by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
The organizers of Recycle Week have decided following the announcement of the date for the EU Referendum, to move the date of Recycle Week for 2016 from June to September 12 – 18, 2016.
They have consulted with a number of our partners and stakeholders and they have agreed that the intensity of activity around the EU Referendum may have an impact on the success of a Recycle Week were it to be hels, as per usual, in June.
The theme of the Unusual Suspects will remain the same, with the aim of the week being to encourage residents to think about recycling items from around the home that they may not previously have thought about.
While the concept of a Recycle Week is a useful one what we really need is more like a national Reuse Week or even a Reuse Month where people will be encouraged to use and reuse what they already have, including packaging waste and such like, rather than thinking recycling bin and go and buy something in the store. Our approach is still the completely wrong one.
Recycling is taking the eye of the ball of the real necessities and that is reduction of packaging waste and making goods last again, with full repairability, and where repair is a great deal cheaper than buying new. But the fact that so many products now have the statement “can be fully recycled” on them encourages people to buy new rather than making what they have last and using what they have rather than desiring always the latest.
The overemphasis placed on recycling and recyclability of products is turning our attention away from the real issue and need and that is the reduction of packaging and the reintroduction of longevity into products, especially by means of making them repairable, ideally user repairable.
The other problem is that most of the recycling does not happen in the home countries but the “recyclables” are shipped abroad, to places like China, India, West Africa, places where the environmental legislation and protection is lower that back home, and thus we move the pollution away from us and dump it, literally, upon the poor in other countries.
While recycling is good, reduction, reuse and repairability is better.