KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
28th January 2021
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I'm delighted that the Government has finally decided to introduce a drinking bottle deposit return scheme, designed to increase recycling and slash the amount of waste polluting our land and seas and thus cut the cost of cleaning it up - which of course, we all have to bear. I must say, though, that I don't understand why something wasn't done about the problem sooner...
UK consumers go through an estimated 13 billion plastic drinks bottles a year, but more than three billion are incinerated, sent to landfill or left to pollute our streets, countryside and marine environment. It's disgraceful when you think about it, isn't it? But it's not all about plastics. The scheme will cover single use drinks containers whether they're of plastic, glass or metal, which is great news. And although whatever scheme is eventually adopted is initially only planned for England, the Government is hoping that it will also be adopted by the devolved administrations. I hope so too, since consistency always makes it easier for the general public to follow the rules...
The scheme will sit alongside a package of wider reforms of the current packaging waste system, which will incentivise producers to take greater responsibility for the environmental impacts of their products and to increase the amount of packaging they recycle. The Government has already introduced a scheme which has led to nine billion fewer bags being distributed, while its plastic microbeads ban has been hailed as one of the world's strongest bans. I hope it chooses something as successful for drinks bottles and that it works hard to tackle the over-use of plastic packaging too.
It really can't come a moment too soon, for our planet, our local environment and our pockets too. I don't know if I ever mentioned it but my fridge-freezer, delivered last year, was buried in so much plastic and polystyrene that I could have used it to parcel up the entire contents of my kitchen. Likewise, my sofas - and I was vacuuming up tiny polystyrene balls from that, for weeks. I know appliances and furniture need to be delivered clean and undamaged but surely there's a better way of ensuring that this happens? Is the removal by the delivery people and re-use of the packaging by the warehouse, too difficult and time-consuming to contemplate, I wonder?
29th March 2018