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Following last week’s leader in which I said how pleased I was that MEP’s have voted to force us all to limit the use of disposable plastic carrier bags, I received an email from a reader pointing out that plastic would still be sourced to serve as bin-liners and that for every abandoned bag there are still dozens of cans and bottles carelessly discarded by litter louts. I couldn’t agree more and there’s clearly a long way to go yet!
I know we’ll still be using plastic bags for waste but any move toward reducing the numbers and volume - or sending us down the biodegradable route – has to be a good one.
Cans of course should not be a problem and nor should plastic bottles (or wouldn’t be if they were put in the correct recycling receptacle rather than being just dumped or thrown into a hedge) but it’s the glass bottles that are a real bugbear of mine.
Glass bottles used to be recycled in the real sense – cleaned and reused as they were – rather than being broken and crushed and fashioned into something new. I wonder how the two methods stack up in terms of logistics, costs and the environment?
However we choose to recycle them though, we must find a way to persuade people to allow them to be recycled... I am disturbed by the numbers I see smashed on the ground as I go into my local town centre on a Saturday morning… whether they’ve been smashed deliberately by some lout, or accidently dropped by drunken revellers I don’t know - or much care. They’re dangerous and someone has to clear them up.
I’m all for charging a high premium for each bottle sold at the bar counter with a view to persuading customers to return them for a refund. If pubs and clubs started charging drinkers, say, an extra £10 for a bottle that could be refunded when the ‘empty’ was taken back, the drinkers would be far more likely to return their last bottle and claim their £10 back, than they would stagger off into the street with it, and possibly smash it themselves, throw it into a hedge somewhere, or leaving it for someone coming along later to fall over and/or smash.
What do you think of this idea?
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27th March 2014