Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Focus on Domestic Plastics

My previous article about rubbish and recycling dealt broadly with what personal measures we could be taking to improve recycling, both on the “doorstep” and also using municipal facilities. This month I am focussing on what we can do to identify and isolate non recyclable plastic wastes at home.

The Blackdown Hills Transition Group have been considering how the “Ecobrick” initiative could be used to collect plastic waste that either cannot, or is currently unable to be processed by Somerset Waste Partnership.

At our April meeting we were fortunate to have Ben Bryant from Devon Recycling Network in Totnes, who came to talk about  Ecobricks and their use.  Please check on the internet to see how these are being used in the world, especially where poorer countries and their environments are blighted by plastic waste materials. The following link is a good place to start:

Their experiences in dealing with the threats caused by this type of pollution are uplifting, especially as the approach requires little input apart from physical effort to isolate those materials into plastic drinks bottles. 

Whilst Ecobricks could not be used in mainstream building projects in the UK, it is possible that they could be incorporated into ancillary structures such as building composter bins or sea defences.

Ben will be looking into where these can be used and reporting back to the group soon.

My own quest to isolate any non-recyclable plastics and produce Ecobricks has resulted in stopping over 5.5 kg (12.1 lbs) of material going into landfill, since the beginning of the year.

What could you all do? Why not come and join us at our next meeting on June 5th at 7.30pm at The Holman Clavel pub?  You will be most welcome to join in the conversation.

Neil Arnold, Blackdown Hills Transition Group