Is there any good news about plastic?

10 Apr

Does it seem as if society is going backwards when it comes to recycling?

Each week there are headlines about millions of tons of plastic flushed into the oceans from the UK every year, or, that plastic has been found in UK fish, or, that the UK has only managed to reprocess one third of its plastic waste. And that’s just the UK.

What would it take for a concerted effort to reduce such waste at its source, to refuse to buy goods with excess packaging, to recycle more of what we all consume, and to reuse those carefully separated recycled materials into useful products?

Bale of plastic film

A bale of plastic film for reprocessing

It would take manufacturers to do more than they do at present. The onset of online shopping and delivery to our homes has not diminished packaging used for those products. It may even be increasing the packaging wastage we have to dispose of.

It would take us as consumers thinking about what we buy – is it often over-packaging not to retain freshness, but for other reasons? Could that packaging be recycled much easier if it contained only a single material (juice cartons are a case in point)? Even then, we need to take the time, use the facilities in our area whether at kerbside or at centres in the community, to recycle all we can.

It would take local authorities and their contractors to work together and use their collective power to ensure a more consistent approach to what it collects from householders. What is allowed to be recycled in one area is not allowed in another – why? This seems to be losing an opportunity to ensure the most effective methods to reap the potential value of these materials.

It would take investment in sustainable and innovative re-processing of recycled materials once collected. This is a responsibility of governments and companies – it should be a big tick for both politicians and those concerned with corporate responsibility – a sign that the environment is taken seriously, not as an afterthought.

Plastics sorting line

Every year we sort tons of plastic at Cae Post

What will happen if we let things go on as they are? Have a look at the increasing stories of major ‘flytipping’ just for a start, as well as more signs of litter and waste as we travel through this land. But there could be a good news opportunity here…

If you or your community is concerned about this – for example, not being able to recycle film or stretchy plastic materials, ask your town or community council to do something about it. If your community council is in Powys, for example, why not contact Cae Post? We at Cae Post could have just the solution for your area.

If you are a business, or an organisation such as a village hall or school, based in Powys or north Shropshire, that wants to be more effective in its duty of care, and support an innovative social enterprise at the same time – talk to us at Cae Post about handling your waste and recycling needs. You’ll be surprised at what you will find out, and you will get kudos from your customers too!