ESRAmagazine

Consumer Watch

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Separating and throwing out plastics is just not enough

Whilst discussing with some friends the subject of whales eating plastics, I was amazed to learn how many people presume that just by separating and throwing out their plastic bottles in the respective container, and maybe throwing out newspapers ("if they are not too heavy"), it is a sufficient contribution to recycling. One friend of mine was surprised to learn that in our area we have four different containers for recycling – the blue for paper, the mauve for glass jars and glass bottles, the big metal wire one for plastic drinking bottles and the orange for a multitude of items such as milk cartons, egg containers, cellophane and plastic materials, plastic bags and metal, including cans.

I keep a very big plastic bag next to my kitchen rubbish bin and put everything that can be recycled other than newspapers and plastic drinking bottles into this, and I go to one of the stations that has all four containers together. Where possible I reuse the bag.

Unfortunately I have no answer for those who do not drive and do not have these containers within walking distance.

'Use by dates' on foods are confusing me

I am getting more and more confused with this question of "last date of usage" on food products. How can there be a last date for SALT?

Sometime back I bought cheaply a couple of boxes of Mushroom Soup powder which were labeled "Special deduction: short expiry date". And guess what, these labels were stuck over the expiry date. Many a year ago, to the best of my knowledge, there was no last date printed on the majority of foodstuffs and other goods, and I kept boxes of powdered soups that I bought on a discount sale for two or three or more years before opening. So am I to understand that the quality of food has deteriorated, or are we again being "done" by the manufacturers?

Chickens: What's being injected to give us liquid?

I often buy whole frozen chicken breasts and if there is a discount/bargain on, then fresh chicken breasts. In any case, I usually freeze them till I need them.

An interesting thing I have noted. When the breasts are defrosted I am left with a small quantity of liquid, which is not completely colorless nor thin as water.

Recently after frying the chicken, when I washed-up and poured boiling water into the container that had held the frozen uncooked chicken, the leftover liquid turned into a thickish white skin. Just wondering if amongst our readers there is someone who can give us an explanation of what has been injected into the chicken. When I put a fresh whole chicken, dry into the oven to roast, after cooking I am also left with a big quantity of liquid in the pan.

Shop's rule for when friend returned a multi-pack item

I went shopping with a friend who wanted to return a small gift she had received. There was no problem returning it, especially as she had a receipt showing the date and price of the original purchase. However it was explained to her that the purchase had been one of three items sold together in a discount sale. If she chose the same item but in another color they would easily exchange the gift, but if she wanted a different item, then she had to first pay the difference on what would have been the full price on a single item without any discount, before she could choose anything else.

Replacements are only a call away

Lately I am learning to complain when I have problems with a product.

On all products you buy, the phone number of the manufacturer or the distributor should be shown, and I advise using this if you have problems with something you bought. I recently bought two VANISH sprays for use on stains on clothes before washing, and found it almost impossible to press the plastic handle, and in any case no spray came out on the clothes, only drips. When I rang the phone number on the label and gave all the information they requested, they promised to replace the sprays. The same with bars of Neca soap, where the paper wrapping had stuck to the new bars of soap, which were also crumbling. Within a few days two new packages of soap had arrived. Make sure to have the actual product in front of you when you telephone. 

 

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Tuesday, 24 November 2020

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