Chris Maclean: Saving the planet is no picnic

By Chris Maclean

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Waste management, Waste, Recycling

I have just watched someone on the television showing me how we can save the planet. It involved them flying, with their film crew, halfway around...

I have just watched someone on the television showing me how we can save the planet. It involved them flying, with their film crew, halfway around the world to photograph some turtles. Lovely pictures for sure. But planet saving? I am not so sure. It sounds like it comes from the same school as those who try to counteract global warming by leaving their refrigerator door open.

I'd like to think that, all things being equal; most of us would act reasonably to protect the planet. The government and local authorities remind us constantly of our obligations to not waste energy and to recycle our rubbish. Our local authority is spending thousands on a dual-bin system that encourages us to sort our waste. We will soon move to fortnightly collections. We are all pushing in the one, environmentally friendly, direction. Or so it would seem. But not in all cases.

Pubs, for some strange reason, seem to be actively discouraged from doing our bit.

Here's a little tip for the local authorities; liquids are sold in bottles. The most likely place to find bottles to recycle is in a place that retails liquid. Like a pub for example. So if a local authority was serious in attempting to recycle bottles they might start by looking at bars and pubs.

But there is a problem. As a commercial business the licensed premises is a cash cow that yields taxes. They are not about to issue free rubbish collection, for that is effectively how they treat disposable bottles, if they can gain revenue from the effort. So, it would seem, they would rather you disposed of bottles and cardboard in the bin and paid for its collection and disposal rather than encourage initiatives to recycle it.

And just to compound it further, any of you contemplating putting bottles and cardboard into your car and visiting the car park recycling banks, remember that it is illegal to transport commercial waste without a waste transfer licence. And I bet you haven't got one of those.

Related topics: Legislation

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