Mrs Green’s six stories on Sunday

Filed in Blog, Videos by on August 30, 2009 3 Comments
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Gathering plastic debris from the surface of the ocean

Gathering plastic debris from the surface of the ocean

It’s time for my stories from across the globe.

All Sunday stories have the reduce, reuse, recycle and compost theme.

Maybe one day, when we combine our efforts we’ll have a zero waste world to enjoy!

Tetra pak say no to UK reprocessing

This is a sad story. As you might be aware, Tetra pak cartons are currently sent to Sweden for recycling.

According to their recycling operations manager, the firm were considering a range of options in the UK but its trials showed none was currently viable, so they have put plants to expand UK carton reprocessing on the back burner.

Their recycling operations manager said “Initially, we were keen on reprocessing in the UK in response to public demand. But life-cycle analyses have shown it’s not detrimental to the environment to ship waste overseas,”

Read more with “Tetra Pak plays down need for UK carton reprocessing” over at Packaging news.

Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch

You may have heard of the “Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch”. It lies a thousand miles off California and the plastic debris gathering there has the potential to damage marine life and alter the biological environment.

The Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch hits the media headlines a lot, but there has been little scientific information on the composition, extent, and effects of the debris. Horrific images of wildlife entangled in, or dying from ingestion of, plastic were prompts for many people to take a look at the waste they create.

Stories of turtles dying from plastic in their stomachs were the starting point for Mr Green, while Beth over at Fake Plastic Fish was moved to action when seeing the amount of plastic inside a dead albatross.

Between August 2-21, a group of doctoral students and research volunteers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego went to explore the problem of plastic in the North Pacific Gyre and kept a blog of their account.

Miriam Goldstein wrote this contemplative post on Day 19 of the expedition asking why people care so much about plastic in the North Pacific Gyre.

Zero waste Scotland

‘ve been reading a lot over the past few months about Scotland and their plans to become a zero waste society.

This week they proposed ambitious approahces to reduce waste, increase recycling and send  less waste to landfill/

They plan to encourage business to reduce waste, including landfill bans on certain materials, and aim to bring more recycling facilities to public places. in addition they say they will step up their kerbside collections.

It all sounds very promising, and they talk about viewing waste as a resource and their belief that their plan has the potential to create 2000 new jobs.

I’ll be avidly watching for action on this one. Find out more with Scotland outlines plans to go ‘zero waste’

Recycling cd cases

This week Little Miss Green presented me with an empty cd case. What do you do with them once the cd has gone?

The answer might lie in wall art.

Over at Country Living, you can find a tutorial to turn your unwanted cd jewel cases into a piece of unique wall art.

it would be great for a modern room!

Find out more with their “CD Case Craft” post.

Co-mingled collections ‘ruin quality’

Last week we said that Greenstar reckoned co mingled recycling was better than no recycling at all.

This week, British Glass have said that Co-mingled packaging waste collections are forcing glass manufacturers to look overseas for a quality product and warned that the trend towards co-mingled collections is affecting the amount of usable material.

Read more with “Glass firms seek recyclate abroad as co-mingled collections ‘ruin quality

Over consumption leads to waste

Finally, my video this week won an award at the D&AD student Awards

It’s an intriguing video. The first time I watched it, I thought ‘this is silly’. I just didn’t get it, it didn’t seem real. I mean, unless you have serious issues you don’t try and hide your own rubbish under cushions, in drawers and behind wallpaper.

But then the lightbulb went on for me and it showed how silly we *all* are by thinking we can dump stuff in the ground in the hope it will go away.

Well that’s my take on it. Have a watch and let me know what you think the video is trying to convey. The blurb says “The concept of the video is about our everyday over consumption and how packaging and mass production has a huge contribution towards this”.


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (3)

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  1. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    There are positive changes here in Scotland but the actual recycling situation locally is way behind the excellent performance in England and Wales. My view is to promote the best practice nationally as standard.

    Commingled is controversial and it is no surprise that glass industry people prefer the cleaner, source- separated bottles for cullet. I have the latter kerbside system, though the range of collected items is limited. The Recyclebank system of money-voucher for recycling performance could be the answer to expand interest even in the die-hards. My take on this is that enthusiasts who avoid plastic bottles may have less weight of recyclate, and therefore get lower value vouchers. I would be happy to see the system introduced in every council area, nevertheless.

    Beth’s American perspective is worth following, as many, if not all, issues are the same worldwide. The North Pacific Gyre is a wake-up call to plastic (waste). Plastic avoidance is certainly a good approach with more and more alternatives emerging here and overseas.

    The jury is still out on Tetrapaks, I simply avoid these as future waste packaging.

  2. John Costigane says:

    Hi Again,

    The video showed the ever-growing amount of waste created by unthinking consumption and is a good advert for Zero Waste. The material is ugly and misshaped, unfit for home or world.

    It is good to see younger perspectives since they will be the future for the trend.

  3. Mrs Green says:

    Hi John, I think that incentives need to be increased before we see big changes in recycling. However, after watching ‘Trashed’ the other night (to be reviewed on the site in a couple of weeks) it was worrying to see how many people make money out of creating rubbish…


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