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According to Wikipedia {the free encyclopedia} "recycling is the reprocessing of materials into new products. Recycling generally prevents the waste of potentially useful materials, reduces the consumption of raw materials and reduces energy usage, and hence greenhouse gas emissions, compared to virgin production." The recent discussion concerning global warming has focused primarily on alternative sources of fuel for the purpose of transportation. However, another very important pro-environment tool is recycling. The effort needs to involve more than the consumer and the government. It needs to involve those who sell {and profit} from those products that can be recycled. For example, the manufactures of bottles and cans along with the producers of what's sold inside them as well as the grocery stores that distribute them must take on a greater economic role in the process of recycling. The voluntary "blue bag at the curb" approach is a good start but it relies primarily on the altruism of the consumer.

The question is: does the consumer bear sole responsibility for what happens to a can or bottle that contains the product used? or should some of that responsibility be borne by those who profit from its' use? Are these responsibilities being borne already and are they equitable? Some time ago bottlers would charge a five-cent "deposit" on a bottle to be "refunded" when the consumer returned the bottle. It would seem that this concept could be reoperationalized for a whole host of products. The consumer could clean the bottle or can, return it to the grocery story for a "refund" and the grocery store would return it to the producer then to the manufacturer etcetera each receiving a "refund" along the way. When all parties involved have an economic incentive to participate, recycling will make a much larger contribution towards preserving the environment.
hello... where I live in the UK we are given a small bin by the City Council, and into this bin goes our used glassware and aluminium. We also have a blue bag for our paper products, and all of this gets taken away to be recycled.

They are now also suggesting rolling out a scheme to provide another bin, this time for degradable waste, such as potato peelings and used tea-bags, which is fine, but then....

what about the mountain of plastic?

you asked- Does the consumer bear sole responsibility for what happens to a can or bottle that contains the product used?

not at all- I think the manufacturer is also partly responsible- he should choose easily recyclable materials, or degradable materials.

Scientists have made a degradable "food-safe" "plastic"-it's really a plant based cellulose mix, and so far there is only one enlightened retailer using this to pack their pre-packed sandwiches in, but as it's so much more expensive than conventional plastic take up is slow...

to suggest we return to the deposit return scheme does not take into consideration that (where I live at least) most people make an effort to recycle their glass/tins/papers... nor does it take into consideration the costs, both financial and enviromental, of returning to a deposit-return scheme- you need water to wash the returned bottles, you need to transport the bottles back to the manufacturer, etc, etc... it's cost prohibitive, unless we all buy the same type of unlabelled bottle from the same local manufacturer...

Recycling is bull...​

I have a smelly... *bleep* hole of a bin... With no freaking lid? Yet I pay some scrotey little council for things like this... REPLACE MY FREAKING BIN! I think the idea they have currently was created by some retarded child......

They want to CHARGE you even freaking more... And that depends on weight... Yeah if you are some one who lives on your own and hardley use freaking anything sweet deal.... What about the single mother with four freaking kids? What about her? That is bs.... I think this is a chain reaction that will make the "enviroment" worse... Simply if they start charging me... I would simply dump my crap in the countryside here.... I am not paying lol. Seriously... And now consider how many more assholes like me in the world? You got dumping all over the place.....

Those scrotey binmen make mess as well and only come once per week, if they can be bothered to keep to schedules and such.......

And recyling.... Meh, that is too much effort, I throw all the crap in a black bin... My wife recycles, not I however... :D I believe I act like that to somehow make an impression lol... To show my scorn for them pissing me around.
I'm surprised to hear you don't recycle plastic. Where I live we get to recycle most of our plastic.

There is an issue with for instance the amount of hot water and steam to clean/sterilize, yes it reduces the raw materials needed but doesn't eliminate the manufacturing process. Same with paper products converted to paper bags or cardboard the percentage of recycled is often small. Plastics are converted to durable building materials...good stuff, some degassing issues.

Re-using. Another important aspect in the process, what can you reuse instead of buying more of something, how many times can you reuse plastic or paper bags rather then getting a new one, or glass bottles, do you have to throw it away or is there another use?

Purchasing, taking the time to look at what we are buying. And I love it when communities recycle, but if they don't and you have any garden or potted plants at all you can create your own small compost pile and eliminate the need for potting soil (and the plastic bag it came in).

The real question is always how much garbage are you creating. With three in my house, we took garbage out once every two weeks, one can, partially full. Have had a house guest for two months and two cans go to the curb, twice a week, I've been noticing. A lot of that is junk mail and magazines, and processed food containers. I've been working to change the thought process there so when she moves on, it won't be the same...
You got dumping all over the place.....
The solution as I see it is to charge on the front end. Figure out how much it costs to pick up a bottle or can or paper or whatever and include it in the cost of the product.

This way if folks wish to recycle they get paid back the cost...if they don't so be it, someone will gladly sort thru the dump and get paid for it at that end, and folks will be glad to pick up litter if they can get paid at that end.

