It is estimated that by 2050, on current trends, there will be more plastic in the sea, by weight, than fish.
It is said also that all plastic so far produced (over the last 60 years) still exists in the environment, other than that which has been burned. These facts alone highlight the importance of the slogan “reduce, reuse, recycle”.
Recycle Week is a good time to reflect on where we have got to and where we need to go next with the waste we produce and (sometimes) recycle.
Recycling in the UK has being going on in some form since Roman times. However, only in the 1960’s did modern-day recycling begin, with drinks companies offering money back for the return of the glass bottles.
The massive rise in consumption, increased packaging and the advent of our “throw-away” society has seen the very necessary introduction of municipal recycling of packaging, paper, bottles and so on.
It’s great that a big chunk of all the packaging that we get with the products we buy can, and is now, being recycled. However, recycling uses up energy, which has a planetary and financial cost in itself. What’s more, far from all materials and packaging can be recycled, and, currently, only 37% of Merton’s household waste is recycled each year.
For these reasons, waste is one of Sustainable Merton’s four priority areas of work.
Sustainable Merton is doing what it can to:
Encourage the London Borough of Merton to broaden the range of items it recycle
Help Merton’s residents to understand the importance of recycling, and what they can recycle.
Support national campaigns for a reduction of unnecessary, polluting packaging and waste
Finally, please don’t forget the slogan “reduce, reuse, recycle”. Yes; let’s all recycle, but also cut down on unnecessary things such as buying water in throwaway plastic bottles, using plastic straws, throwing away old clothes which could go to the charity shop,etc.