We need much less recycling

Recycling is important; if we do not recycle waste we bury it or burn it and both activities cause environmental harm, so we have recycling targets. Indeed the UK government described the recent London Olympic Games as the greenest ever because it recycled a great deal of waste and it used recycled materials in the construction of the park.

This is a good thing, no doubt, but I think by setting recycling targets we look at things from the wrong end of the telescope. We are looking at recycling all the rubbish that we generate but without trying to limit the rubbish that we generate.

There are small initiatives in various places. In Wales a shop will charge you 5 pence for a bag, whether plastic, paper or second hand, and that 5 p charge is supposed to discourage the use of so many single use plastic bags. In Ireland there are also prohibitions on the sale of plastic single use bags, but that has seen a rise in the number of plastic bin liners being sold.

To solve problems you often have to go back to first principles; in the case of recycling we should understand that while it is possible to recycle most things, even plastics, just because we can recycle them, does not mean to say that we should use those things. There is far too much plastic rubbish being generated. The fact that the rubbish is recyclable and often is actually recycled does not mean to say that the plastic rubbish is benign. Huge quantities of plastic end up in the sea, even in the Antarctic ocean, where sea life “eats” the indigestible, and as the plastic breaks down harmful constituents are released inside the bodies of the sea life.

It would be far better to stop using plastic for packaging.  Perhaps not for all packaging but for most things plastic packaging is a marketing device, rather than a necessity, because it makes a consumer feel that the item is more valuable than it actually is.

Do we need to wrap apples in plastic bags? Do we need to have supermarkets sell pears in polystyrene trays protected by a plastic dome covered in clear PVC film? Our aim should be to recycle everything but also to cut down the amount of things that we have to recycle drastically. That will means using less plastic and using much less packaging and finding ways to wrap goods more efficiently using much less material.

3 Responses

  1. “R Whites” lemonade,
    “Corona” cream soda,
    “Courage” mild, brown ale and pale ale.

    In south east London, these were purchased in re-useable bottles which were returned to be sterlised and refilled rather than crushed and remelted into new bottles.

    Elsewhere there was “Vimto”, “Tizer” , “Irn Bru”, Newcastle Brown all in re-useable bottles.

    No one bought sandwiches, “Pret a manger” pots of fruit. If you wanted a take out coffee you used a proper tin or vacuum flask.

    Take out food and drink is the worst offender due to its use of polystryrene boxes, cups, plastic spoons, cans, etc.

    You’re right we should not see recycling simplistically. A good example is the junk mail we get. It is designed, printed, put in post office vans, delivered by hand to each of us. It then goes straight into a bin where it is collected, transported, sorted and recyled into more junk mail. Pointless!

    What counts is energy and resource preservation.

    That way we live more healthily, waste less, and improve the visual environment.

  2. Again we never look any further than our immediate enviornment because we are being distracted at home by design.

    Global trade is the main culprit towards waste, tremendously so, grapes from Chille and Austrailia instead of France, wheat from Canada instead of Europe.

    Today lingers in the ocean a collection and a future problem the size of Texas not being recycled by man but nature herself, growing in size yearly, now seen from space easier than the great walls of China, rivers of plastic run through Haiti, and like unwise anywhere that is decimated by consumption, by both mans neglect and greed, someone is making millions in creating this waste and the whole is picking up the bill in the form of pre-paid taxes to sort it all out.

    Today Germany is stock pilling millions of tons of glass in huge dissused open cast mines, why is it not being reused?

    Why wre the rain forests being cut down at all, look into Japan’s forestry practices, here is how it should be done, they have a totally sustainable 78% reforested arena which we all could follow.

    Lets start opening the cans of control, instead of reacting posto facto, stop being just like the controlled mediums and media which is not helping our situations to come, all of which are preventable.

    Like has been mentioned before, trun off Tv set and go and do something less biring instead.

    Recycling.

    I can tell you it pays many thousands in dividends, firstly one needs skills, real life skills, not having these is what is creating the pollutions and problems in our name.
    as a society, every time we loose a skill we become reliant upon another, mainly far away for our own survival and with that verysurvival comes waste and insecurity, it isbeing done by design, the second your newlyhorn are contracted over on registering their souls to a familiar but hidden rhythm.

    The topic is huge but the results are the same, to remove the sollutions creating the problem, we need to be educated as to why, be able to think for ourselves, otherwise we are unable to think for ourselves.

    A society with a good hand to eye coordination is always the most allert, you must re-skill and re-awaken, if you have the skills, you then quickly realise how valuable your own labour becomes to yourself, and why we are also valuable to those who think we owe them a living.

    From the bottom up, we can help ourselves to help those who want to help themselvesx, re-educate, reskill, recover from theis perpetual insanity being instigated for profit upon the poorer ellements, who have been created by design.

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