Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Victoria's Green Matters- 30th June 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
It’s all about waste again this week! Come September, we will be able to recycle far more of our packaging waste than ever before. Of course, this can only be a good thing but should there be so much packaging in the first place? There is 10 million tons of packaging produced in the UK each year.

Campaigns against excessive packaging have only been mildly successful and the volume of packaging is rising by 1% per year, partly due to the fact that more goods are being sold. We are continuing to find goods in the supermarket needlessly wrapped in polythene or placed in plastic trays in plastic wrapping.

The Government has recently rejected calls to put a tax on plastic bags, to restrict manufacturers’ use of raw materials and to bring in a bottle deposit scheme because of resistance from retailers. Again, big business holds the sway against common sense when it comes to safeguarding the world’s resources.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has been trying to get the reinstatement of the deposit scheme for soft drink and beer bottles that we had in the 1970s. Many of you will remember how we used to take bottles back to the shop to claim the deposit – only a few pence then. It is widely accepted that such a scheme would reduce litter and aid recycling but again opposition from businesses has scotched the plan. A similar scheme has been running in Denmark for many years, where machines have been produced to accept returned bottles and to give out the correct money. What an incentive to recycle a money back scheme could be and surely there would be fewer bottles littering the streets.

Far from being the greenest government ever, this administration seems to be back-pedalling on many of the promises it made before the election.

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