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Rubbish & re-cycling





DoctorBeaver
I read in my local parish magazine this morning that our local council doesn't want anyone to put plastic carrier bags in the re-cycling bins. This is because some shops are now issuing bio-degradable bags which can't be re-cycled. It costs money to sort out those which are.
This seems like an absurdity to me & defeats the whole object of re-cycling & bio-degradability. If none of the bags are now being re-cycled, what are the bio-degradable ones actually achieving? Around here there is only 1 supermarket which issues bio-degradable bags. This means they constitute only a small proportion of the total number of bags issued. So, instead of the majority of bags being re-cycled, they will now all end up on a rubbish tip. We will therefore have more rubbish instead of less.
This is yet another example of something that seems at first to be a great idea - bio-degradable bags, YEAH! - but which hasn't been properly thought through and ends up being totally impractical, causing more problems than it solves.
Jack_Hammer
DoctorBeaver wrote:
I read in my local parish magazine this morning that our local council doesn't want anyone to put plastic carrier bags in the re-cycling bins. This is because some shops are now issuing bio-degradable bags which can't be re-cycled. It costs money to sort out those which are.
This seems like an absurdity to me & defeats the whole object of re-cycling & bio-degradability. If none of the bags are now being re-cycled, what are the bio-degradable ones actually achieving? Around here there is only 1 supermarket which issues bio-degradable bags. This means they constitute only a small proportion of the total number of bags issued. So, instead of the majority of bags being re-cycled, they will now all end up on a rubbish tip. We will therefore have more rubbish instead of less.
This is yet another example of something that seems at first to be a great idea - bio-degradable bags, YEAH! - but which hasn't been properly thought through and ends up being totally impractical, causing more problems than it solves.


Yes but if everyone used biodegradable bags then there would be no problem, the problem actually arrises from other companies not using bio-degradable bags. Which hopefully will happen sometime in the future.
Animal
Yeah - the town I live in has an active recycling policy. We get boxes to put plastic / glass / metal / paper into and they take it away for recycling. They can be a bit picky about what they will and will not take. A couple of times I've put out plastic food packaging that has the recycling logo on it and they won't take it. I think it's something to do with what the food was - they're not going to want to have to scrape mouldering old butter out a tub before recycling, obviously, but they won't even take it if it's been thoroughly cleaned.

As Jack_Hammer has said, bio-degradeable bags are better than recyclable bags (prevention is better than cure) but I think mainstream recycling has to become a higher priority and they have to iron out a few issues to make it as efficient and easy as possible. When they start complicating the issue with "you can recycle this type of bag but not that one...", less people will use the facility.
smalls
Recycling just isn't efficient. If it were, it wouldn't be done by governments; it would be done by businesses trying to make a buck. The only recycling that really is efficient (at least today) is recycling aluminum cans. That's why you can actually get paid to collect them. The energy it takes to recycle a plastic bottle is greater than the energy it takes to create a new one. The same is true for almost all materials. Glass is made of sand. There's certainly no shortage of that. Paper is made of trees. Tree farmers plant new trees when the cut down the old ones. If they didn't, they wouldn't be able to make any money next year. Maybe in the future recycling will be more efficient, and make more sense. But right now, it's just WASTEful. Don't trust me? Check this out:
http://www.taemag.com/issues/articleid.17823/article_detail.asp
thiamshui
bio-degradable bags are useful.. they decompose and break up, and do not stay on earth and become a nuisance..

well, using non-biodegradable plastic bags in recycling bins also cause problems, don't they? plastic cannot be recycled..
DoctorBeaver
There was a item about this on the radio. Apparently only certain types of plastic can be recycled. Plastic bottles are ok because they're all made from recyclable plastics; but bags aren't. They also said that biodegradable bags can take thousands of years to degrade completely. So where do we do with them until then?
Oh, and apparently we mustn't put shredded paper in the recycle bins either as it clogs the machines. So, on 1 hand we're being told to shred all our sensitive paperwork, and on the other being told to recycle paper.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favour of recycling. But as Animal said:-
[quote]When they start complicating the issue with "you can recycle this type of bag but not that one...", less people will use the facility.[quote]
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