We are encouraged these days to separate all the rubbish that we produce by putting it into three bins – one for organic waste, one for recyclables, and one for landfill material. The instructions for sorting are quite explicit and it’s not that hard to direct material properly. But the whole thing – plus the hectoring Facebook posts from faceless organisations – begs the question of who should be dealing with it and when.
I suspect that the corporations packaging food, textiles, paper goods, and all sorts of other consumer goods are the real culprits behind the waste explosion. They make the boxes, plastic wraps, moulded trays, containers, and whatever else is filling those bins every week. And they have instituted a business model that passes the buck and/or the parcel to us.
Take the business of soft drinks and beer. Once exclusively in glass containers – then changed to steel cans – then aluminium – then to PET bottles. And now we need to rinse out the bottles and segregate them and someone in the council has to try to squash them and recycle them back to somewhere – while the oil resources that are used to make the bottles get ever more scarce.
Go.Back.To.The.Glass.Bottle. Let it out as a container that delivers the fluid and then take it back as a container that can be refilled for the next delivery. Pay a pittance for this recovery, but pay something. You will be amazed at how swiftly the stream of returned bottles starts to flow. And how soon people will accept the idea of re-usable bottles.
Sell bread in paper wrappers. Sell veggies in them too – you always used to do so.
Sell fewer electronic coffee machines boxed in polystyrene – also sell fewer of everything else and make the stuff you do sell repairable. And be delighted with how people will accept the idea of using up something and then repairing it so they can use it some more. Sell spare parts, at an acceptable price.
The bottom line is always money with the corporations, so they are the people to whom hectoring government can apply for redress.