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:o Did you read about this? (article pasted below, Sunday Telegraph 23rd Nov '08)
Just interested to hear your thoughts… should recycling continue even if economically inviable? I find it hard to stomach thinking that all our recyclables that we all save, sort and put out for collection, or take to recycling points, will just be dumped in landfill because no one wants to buy it, or it is not financially worth selling. If this is a long term issue (and sounds like 2009 is not going to be a year of swift economic recovery) it makes a mockery of the who 'recycle' message we promote and that we tell our children about.
The article, copied from their website:
"THE FINANCIAL crisis could halt the growth in the amount of household rubbish recycled as the market for waste materials collapses.
Hertfordshire county council has withdrawn a scheme that allowed residents to recycle items such as yogurt pots, margarine tubs and other types of plastic packaging because it has become uneconomical to do so.
The items will go to landfill sites and the council has asked residents to avoid buying products with too much plastic packaging.
It is thought to be the first case of a local authority scrapping a recycling scheme in response to the recent collapse of the market, as global demand for recyclable materials slumps and prices fall so low that councils and their contractors cannot shift their waste.
However, industry experts fear more could follow suit. This week, the Local Government Association (LGA) is writing to all councils, urging them to resist the temptation to divert recyclable rubbish to landfill.
The association is in talks with the Ministry of Defence about using former military bases to stockpile material that cannot be recycled.
The decision by Hertfordshire means it will no longer accept “mixed plastics” for recycling at its 19 waste collection sites. However, it will still recycle “rigid” plastics such as bottles.
The decision follows a collapse in the price of mixed plastic from about £200 a tonne to almost nothing, as demand from China dried up.
Dozens of councils and their contractors are understood to have started storing waste, although few have admitted it, fearing it could undermine public support for recycling schemes." Sunday Telegraph 23rd Nov '08
paper market has almost collapsed as well apparently, I don't know the perfect solution but going back to landfill is not the answer.
It's so difficult when there's packaging or even double packaging covering almost everything we buy, what are we supposed to do?!
I've been trying to be good about plastic carrier bags recently. I keep buying those expensive bags in tesco to take my shopping home in, I've got 5 now of the blue ones with white spots. They are quite baulky to carry round, they are expensive and 5 don't hold a whole weeks worth of shopping though so I still end up with plastic carrier bags…and then I forget to take them into tesco quite often and have to use all carrier bags and feel horribly guilty that I'm so disorganised. Then I bought one of those trolley dolly bags after seeing a friend's last week! http://www.trolleydollybags.com
It's like a shopping solution! You can put different items in the different coloured bags so make putting away at the other end easier, so say dairy in blue, frozen in red, fruit and veg in the green nets etc. There are two bottle bags. They are really strong and thankfully washable as the yogurt got squashed! and all 25 odd bags all fit in the bag carrier (I've got the black one with pink spots, it's the size of a medium sized handbag, really lovely!) The Velcro top fastening fits over the trolley handle or there's a hook to hook onto the hook on the trolley. There's pockets for my phone, store cards and vouchers. There's a clear pocket for my list and and it even comes with a trolley token attached on a little clip! I used it in Tesco yesterday and felt like a magician pulling bag after bag out to put all my shopping in! There's these two brown shoulder bags in there as well so I put them in my normal handbag for trips to the local shop etc. There's even a mans version, I'm so getting them for everyone for xmas!
The fruit and veg nets are the best thing, no more choosing fruit and veg and putting it in a plastic bag so it can be weighed, I just put it straight into a net and it's weighed in it at the checkout and because the bag is washable I just put the apples or whatever straight under the tap in the bag when I get home and then hang the bag and contents to dry all done! It makes me feel very virtuous! The labelly thing that was on the bag when I got it said that using my trolley dolly for every shop would save 800 odd plastic bags a year!
It's depressing isn't it. I've just been listening to the Radio show mentioned on this blog http://myzerowaste.com/2008/11/live-radio-phone-in-this-afternoon/ and
I can't believe there are people out there who are just too lazy to recycle. If they did axe Recycling then I know us "already Green" types will naturally look for more ways of reusing and reducing our waste in the first place but there are a lot of people out there who will continue to buy over packaged and single use items. I don't know what the magic answer is but maybe the "Pay as you throw" scheme mentioned in the above link would make people think a bit more about how they can reduce their waste in the first place. People will have to understand that you can't live in a "thow away world" forever and get away with it!
Of course if they did stop recycling there would still be an inconceivable amount of rubbish going to Landfill no matter what we do. Doesn't bare thinking about really.
Mama to 4 DDs.
Surely the producers should be forced to use biodegradable packaging instead of plastic. We really need to clamp down on seeing plastic as a cheap form of packing. What's wrong with going back to putting liquids in glass and dry goods in paper/waxed paper? Why can't supermarkets provide paper bags to put vegetables & fruit in?
I know it's not a popular idea with the general public but I do think that people should pay for the waste they create, and also be fined for not separating their waste.
As a family of 5, we recycle virtually everything (compost, papers, tins, bottles, cardboard are collected by local authority, we wash and save plastic to take to the local recycling plant once a fortnight) and are careful about not buying overpackaged items (multipacks of ''corner yoghurts'' kicked out long ago) - we only have to put our bin out once a month and even then it's usually not even half full.
The thing is, I see pensioners (not wanting to have a go at old people, but it often seems to be them who are the culprits) putting out groaning bins every fortnight: the lid won't even shut and they just throw everything in there - papers, tins, bottles etc because they can't be bothered to separate it.
The media doesn't seem to help either - they usually get on the side of the people who are the consumers of all this disposable stuff complaining that you get rats if you only have a fortnightly collection etc. We greenies often just get laughed at.
I think we should all start thinking about some sort of campaign…...
well our council has just extended its recylcing programme to include food waste which is being used for agricultural fertiliser and apparently the scheme is a great success, so thats some good news!
I think people forget that if you recycle you also have to buy recycled products or obviously there is no market for the recycling. I'm amazed at how little recycled paper, toilet paper, bin bags are sold, judging by the small piles of these things in your average supermarket or stationery store.
Its definitely not pensioners that put out the groaning bins around here, but families!
Argh! Most people round here are only just getting the hang of recycling anyway…if this ends up being all over the country it'll really set things back! I can understand it though, if they can't get rid of it they do need to find somewhere for it and it'll probably hae to be landfill unless someone comes up with a solution that won't cost a fortune…
However, I'm already feeling virtuous as I havn't set foot inside a supermarket for years (since DH and I moved in together when I was 19!) as we have a great wholefoods shop nearby…and I now use a granny trolley rather than bags so it's only the minimal packaging from the suma stuff that ends up being thrown away…they deliver our veg in a crate that they take back and things are in paper bags inside.
My Mum is a Tesco shopper, but joins in with the WI and leaves all her excess packaging at the checkout! Yes, she does get very very odd looks!