Consumers could face paying a security on drinks bottles and cans which is returned when they hand them in for recycling, under Government schemes to tackle plastic garbage and Environment Secretary Michael Gove confirmed ministers would introduce a deposit-return system for single use drinks containers such as plastic and glass bottles and aluminium cans in England, subject to discussion.

The move strives to increase recycling rates and curtail scattering of rubbish and comes amid rising concern over the problem of single-use plastic waste, much of which ends up as waste contaminating the countryside and oceans.

UK consumers use an expected 13 billion plastic drinks bottles a year, although more than three billion are burned, transferred to landfill or end up as litter in cities, the countryside and the ocean.

Some countries already have deposit return schemes which impose an upfront security on drinks containers, extending from 8p in Sweden to 22p in Germany, that is recovered when the empty bottle or can is rendered.

The consultation will examine how such a system could operate in England, besides other proposals to boost recycling charges, which have stalled in recent years.

Benefits of a scheme could include giving cash rewards for returning bottles and cans without an upfront security, through reverse vending machines where consumers insert the container and get money in return.

People need a reason to recycle their bottles and cans and it would increase their spirit if they could recycle their bottles and cans and get cash for doing so and you don’t need to be any Sherlock Holmes to understand that if people profited from such a system, they would be more ready to recycle because they would make a profit from doing so.

If people were getting 22p for every bottle or can they recycle then they would be more aware because they know they are getting something back for doing so.

German consumers kicked the can because ten years ago, a compulsory security for cans and other one-time use packaging was started. Since then, the amount of cans marketed has dropped, but the balance of reusable bottles has also decreased greatly.

When the then ruling coalition of Social Democrats and Greens passed the container deposit bill, there was an objection from all sides. Retailers and beverage businesses worried their company would be hurt and went to the Federal Constitutional Court in an endeavour to end the mandatory deposit on non-reusable containers. But it wasn’t simply the industry.

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Jürgen Trittin, the environment minister at the time, had to protect himself from assaults from environmentalists because they perceived the deposit as a threat to the use of reusable containers.

But we must stop littering our landscape.

We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.
Jawaharlal Nehru

There is litter washing up on the shores of the United Kingdom and it’s continuing to increase and much of the rubbish is plastic, driving the MCS to call on the government to urgently introduce a charge on single-use plastic items, such as straws, cups and cutlery.

Around 12 million tonnes of plastic litter enter the shores every year, destroying millions of marine creatures and people are further deemed to be unwittingly consuming the plastic, possibly tainted with poisonous chemicals, through seafood.

The MCS beach clean saw 7,000 enlistees search 340 beaches and accumulate an average of 718 pieces of litter every 100 metres and the survey uses a standard methodology and data from the last decade and shows a mounting stream of litter along the shore.

Most of the litter is tiny, unidentifiable particles of plastic, broken down in the ocean from bigger things and usually mistaken for food by fish and birds, but 20 percent of the litter is packaging from on the go food and drink, such as cups, bottles, cutlery, stirrers and sandwich packages.

The beach clean data reveals an unexpected increase in the volume of litter and our beaches are drowning in plastic and we urgently require some form of cash incentive on single-use plastic as the first line of action.

We should be concerned that this is a progressive uphill trend because plastic never goes away, it does not decay, it simply goes into tinier and tinier bits and becomes much more damaging to our marine environment.

I could never see why they began to use plastic, what was wrong with refundable bottles? Plastic bottles are a recycling disaster and Coca-Cola should have known better.

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The Coca-Cola Company produced more than 100 billion plastic bottles in 2016 and this is a troubling revelation, reflecting on how much of the rubbish ends up outside plastic recycling systems.

Separately it has been determined that, on current trends, by 2050 the plastic in our seas may weigh more than all the fish.

In this dispute about rubbish, Coca-Cola has long been the scapegoat of environmentalists and it has a huge environmental footprint that some businesses can match and packaging is merely a portion of the story.

