Monday, 1 October 2018

1810.01 PLASTIC (NOT SO) FANTASTIC

I like to think that I've always been environmentally aware. I've never thrown litter and always tried to take the recycling option. Excessive packaging has always bothered me. So why is it now that it's just becoming a thing?
Recycling has been a thing for a long while now but it's not a new thing. When I was a kid most drinks came in either cans or glass bottles. The glass bottles were 'returnable' with a refundable deposit as incentive. Milk was delivered to your door (by electric vehicle) in returnable glass bottles. So why was this system abandoned for a waste generating one? I don't have that answer, I'm not an expert.

The matter came to prominence earlier this year in a TV nature show which horrified the Great British public and suddenly things began to get a bit of traction. Suddenly people started to take notice, I attended a public awareness spectacle whilst visiting Wales this year.
The Clean Seas Cragen
I've had a beef with my local council over it's poor kerbside recycling for years now. Whilst some councils are right on with it's efforts mine have only done the minimum. For the record at this point they recycle (and I only have their word for it) paper, card, glass bottles / jars and tins / cans. No plastic. Recently they have announced that they will start collecting plastics from next year (coincidence?). 

I've been actively trying to reduce my packaging consumption, that's difficult when you are living on a tight budget but I've had some success. Before finding out about my council's plans to collect plastics I started collecting it with a view to taking it to a recycling point (being careful not to make a special trip but to take it whilst on an existing journey). Since doing this my black bin (general waste) has been down by 50-75%, a positive result in my opinion.

I'm not an environmentalist but I'm keen to keep my carbon footprint as low as I can. I don't use a car for unnecessary journeys - commute by bike etc, I recycle as much as I can and I give a damn about the amount of packaging I consume. It's not difficult and doesn't impact my life so why don't others buy in? I want to see cleaner streets, less packaging in use and more efficient use of transport - none of this is rocket science.

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