Recycling, should we add an extra “R”?

Whilst I’m not world’s most effective recycler, I do my best to reduce the amount of stuf that goes into the landfill bin by following the three R’s, reduce, reuse, recycle. I try not to pick up to much unwanted stuff when shopping, reuse carrier bags and things like that, and recycle plastics, glass, paper, old clothes, etc. through the council recycling processes.

We compost all our garden waste and most of our vegetable waste (including much that comes from the allotment) and we’ve recently bought a Bokashi bin system and this means that some food waste which used to go to landfill (meat, fish, cooked food, potatoes) now ultimately joins the compost through that process.

If annoys me that the definition of what plastic can be recycled seems somewhat arbitrary, for example we are told that yoghurt pots can be recycled but that other things with the same recycling number cannot. That however, is a different story.

My issue today is that when I looked at the landfill bin recently, a significant proportion of what was in it was excess packaging. Now I don’t object to the basic packaging of food items from the supermarket, after all, I don’t want to bring back a handful of crisps, nor do I want to return to the days when meatand fish was wrapped in paper. However, I do get annoyed at, what can be called “mulitipack packaging” that is the extra packaging around six bags of crisps or tins of beans which turn the items from a single thing to a multipack with a lower price. The supermarkets are perfectly capable of doing “buy one get one free” or “buy two get one at half price” so why can’t they do the same thing with bags of crisps and tins of beans?

Which brings me to my point. If the supermarkets insist on giving me extra packaging, why shouldn’t I be able to take it back to them and let them get rid of it. Why should I pay for landfill through my Council Tax to get rid of stuff that is only there for the benefit of the supermarket. If they want to put extra packaging around stuff, they can have it back and get rid of it through their waste system that they pay for. Maybe then they will reduce the amount of uneccessary packaging.

So, I’m going to try. I’m going to add “Return” to the 3R’s of recycling to “Return to the point of creation”. That way they might see what is being created and work out ways to stop it, thus Reducing the amount of landfill at the point of source.

About PelicanPlants

Growing tomatoes and other vegetables in a greenhouse and at an allotment.
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