Recycling progress?

In their recent report East Cheshire council was pleased to report that 55% of garbage is now recycled. That means it went into the recycling bins. How much was really recycled is anyone’s guess.

This reminds me of the first Knutsford Lectures in 1994, the days of the single black rubbish bin. We had subsidiary short talks on matters of local interest and one was given by a man from the then Macclesfield Borough Council. He had the good news that recycling was to begin soon, which indeed it did a few years later. So this was progress of a sort, and people are now furiously engaged in playing a part in recycling. Of course this led to the plague of wheelie bins that now disfigures streets and alleyways across the world. [One day we will get back to a single bin which is automatically recycled, like the mostly manual French dechetterie we toured round many years ago, but that’s not my main focus here.]

It feels that we actually generate more rubbish than we did 25 years ago. Now why is that? Packaging – both plastic packaging from supermarket products and the endless excessively large cardboard boxes and internal wadding from ever more internet purchases. Amazon and product producers are actually filling up the recycling bins and thereby increasing that recycling statistic. It seems like two steps forward and one step back.

And of course Amazon avoid paying the tax that would pay for the extra cost of all this recycling. Politicians seem so slow to grasp these nettles!

Featured image shows bins in Christchurch, New Zealand
by gobeirne via Wikimedia Commons

3 thoughts on “Recycling progress?

  1. One way to make a small point about recycling & the use of excess packaging and plastics is to unpack the excessively packaged product at the till before you leave and give the packaging to the person taking your money, asking if it could be recycled because you don’t want it. I’ve been doing this from time to time for years – mainly because I heard an early leader of the Green Party suggesting this (she did it herself). No -one in the shop I’ve done this in has ever challenged my actions, and it’s sometimes given me the opportunity to explain why I’m doing it to the manager. Not that it seems to have made more than the minutest bit of difference what what the store does as the packaging continues……but consider the effect if a large number of people started to do this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suspect shop assistants just smile benignly because in their role they are fairly powerless to do anything. A more powerful action might be to send the packaging in a used envelope to the goods producer? Or take a photo of it and tweet it to shame the company, in these modern days…

      Liked by 1 person

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