Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle -The future of Rubbish?

When you see rubbish littering our streets and seemingly everywhere else, what do you think?  It is either left to blow around and maybe degrade if suitable, collected by the Council or picked up by stalwart members of the community, such as the good people of Bishopswood.

But why is it there in the first place? Is it a lack of civic pride, or an absence of guidance from parents? How could we stop it? Should a charge be levied on every supposed “disposable” piece of packaging, to be given to Councils and others collecting these items strewn around?

Is an old-fashioned deposit scheme required whereby the end consumer has to pay a refundable charge to the shop or supplier of the purchased item?  Should all packaging be fully bio-degradable so as to minimise the effect upon the environment?  Could packaging be re-purposed to perform another task after coming to the end of its original use?

There are many strands to this discussion and it was vigourously debated at the last Blackdown Hills Transition Group meeting. However as there are only about a dozen of us Eco Warriors at present, it is difficult to focus upon what could be done – so here is where you could come in.

  • Recycle as much as you can, either at the roadside or at local recycling areas in shopping carparks, or at the Chard recycling centre.
  • Where something seemingly cannot be recycled, challenge the supplier of this item. I have asked for the Manager in supermarkets and expressed my frustration at excessive or unwanted packaging on products.
  • Where there is no meaningful response from the shop or organisation, write to their Directors (at their home addresses) to ask why they are not doing more to reduce excessive packaging. (Why do this? Directors do not like receiving mail as it means that they have to do something about the problem. It is not generally worthwhile contacting the Customer Service Department).
  • Seek out new shops and organisations that eschew packaging; there is a new enterprise in Chard that not only recycles crisp packets but also will sell you a variety of “Eco” cleaning and laundry materials. All you have to do is to take a suitable container along to refill.
  • If you have a particular gripe about packaging, use Social Media to give your cause a platform. After all, I am sure that other people will have the same thoughts and feelings about the subject.
  • Join your local group which advances your cause. Come along to our BHTG on Monday 8th April, 7.30pm at the Holman Clavel pub and see what we are up to.

Neil Arnold –  Tel: 01460 234693