rubbish, oceans of it

14Sep08

Stories about a rubbish pile floating around the Pacific have been around for a little while.

This story from the Independent from February this year, and this story about the island of rubbish, a ‘plastic soup’ being bigger than the US in size. Pretty scary to think that there is this floating mass of rubbish just out there? Why don’t we hear more about it? It just seems that at some stage there will be a huge, hysterical blowup of the story?

Apparently a lot of the waste is plastic bottles that harden in the sun and then partially disintegrate and become food for ocean life, which of course then kills the ocean life.

Rubbish!

Rubbish!

Rubbish worries me.

We’ve all been trying hard this year, as a household, to not use a lot of plastic- we try not to get plastic bags when we are shopping. I try not to buy anything that appears to be unnecessarily wrapped in plastic or with extra packaging. For instance I love the truss tomatoes from the local shop, but try not to buy the ones in the plastic tray, wrapped in plastic. What’s that all about? 

Here in Canberra we have 2 bins- a general rubbish bin and a yellow recycling bin. The system works pretty well and we are told that Canberrans recycle well and often. In fact the ACT Government was the first government in the world to set a goal of achieving no waste going into landfill by 2010. Let’s hope we get there- although the ACT Government have been pretty quiet about the whole no waste thing for a while. I’m not sure however that the ACT Government should offer households an extra recycling bin. I kind of think if you are needing an extra recycling bin, maybe you should be looking at your purchases and cutting down in the first place? The big yellow bin (if everything is squashed down) can take a heap of recycling.

In the kitchen we have a box for all recycling, a bin for rubbish, container for chook scraps and another for compost (we don’t give the chooks our coffee grounds!). Plastic bags are great bin liners, so what do you do if you don’t have plastic bags in the house? I’m still not sure on this one – how to wrap rubbish? I am thinking of using our plastic bread bags, but not sure as they are not very big?

Recycling is great, composting is great, huge amounts of rubbish going into landfill is just not sustainable. How many millions of disposable nappies do you think the planet can take? Oh – it’s OK they break down in a couple of hundred years. I have heard recently about biodegradable, disposable nappies- well that’s heading in the right direction.

Anyway as I say, my blog, my thoughts, my rant…sorry

Kx

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