Exceeding the billions of plastic bottles, Coke puts huge demands on the Earth. As early as the 1920s, the company claimed that it was the biggest consumer of sugar cane on the planet. It further quickly declared to be the world’s largest buyer of processed caffeine.

Today, at its bottling plants it uses more than 300 billion litres of water a year and its total water footprint, needed to produce sugar cane and all the other ingredients, is 100 times greater.

Considering this desire for natural resources, it’s clear to understand why organisations such as Greenpeace have seen Coca-Cola as an ecological evil spirit but buried in the company’s archives are some valuable lessons.

Take the history of Coke packaging. In the preceding decades, Coca-Cola has strived carefully to stop communities around the world implementing deposit methods that would require drinks firms to attach a charge to the cost of their commodities, to be returned when consumers returned the packaging to the seller or retailer.

Deposit policies started to spread in the United States in the 1970s, as disposable steel and aluminium cans and substituted the returnable glass bottles that once dominated the beer and soft drink industries.

This change to disposables, which began with brewers in the 1930s and culminated in the soft drinks industry in the 1960s, was in part inspired by a consumer culture that craved convenience. It was further motivated by economics, as large beverage businesses attempted to gain economies of scale by combining their bottling systems, and realised they could save money if they didn’t have to truck returnable bottles back to companies.

However, those businesses did not like deposit policies because they thought government-imposed price hikes could hit sales. Coke, Pepsi and others organised to counter deposit laws. Their campaign was victorious, mostly because of a promise they delivered to discussions: kerbside recycling.

In federal and state government hearings, Coca-Cola and others claimed that municipal recycling operations, if financed and backed by government agencies, would reduce the requirement for deposits and by the mid-80s, this argument had won the day.

Following 1986, Hawaii was the only state to establish a deposit law, bringing the number of states with such enactment to just 10.

The ecological cost of not putting a value on packaging garbage loomed large in America and despite assurances that more kerbside support would considerably boost recycling, large amounts of garbage continued.

Plastic bottles, which appeared in the soft drink industry in the 1970s, were especially questionable.

Coca-Cola maintains its packaging is recyclable.

Plastic containers can be recycled, however current methods of recycling are failing to capture the large bulk of this rubbish, mostly because there are few financial incentives.

The overall public did not implement plastic bottles and aluminium cans. They were brought in by corporations as a means of investment, however, the people are like sheep and if plastic and cans had never been manufactured, the people would have still been drinking out of bottles and would not have batted an eyelid but monetary profit appears to be more powerful than the wonderful universe that we live in.

Businesses are not interested in our ecosystem, they’re just interested in profit and the sheep will simply go along with whatever they put in front of our eyes and advertising is the scourge and control of our behaviours.

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If they want the people to reform their ways and views on recycling, then they should bring in an incentive to do that and to be putting a tax on bottles and cans is not an incentive. It will irritate the general public and they will still throw their plastics and cans into the trash.

Coca-Cola should have known this would be the result and in the early 20th century, industry journals scolded soft drink bottlers that did not put securities on their returnable bottles. In 1905, for instance, the Southern Carbonator and Bottler announced that the only rational, logical and lasting answer to the bottle problem is the deposit system.

About 80 percent of Coca-Cola bottlers viewed in 1929 had deposit arrangements in place, and studies of that time revealed that bottles did dozens of trips back and forth between consumer and distributor.

This was a re-use scheme that really reclaimed natural resources, and private enterprise was its largest advocate.

Coca-Cola put its fate in the plastic bottle because Coca-Cola thought recycling methods would enable the business to recover much of the plastic that is used.

The virtue of history is that we can glance back and see if this gamble paid off and using the US as a case study, the message is obvious. Failure to give monetary incentives has produced a wasteful recycling system.

Over 25 years since kerbside recycling started, 70 percent of plastic containers are never reclaimed. Only 30 percent end up being recycled.

