recycling - how to prioritise - which methods save most?

January 4, 2009 1:33pm CST
We hear a lot about recycling. But then we hear that the price for recycled materials has decreased to the point that local authorities in the UK are now finding storage solutions for recycled good they cannot sell. It is a whole industry. Just to play devil's advocate, (and no, I am not against recycling in principal firmly for it) I wonder what the cost in human terms is of all the time an energy we spend on recycling stuff. Every time I move to a different local authority they have different regylations for which stuff goes into which box or bag ... there are cases where people have been fined for putting the wrong thing in the wrong bag. And it gets more andmore difficult to remember what should go where if you move around a lot. It is all beginning to get to me. Surely if we are to recycle effectively then we need to make less rubbish in the first place, not sit there penalising people who are probably tired and forgetful when they put a foot wrong. It just seems like an industry is growing which is just going to cost everyone more in time and energy and through which it is possible for us to be milked in ever more complicated ways. So, we pay for the packaging, we put it in the wrong place and get fined and then we pay again through our taxes for the government to store it all cos they cannot sell it. Have we all gone mad or what? Why can't we get better government regulation and/or consumer action to reduce the packaging around in the first place? And if I am not completely mad, why is there SO much emphasis on plastic bags in supermarkets (even where some of these are designed to rot effectively within a year or so) .... but there is not much talk of all the poly bags the supermarkets use to package the veg, when so many supermarkets sell us a 2 kilo size bag of veg for less than half a kilo of the same produce loose sold.... Just beefing. Any views?
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