Let those who decide to be lazy and slothful pay the enterprising through the upfront cost of products.
Instead of charging the poor citizen that is taxed to the freaking eyeballs..... Pay them?.... Hmmm, could work for many yes... Not sure it would work with me, as I stated, I'm an asshole and very anti-authority... I try to make the council's lifes more difficult.... lol

Francis... And whoever started this thread thanks for reminding me about my broken bin! Just screamed at my council on the phone lol New replacement bin on it's way..... TODAY! HAH! Still, the amount I have to pay them monthly...... It should be gold plated.
Lol @ 17th!! ..... For a "young" reactionary you sound remarkably like my "grumpy old man" of a father!! Next you'll be telling us its all because there are too many Eastern Europeans living here :rolleyes:

Here in Scotland there is still at least 2 soft drinks companies that offer a refund of 20p on a used bottle. I presume that there must still be some advantage for these companies to continue to do this so cannot understand why it has not become a more common practice.
At one time virtually all milk in the UK was delivered daily to our doorsteps, (in very green little electric milkcarts), and the bottles re-used time and time again. Over the past 2 decades or so milk has become predominately bought in plastic cartons contributing a mind boggling cubic tonnage of undegradable landfill waste. Small dairies have been put out of business by the supermarkets who outsource if the dairy refuses to supply at a rock bottom price and this squeeze is passed on to the farmers who produce the milk. At the end of the day though it is the apathetic consumer who is most to blame. Farmers and small businesses have long called on the consumer to use or else lose but Joe average simply cannot be bothered.

The recycling of plastics is a tricky one here in the UK. Currently the only facility is for a narrow range of types of plastic, predominantly like the kind drinking water comes in. But most of the plastics still end up in landfill. Polystyrene almost always comes with a "recyclable" stamp on it but in reality the only facilities for dealing with it are in the USA.

Overall in the Uk I think !7th has a point (grumpy old men can be right!!). Much of the hype from county council and government over recycling is bull. Most of it still ends up in landfill and they are using the citizen by making him/her think they are doing something useful and helpful when the reality is it is just another way to raise extra taxes. Almost everywhere has seen collection rates drop by at least 50% but we are asked to pay more. It all a bit of a con.

The best thing you can do as a consumer is to collect all the unnecessary packaging you get in your weekly shop and return it to the supermarket. Just tell them you are not prepared to pay to dispose of it and they can have it back. Groups like Friends of the Earth organise regular days for protests of this kind if you are a bit shy about doing it alone.

The best thing you can do as a consumer is to collect all the unnecessary packaging you get in your weekly shop and return it to the supermarket. Just tell them you are not prepared to pay to dispose of it and they can have it back. Groups like Friends of the Earth organise regular days for protests of this kind if you are a bit shy about doing it alone.

When I had a wood stove to heat my house in the winter I used to put all the junk mail into it, and had a newspaper that was delivered daily (for $20 per year!!) so I'd take the junk mail roll it up into newspaper logs and save them though the year and heat my house! I had a catalytic converter/reburner on it...but I imagine I still polluted a bit. But didn't add to the landfill...

Then before the city started taking junkmail and cardboard with the newspapers and I didn't have a woodstove I would have a box by the door and toss all the junk mail into it. And then when I got a prepaid response letter from some credit card company I'd tape it to the top of the box and mail all my junk mail to them and let them pay for it....
Oh recylcing, one of my favourite subjects - quick click the back button before I bore you to death.

Plastics is a problem in the UK Wil because there are 11 types of recylable plastic - take a plastic coke bottle, it has 4 different types of recyclable plastic. The problem is not extracting the plastics it is the cost of shipping and processing.

In the UK we are 20 years behind europe on recyling, we have spent the 20 years throwing all our rubbish into holes in the ground instead of educating the people on the lack of ground to throw it into. That is why councils here are now having to force people into recylcing. We have staggering recycling targets to meet over the next few years but it is too late for education. Some of the rubbish we throw away will take 500 years to degrade :eek: yet people like 17th (I shall speak to you later young man) still think that as we pay our council tax we should just be able to throw out anything we want to. In the UK people generally feel no responsibility for recycling, this is largely due to the lack of education and suddenly being forced to change our ways.

I have been recycling for years and recently managed to nag my parents into it but my Mum was confused what could and could not be recycled. No problem thought I, just look up a list of popular products (cereal packets, tins, bottles, etc) and stick it in the kitchen for her - could I as hell find a list. This is crazy, the government is desperate for us to recycle but have not produced a list of which packages can currently be recycled - stupid, stupid, stupid.

The government here did try to introduce the Packaging Regulations, which meant that everyone in the life of a product was responsible for a portion of the packaging. The problem is they left a loophole in the law so big that the regulations were unworkable and they have never tried to rehash the law. This is a shame, the regulations made everyone from the manufacturer to the end user responsible for a portion of the waste (so the pallet and plastic wrap when being transported was returned to the manufacturer, the big shipping box was retained by the shop and the customer was responsible for the disposal of the end product).

Long live recycling!!!!!!
A different thought here, remember the old days when milk was delivered in glass bottles. Foil tops and an inch layer of cream.? No low fat low Gi stuff was even heard of. Anyway, my point is this ..... do you remember hwo milk tasted, straight out of the bottle(wipes milk moustache off of mouth) Was it the glass that made it taste sooooo nice. ? Milk in plastic cartons just doesnt have the same taste to me. what do you think? love the Grey
You are so right Grey, it was the cream and the lack of pasturisation (we now treat the stuff until it is like white water). And we even got to collect the tops for the Blue Peter appeal. The bottles then went on the step, got sterilised and next week were back on your doorstep, time and time again. Bring back the milk bottle!!!!!!!
My arms are getting tired with all these new banners I am holding up and all my clothes are weighed down with buttons. :p
thanks, thats agro, the sunconure. He hates me. tries to eat me every time i change his feed and water. oh well. Hes taught his mate, sunny to be cranky too. oh well. gotta love gods
Oh my goodness, I know I shouldn't laugh but I can't help it sorry poor you. Typical arrogant male.