Friday, May 9

Waste not!

Fly tipping is on the increase across the UK. This illegal dumping of rubbish costs taxpayers about £50m a year in clean-up costs, and landowners another £50m. The nation's councils currently clear up 187,500 tons of illegally dumped waste each year. Lobbyists claim the problem will only escalate as the Government forces more and more households to reduce their annual volume of waste.

Under EU law the Government must reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) being sent to landfills. BMW includes materials like paper, plastics, metals (such as aluminium cans) and tyres. In 2005/06 the UK landfilled an estimated 12.4 million tonnes of BMW. This volume is inflated by one of the EU 's lowest rate of recycling.

The UK currently recycles about one third of its glass. Switzerland and the Netherlands have recycling rates as high as 80%. The UK has a plastics recycling rate of 3%. In Germany the rate is 70%. When Garry and I arrived in London we were surprised to find that our Council didn't collect recyclable waste from local households. We'd been use to weekly collections in Australia for more than a decade. Weekly collection finally began in our area 18 months ago.

To met EU targets, the Government introduced the Waste Emissions and Trading Act in 2003. The Act set allowances until 2020 for the annual volume of biodegradable waste sent to landfill by every Council. A penalty of £150 is imposed on Councils for every tonne of waste dumped in excess of their permissable allowance. In response, Councils have been introducing a range of new policies including bin taxes, smaller bins and a shift to fortnightly collection.

These measures are having an impact. The proportion of municipal waste recycled or composted climbed from 27.1% to 30.7% last year. The Government hopes to increase the nation's recycling rate to 33% by 2015. As Councils tighten up their waste collection practices, incidents of fly-tipping are said to be on the increase. I've certainly noticed more bags of rubbish piled around public bins - particularly towards the tail end of the weekend.

These changes have also proven controversial. Boris Johnson, the new mayor of London, even campaigned this month on a promise to reverse local plans to introduce a bin tax. Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has also promised to rethink such taxes. It seems the UK has a lot to learn about the virtues of recycling and waste management.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now there is a solution and much better alternative to levying, recycling and reusable canvas grocery bags for those who forgets their canvas bag at home or in the car which is called "BIOPLAST Biodegradable Plastics."

BIOPLAST is a manufacturing company of BIOPLAST Branded Biodegradable Garbage Bags and Fridge Bags for the household markets and for the industry as well as Biodegradable Carrier Bags for the retail sector using their own patented unique formula of bacteria enzyme base substrate as against starch base as used by other manufacturers world over which is not as strong or durable as polymer (plastic) bags and has a cost addition of 300%-400%. Also starch based products can comprise of genetically modified crops (GM Crops) which contains PLA the substitutes can increase emissions of greenhouse gases on landfill sites like Methane and cannot be recycled in Britain.

BIOPLAST is the only Biodegradable technology in the world using bacteria enzyme base substrate which is 100% biodegradable within 6 months after disposal as per ASTM-D 5988-1996 and EN 13432:2000/ISO 14855 standards with the lowest cost addition of 15%-20%.

BIOPLAST biodegradable products are also compostable and hence enhancing the nutritive value of the remaining soil. All the ingredients of BIOPLAST biodegradable plastic products are food grade and non-toxic in nature therefore suitable to be in contact with food products.

BIOPLAST believes that this great innovation will go a long way in preserving the ecological balance around the world which has brought intelligent and affordable solution to the disposal of polyethylene plastic waste problem worldwide.

Now the local and central Governments must ban all non-biodegradable plastic bags and force all the retailers to use ONLY 100% Biodegradable bags in their stores as an alternative to reusable canvas bags which will be the evidence of their sincere concern for the environment and their commitment to tackling the considerable problem of plastic bag waste and the pollution.

"What will you tell your children? Were you part of the Problem or part of the Solution?"