#Immediacy on speech making

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  • Packaging...
  • For The Recycling Consortium (TRC), which is based in Bristol, in the South West of the UK, the 3R’s are the only way to deal with the waste we produce. TRC promotes ways to reduce, re-use, recycle and compost. By advancing sustainable ways to deal with our waste, TRC believe that we all benefit - as do our planet and our environment.
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FOE

IRAIN - We are running out of places to put our rubbish, and pollution....

We are running out of places to put our rubbish, and pollution problems at existing tips are growing ever more serious. In 2007 escaping methane from a tip in Derbyshire demolished a house and seriously injured the occupants. And leaking gas has been identified as a serious hazard at more than 600 tips nationwide, most of which have houses within 100 yards (83 m). Twenty per cent of household waste is officially classified as 'hazardous', releasing a cocktail of poisonous ingredients into land, air and water. WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE: It needs to be recognised at all levels - individual, community and nationally - that waste must be reduced.

Packaging should protect and appeal, yet use minimal resources and be possible to recycle. We need to be aware that our 'waste' doesn't just disappear when we put it in the dustbin. Local authorities should promote anti-waste and recycling campaigns.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Before you buy anything, ask yourself whether you really need it. The less you buy the less you are likely to waste (and the less money you will spend filling your dustbin). Buy things which come in the minimum of packaging. Seek out products that come in packaging which can be recycled or, even better, used again - like milk in bottles.

Mend things rather than throwing them away, and give potentially useful things to people who can use them instead of automatically throwing them in the bin. Start to separate your rubbish.

Even though the collection of particular items like paper, glass and organic material is only just beginning in The UK, it is a good idea to get into the habit now. The Friends of the Earth (see: www.foe.co.uk) report Once Is Not Enough explains the issues involved, and the quarterly magazine Resource will keep you up to date. OVERCOMING THE THROWAWAY MENTALITY WHO BENEFITS? You: A recent survey showed that 89 per cent of UK housewives feel guilty about the amount they throw away. By recycling, re-using and reducing waste you can save on the guilt, together with the cost, the hassle, and the ever-present health risks of excessive piles of rotting rubbish.

Other people: Your 'waste' often deprives the poorer people of the world of vital resources. Reducing waste would help scarce food and other commodities to reach those suffering from poverty and hunger.

The environment Nature has no concept of waste; you will look in vain for the rubbish tips of the virgin rainforest. The life-giving planetary ecosystem depends upon the constant recycling of materials and nutrients, and we can help by learning to work with these natural cycles. BAGS OF WASTE - THE FACTS: More than a third of UK domestic rubbish is packaging. The average household gets through nearly 22 kilo (10 kg) of it every week - materials which they have paid for, and for which they then have to pay again to dispose of.

The cost of producing and disposing of all this packaging has been estimated at about £12.60 per household per week. By using less packaging and more environment-friendly packaging, this could easily be halved, and the things we buy would still be safely and attractively wrapped.

Things obviously do need to be packaged - for security, for hygiene,....

Things obviously do need to be packaged - for security, for hygiene, and to a certain extent for convenience. This does not, however, explain why a ... read more

Visit the INCPEN, the Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment website....

Visit the INCPEN, the Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment website for further information. INCPEN is a research organ... read more

It is possible to separate out some sorts of rubbish - metals....

It is possible to separate out some sorts of rubbish - metals for example - at up-to-date waste treatment plants, and then use the rest to generate heat for local heating schemes or f... read more