Our ‘go to’ pud has always been ice cream. Let’s face it, not much compares to the delight that is salted caramel! But buying those little tubs from our local supermarket came with a built-in disposal problem. That Ben and Jerry’s or Häagen-Dazs container may look like recyclable cardboard but, of course, once we started investigating, we discovered it was lined with plastic – obviously, otherwise it would simply dissolve into a soggy mess – which means those tubs are going to be around for up to a thousand years.
We were already aware of Mary’s Milk Bar on Edinburgh’s Grassmarket, which quite simply does the best hand-made ice cream we’ve ever tasted. A crispy cone is, of course, the perfect container for a single portion as it’s completely recyclable (in our stomachs) but what if we wanted to buy some to take home?
A simple enquiry provided an affirmative answer. Mary’s can supply a family sized insulated polystyrene tub of ice-cream for £10. When we bought the first one we paid a £2 deposit on the tub. Clearly, this isn’t perfect – it is another plastic container – but at least this one can be washed and reused, again and again. And, being insulated, the contents will stay frozen for a couple of hours, so we don’t have to rush straight home after we’ve bought it. Also, we can take it on a picnic, or to a dinner party. Okay, so this may work out a little more expensive than the supermarket option, but there are mitigating factors to consider:
- The hand-made ice cream has no emulsifiers or artificial ingredients.
- It’s made fresh every day.
- We’re not adding to the mound of single-use plastic discarded every day in the UK.
- There is no 4. What other reasons could we need?
Of course, if you don’t live in Edinburgh, you can’t get your ice cream from Mary’s. But have a look around. There’s sure to be an ice cream parlour somewhere near you. Even if it’s not quite as nice as ours.