It can't have escaped people's attention that recycling has hit the news again, this time with a Food Packaging Study from the Local Government Association, as part of its "War on Waste" campaign.
For anyone with an interest in waste minimisation this should be a real welcome report as it pays particular attention to the weight of food packaging that can be found in a typical shopping basket across eight supermarkets.
The survey revealed the following results:
- Waitrose had the heaviest packaging (802.5 grams)
- Lidl had the lowest level of packaging that could be easily recycled (58 per cent)
- Tesco had the lightest (645.5 grams)
- Sainsbury’s had the highest level of packaging that could be easily recycled (67 per cent).
While council leaders acknowledge that people are recycling more rubbish, they are also concerned that efforts are being held back by supermarkets. The LGA argues that supermarkets should pay a contribution towards recycling services so that more packaging can be recycled at an affordable price which will help keep council tax down.
Of course it will be no surprise that the British Retail Consortium has reacted to the report by calling on councils to improve recycling measures and reach a consensus on which materials can be recycled.
Well, I've got just one thing to say on the matter...
...but before I belt it out, I suggest you put your fingers in your ears as I take a deep breath and yell to the world.......
Don't get me wrong, the study has thrown up some interesting research and - quite rightly - the evidence should be reported. It is indeed a very useful report, with well-researched detail.
But while government representatives and retail bodies engage in an open air boxing match, I am worried that many consumers will be left looking on with either disregard or bemusement, feeling the lack of power to do something about it.
And then there's the recession to deal with. Don't forget we can always blame that too.
Oh well. That's it. We might as well bury our heads in the sand till it's over eh, when the economy is back on its legs, the supermarkets have ditched their unrecyclable packaging and the country has a perfect recycling system.
Or alternatively, we could continue to vote with our feet and our wallets, applying the small changes that make a huge difference, always looking out for alternatives...because they do exist and we still have the power of choice.
Well that's what I had to say on the matter today on the JVS show at BBC Three Counties Radio, while discussing recycling and the recession. If you're interested do tune into Listen Again where you'll find me defending the issue at roughly 2 hours 47 minutes into the programme.
I only hope I've convinced the lovely JVS to carry on washing out his yoghurt pots! You've got to keep an eye on him you know. Perhaps I should have suggested he has a go at making his own!
Well you have to keep cheerful don't you!