I join with all your other correspondents and readers disappointed by Amber Valley Borough Council removing plastic recycling bins. Bullbridge has also lost its bin.
I used to put all my plastic recycling into the bin at the Canal Inn until it disappeared. By then I’d accumulated nine large bagfuls and so, reluctant to send so much plastic to landfill, I carried it all to the bin behind Morrison’s in Belper – by bus! I wonder how many other residents are prepared to do this when the easy option is just to chuck plastic into the wheelie bin?
This set me thinking about how much plastic I have to get rid of every week. I buy as much fresh food as possible, and cook most of my own meals from scratch, and yet I still generate around one big bag of plastic waste (with bottles squashed flat) every week.
Plastic waste is certainly a problem. World plastic consumption is more than 100 million tonnes per year, and rising. In the UK more than a third of plastic is used in packaging, mostly ending in landfill. And yet all this plastic (made from increasingly expensive crude oil) could be recycled to make a whole range of stuff from carpets to fake fur,.
We’re being urged to ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’, but the coalition government’s message to councils has dwindled.
Would Stuart Bradford, leader of the council, please tell me what he is doing about persuading manufacturers to use alternatives to plastic for packaging? Or to persuade supermarkets to take back their plastic food packaging. And how much plastic is the council currently sending to landfill? At what cost? And how much more plastic will it be now sending? How many jobs will be lost at local recycling centres?