

_20180706_163329A selection from today’s litter pick. The picture doesn’t include the hundred odd cigarette ends or the bagged up abandoned dog poo (stomach couldn’t take it!). Included in the hoard:
5 babywipes, 21 charity appeal bags, a baby’s dummy, 3 odd socks, a losing scratch card, chicken drumsticks packet, bus receipt, school permission slip, aerosol can lid, green ribbon, 18 chocolate wrappers, 4 plastic bottles, a yogurt pot, 3 packets of crisps, sheet of sandpaper, and a broken car lamp.

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