The great discovery is that Coca-Cola is contemplating switching course and recently, the company stated it would consider approving a deposit scheme in Scotland. If this occurs, Scotland will probably notice raised recycling rates, much like Germany and other countries that have passed measures to put a price on pollution.

However, even if this is the start of a new age of environmental accountability for Coca-Cola, the company faces an even greater challenge than plastic packaging, what critics call the junk inside.

With countries around the globe facing frightening obesity rates, over 35 percent among American adults, Coke is expected to meet the increased scrutiny of its 330ml cans containing approximately nine teaspoons of sugar, no matter what container it decides to put them in.

We can be in no doubt that plastic is inflicting devastation on our marine habitat, destroying dolphins, killing turtles and diminishing our most cherished environments.

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The tax on plastic bags started in 2015, which has seen their use fall by 85 percent, had a speedy influence, with the quantity of bags seen on shores down by 40 percent since 2014 and it’s truly fantastic to comprehend that a small charge totally transformed people’s performance.

The populated south-east of England had the biggest volume of litter, with 1,092 items per 100 metres of beach, a rise of 46 percent from last year. South-west England was second, with 1,036 items per 100 metres.

Apparently, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced that they are taking important actions to tackle plastic waste including proposals to introduce a prohibition on plastic microbeads and a proposal for proof around deposit remuneration and reimbursement plans for plastic bottles.

There is definitely more to do in this area and they need to be operating with industry to examine how they can further decrease the amount of single-use plastic consumption.

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Iceland and the Co-op announced that they would support a UK-wide bottle deposit return system (DRS), while the Natural History Museum in London has declared it will end selling single-use plastic bottles to the 4.5 million people who attend each year.

The MCS 2017 poll discovered the second largest amount of litter in the 10 years for which there is similar data. The peak in 2014 is considered likely to be the result of unusually harsh storms early that year, which washed up more debris.

The MCS further noticed a huge leap in wet wipes litter in 2017, up 94 percent on the preceding year, although the cause is uncertain and most wet wipes contain plastic.

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People should not flush them down the toilet and that labelling on wet wipes needs to change and if they don’t meet the water company measures, they should state non-flushable quite distinctly on the front of the packet.

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If you go to the seaside you’re usually used to seeing a band of stinking algae tangled with all kinds of plastic, it’s simply part of the landscape now.

It shouldn’t be that hard to track plastic bottles, they have codes on them. You just have to look at the sides of roads, mainly on slip roads to roundabouts where people are waiting, to view the mounds of rubbish people are content to throw out of their vehicle.

In England, we don’t appear to mind that we throw our garbage anywhere but it’s all packaging of one sort or another and it’s so simple to stop. They banned free plastic bags in supermarkets, that worked, so there is no reason why we can’t do the same with bottles and cans, but there needs to be some kind of incentive with the deposit scheme, people always need an incentive.

After all, people purchase their bottles or cans that they already pay tax on, so why would they want to pay more tax on them? The other thing that comes to mind is that if we are expected to take our bottles and cans to the bottle bank to get our deposit back, that would make it extremely challenging for the elderly and disabled people to do and particularly single mothers with young children.

They just won’t be able to do it!

Two-thirds of our litter comes right from land-based sources. Litter that is being left on the beach or washed down rivers and drains and from litter being dropped in towns and cities. It comes from industry spills, poorly controlled landfill sites and bins close to the coast or by being flushed down the loo.

The rest is lost in the ocean by containers going overboard or lost fishing equipment and Tsunamis, when they retreat from across the land they take all sorts of trash back out to sea.

If you’ve never done a beach clean, the sad reality is it it’s made of plastic you’ll find it and bottles are the least of our concern because much of it is nautical in origin, not simply fishing pursuits. On your local beach, you can spot marine mesh and cordage in common and a pain in the posterior to assemble as it deteriorates to every size, from a few millimetres to metres.

Some of our shores and waters are wreathed with it and another big category is unknown pieces of hard plastic, pieces of pipe, cable, all kinds of material.

