MY daughter is making a mural out of plastic bottle tops, and so we’re all collecting them for her, ostensibly from those in our kitchens. However I was able to pick up twenty on a local walk, and they were on over 100 discarded drink containers littering a short distance.
It needn’t be like that as I would be hard pressed to find that many bottles or cans on a similar walk in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Estonia, Croatia, Canada, ten US states and, by next year, the whole of Australia.
They all have a deposit on drinks containers so they are returned to the purchase site or fed into deposit machines in supermarkets. It means at least 85per cent of these containers are recycled, and frequently over 90%, so there’s far less street litter.
Some South American, east African and south Asian countries still use glass bottles for soft drinks, and the small deposit on them means they are mostly returned, washed and refilled for further use – rather like the milk bottles on my door step.
Indeed as a youngster in the forties I spent many a profitable hour collecting bottles and returning them for re-use. However by 1970 the commercial greed of the manufacturers resulted in throw away plastic, aluminium and tin replacing glass as it saved them considerable expense and they weren’t interested in the resulting litter, and still aren’t.
After allowing for mining, smelting and transport costs it’s clear that plastic, aluminium and glass containers all produce unnecessary amounts of CO2, especially when used just once.
A litre of bottled water can cost more than a litre of petrol, and 300 times the cost of our very adequate tap water. How gullible!
So, refill your bottle from the tap, and argue for a mandatory UK deposit system.