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I’m dreaming of a waste free Christmas

21st December 2011 Posted by

As Christmas closes in at an alarming rate, shops burgeon with produce for us to consume. It makes you wonder, where has the Government’s message of zero waste to landfill disappeared to? Us British will get through an alarming rate of packaging and wrapping paper as consumption hits its annual high. Treated in the wrong manner this packaging is destined to end up in landfill costing the local Council and ultimately us £56 in tax for every tonne wasted.

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Whose responsibility is it then to make sure that we minimise potential waste creation, reuse wrapping paper or just ensure we recycle the vast array of packaging that is created?

It seems as always that the four protagonists in this annual waste debate, the Government, local government, the retail sector and the public are quick to lay the responsibility at each other’s door.

What is obvious to me is that they all have a part to play in achieving a better situation for next Christmas. Government and its various agencies should play a more visible role in the direction of resource management and clearly set out a road map for change with all the appropriate targets and instruments necessary. However, it still relies on others to deliver its objectives.

If we are to ever achieve a society where there is ‘no more waste’, as we say at SITA UK, then it is essential that local authorities deliver adequate collection systems to domestic properties and the right number and type of waste / recycling treatment facilities through the planning system to serve their area.

The retail sector must also play its part. It must continue to strive to reduce packaging and increase the ease of recycling the products it sells making the consumer choice for a more sustainable future easier than before.

Last but not least, we need a level of responsibility from all of us as consumers to buy carefully, segregate packaging and wrapping paper and reduce food wastage by buying less and recycling the leftovers.

So, at the time of good will to all men let’s stop playing the blame game, accept our individual responsibilities and plan for a waste free Christmas next year.

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