The population is growing, of course, this will raise the volume of garbage and packaging which has seemingly raised further but are we cultivating a culture of simply dumping stuff? Polluters on an extensive scale.

The verges and hedgerows close by main roads are jam-packed with trash these days and in the wintertime when the grass recedes, the volume of trash appearing in the undergrowth is shocking.

Perhaps some people notice it more these days but I suspect more and more people see nothing wrong with dropping or discarding their waste packing and we are becoming less environmentally aware, particularly with all the discussion of environmental problems these days.

It’s pretty interesting though with the continuous assault we get about the environment, sustainability and being greener, yet trash appears to be accumulating more and more. Perhaps we are simply becoming thicker as a whole and the public subconscious is being watered down by an ever-increasing population.

People only care about money and charging people to use the tips needs to stop because they only care about money and they will just dump a mattress or sofa by the side of the road. The council will charge £25 to come and take away an old mattress and the thing is, you put out your old mattress or microwave for the council to pick up and you’ve already paid your £25 for somebody else to come and take it because it’s a good find and then you’ve paid the £25 for nothing.

A washing machine was put on the front of my son’s flat some time ago, it seemed all right to my son so he took it in, had a peek at it and paid somebody to come take a look at it, there was barely anything wrong with it, so he had it fixed and it looks brand new now.

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Somebody’s Trash is Someone Else’s Treasure.

There is no incentive to pay the council £25 now to take your stuff away when somebody else will take it for you for nothing. I myself, when I am getting rid of stuff, I will put it out and put a note on it “free to a good home”, honestly, it’s gone within around ten minutes, so why would I want to give the council £25 for the privilege?

Has austerity diminished the number of people hired to clean the sides of roads? And if the rubbish is picked up less frequently or never, then it will eventually build up. However, the government don’t want to pay out, they would rather that we the taxpayers pay for it ourselves and if they had a choice they would make us pay for everything, even the air that we breathe?

This is what occurs when our food production is delivered to us in plastic containers that they state are recyclable but their not, it’s all a deception as you can see by our shorelines. What happened to good old-fashioned cooking from fresh, especially before and throughout the war.

Furthermore, it’s not just about the plastic, it’s what occurs to that plastic when you’re cooking with it, especially microwave meals, where once the plastic is warmed up, the contagions filter into our meals.

If your idea of meal preparation is microwaving uneaten food in the plastic takeout package they came in, here’s some bad news. Some chemicals in flexible plastic can filter into your meal when you cook it, and even if you’re careful enough to convey the food to a bowl or plate marked microwave-safe, you still may not be protected.

By and large, that label implies they won’t disintegrate or break when cooked but it doesn’t indicate they’re safe.

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The two elements in plastics that experts are most worried about are phthalates and bisphenol-A (BPA), which are frequently referred to as endocrine disruptors because of their ability to influence estrogen and testosterone levels in humans.

They further seem to have the potential to affect the development of the brain and reproductive organs in growing fetuses.

I could go on and on about the effects these plastics have on our daily life, how they influence us and what they will do to you over a long stretch of time but I believe there are a number of people out there that are more than knowledgeable of these factors and for those that are not so informed, then it might be worth a little peruse on what your subjecting your body to and not just your body, but if you’re expecting, what you might be putting your unborn baby through without even realising it.

The fact is that we don’t really need plastic bottles or cans and there was nothing wrong with glass bottles before plastic fantastic came out and when ready meals first came out, they were impossibly fascinating and impressive, they were magical things.

It all began with turkey and television and is presently an enterprise worth £2.6 billion in the United Kingdom alone. It’s safe to say ready meals are a crucial component in what the British eat.

The origins of the modern ready meal go back to 1950s America and a food company called Swansons, even though others had tinkered with them beforehand.

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Left with a large overabundance of turkey after Thanksgiving in 1953, Swansons hit upon the thought of wrapping it up with all the other ingredients of the legendary American dinner, but the stroke of inspiration was stuffing it all into the aluminium trays used to serve food by airlines.

