The overlooked problem in recycling

Plastic bottlesInteresting article in today’s Guardian G2 section about the problems we have as a country with waste and how to dispose of it.

The government’s pledge to increase recycling and lower waste has meant a confusing raft of implementations that many people can’t keep track of.

There are countless reports of people being fined for what seems like a minor transgression and increasing frustration as different councils do different things.

I’m all for being green. No-one can be perfect, but I try as hard as I can to recycle, drive minimal distances, use public transport, I haven’t been on a plane in more than 2 years, the list goes on…

The one area I find myself with problems, though, is with packaging. Where I live farmers’ markets are a rarity and we don’t have the luxury of lovely butchers and grocers nearby, so as with much of the population, we have to make do with Tesco or Sainsbury’s.

And it’s the supermarkets I have the issue with. Their crusade to reduce plastic bags seems to be a bit of a smokescreen. If they really wanted to do their bit for the environment, they’d do something about plastic packaging.

There are almost 50 types of plastic and it may surprise many people to know that all of them are recyclable. Yup, all of it!

Sadly, only 7% of plastic is being recycled at present, mainly because the majority of councils don’t have the ability.

Now, somewhere along the line there’s a problem. Part of it seems to me to be down to local councils, but surely it makes more sense to try and do without most of the plastic packaging.

Supermarkets have to try and do loose produce more. Yes, it may be more convenient to pick up a punnet of pre-packed mushrooms, but it’s not eco-friendly and not cost-effective.

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