The containers served as both baking trays to cook the frozen meal and a plate off which to eat it.

With television taking a grip across the United States, the company called its new merchandise the TV dinner and one hypothesis for this being that you could eat and watch. The new meals were a tremendous victory, with 10 million reportedly sold in the first year.

It was a time before the ready meal took off in the United Kingdom. This is because household freezers did not become the norm until the late 1960s and early 70s and when there was a widespread domestic way of storing frozen food, businesses noticed the commercial possibilities connected with it.

However, it wasn’t simply the technology that fired the growth of such meals. Family life was also developing and more women were working and everyone was putting in long hours at the office.

Anything that could free up time was promoted as a great thing and it became all about convenience.

Ready meals at the time were shown to be beneficial and effective, and they were a relief from domestic labour, even if you had the time to cook from scratch.

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From the mid-70s to the early 80s, frozen food took off and the likes of Findus Crispy Pancakes and Birds Eye Potato Waffles were being served up in homes across the United Kingdom. New frozen desserts also became popular, such as Black Forest Gateau, Wall’s Viennetta and Birds Eye’s Arctic Roll.

The model for the usual way to eat was and still is a meal at home, with your family, assembling around a table and dining alone was frequently seen as a symbol of social neglect. Not only were implications of loneliness attached to ready meals, their quality further began to be challenged, with frozen meals frequently seen as second-rate.

People roused up to the yawning abyss between the picture on the packaging and the brown junk served on the practical tray within.

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Frozen food, previously a status symbol, had lost its shine. Customers wanted freshness and one retailer was eager to give it to them in a move that would transform the appearance of ready meals permanently.

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In 1979 Marks and Spencer started its ready-made chicken Kiev. What made it distinct from everything that had gone before was that it was chilled, rather than frozen. This satisfied customer desire for freshness and made people feel a step nearer to the idea that they had made it themselves.

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Chilled ready meal sales grew during the 80s and the appearance of microwaves in the family pantry only raised them more and by 2012, the chilled ready meal made up 57 percent of the UK ready meals market and the market as a whole now governed by supermarkets making their own meals is valued at £2.6billion.

Chilled meals appeared at a time when healthy eating was becoming more popular and again the industry responded with the likes of Findus Lean Cuisine and McCain Oven Chips which used sunflower oil, the healthy alternative to the deep-fried version.

Growing appreciation of healthy eating remained in the 90s, with people becoming more worried about e-numbers, additives and nutritional concerns and it prompted the development of premium products and ranges.

People were prepared to spend more for something a touch posher and there started to be a hierarchy of products and supermarkets started luxury ranges. Labels and packaging also began to change, they got much fancier with high quality, alluring images.

The centre for excellence lasted into the 21st Century and the growing number of people eating out also had an influence.

It affected what people wanted to consume at home but most of the time didn’t have the culinary abilities to make, and ready meals were the alternative and the industry is very adaptable and continually adding new products in acknowledgement to trends.

This has served to make ready meals aspirational again and Ready meals have developed immeasurably in recent years.

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Ranges now on offer include the likes of Tesco’s restaurant collection and a Waitrose range produced by three-Michelin star chef Heston Blumenthal and the recession has simply served to heighten sales as cash-strapped customers have cut back on restaurant meals to stay in instead.

The market is realising the advantages of the double-dip recession.

However, the nutritional content of such food has drawn adverse reporting and a study printed in the British Medical Journal found that not even one of 100 supermarket ready meals it investigated completely complied with nutritional guidelines introduced by the World Health Organization.

Another study by the University of Glasgow branded ready meals as nutritionally chaotic. But, the market keeps on growing. However, some people were never enthusiasts and never will be.

When you open a ready meal up and peel off the plastic what you are left with is usually not pleasing to the eye or palate and how your food should arrive at your table is up to the person, contingent on whether you are the hunter or the gatherer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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