When I were a lad……

The Corona float delivered pop door-to-door. We paid a deposit on the bottles and were reimbursed when we returned them to the pop-man a week later. Then shops and plastics and cans took over the pop trade, deposits were forgotten and the rest, as they say, is detritus.Now HMGov think they should reinvent a deposit system already in use in dozens of countries; notably here in Vikingland, where for decades all glass, plastic and metal containers have been collected in machines at supermarkets. Some have deposits refunded; others, like wine bottles and food jars don’t; all are recycled. Simples. The latest machines like Aldi’s can spot un-emptied containers and reject them with a curt request to play nicely.

So please, Gov, just get the Vikings to design the logistics and get on with it! And why 22p? Oop ‘ere it’s one krone a can, or 10p-ish, and more for plastic bottles, according to size. I suppose it’s too much to ask the retailers to be content with a break-even deal?

Author: janus

I'm back......and front - in sunny Sussex-by-the-sea

14 thoughts on “When I were a lad……”

  1. In Hunland there are two rates. There is one rate for a multiple-use bottle and a second rate for a single-use bottle. One must retain the label on the bottle to receive any refund. The rate for a multiple-use bottle is €0.15, the rate for a single-use bottle is €0.25. The machined are particular about the labelling. In the Grand Duchy of Drunky Junkyland there are no deposits and Huns have been known to try to pass off Drunky Junkian bottles as Hunnish.

  2. And about bloody time too. The world is awash with garbage, everywhere is polluted, the whole thing is utterly disgusting.
    Here all the glass, plastic, cans and paper is collected by the garbage company, presorted by ourselves into specific coloured bins. Just part of their collection service.
    Works out about 10 pounds /week including green bin (garden waste) service. No need to drag stuff back into town.
    I don’t know why everything has to be made SO difficult in the UK, no wonder people are so bad tempered and rude!

  3. “presorted by ourselves”. Oh CO. You have disappointed me. Do you mean that some people considered postsorting; or even just sorting?

  4. Yes, sipu, a weird use of the word, but I was thinking about the UK, Wales in particular at the time.
    There they all put their recyclables (or whatever!) into one sack and doubtful immigrants sort them out on a belt at their Council yards. I have always thought this a very weird way of doing it and doubt it actually happens, I reckon most of it is dumped straight in the trash for landfill. So the council do the sorting. I rather had that in mind for my use of ‘presorting’. Had I stopped to think of what actually happens here I agree, we sort!

    I have always had my greatest doubts about the recycling in Wales. I actually rang the council once and asked to visit and examine their site, oh my! The caviling evasion was beyond compare which rather reinforced my suspicions.
    Elf ‘nd safety to the fore!

    Are you sure your machine is not having an insurrection, attack of indigestion, or being spied upon by un-nameables?

  5. CO: In the UK it very much depends on which council is in charge of rubbish collection. Some are strict, others less so. In Western Dorset, general recyclables including plastics and paper go into one bin. Glass goes into another bin. General rubbish goes into yet another. They’re not terribly strict about it, though. I’ve heard horror stories from other councils, however. I’m rather happy that they’re bringing back deposits, though. Again, western Dorset is all rather respectable and some effort is made into maintaining standards but even here some are a bit too careless. Lots of Yokel chavs and chavettes consider the world to be their dust bin. The council bin men come by weekly to pick up our rubbish. One week they pick up general rubbish, the next week they pick up recyclables. Parts of the UK are rubbish, parts of it aren’t.

  6. You want to see the carpet munching part of Brum! Can’t see the pavements for rubbish two feet high. Disgusting pigs.
    Round here is pretty good, different organisations have periodic litter picking along the verges and few people chuck trash. But then Western WA is all very, very green in every way possible. But it makes a nice place to live.

  7. CO: If you want to see disgusting, go to parts of the Mission District in San Francisco. I managed to get lost in inner-city slums in Paris and they were elysian in comparison! Whenever I had to go there, I needed to hold back vomit because it was so filthy. The female-type parent tells me interesting stories about life in Texas, too. Parts of the USA are quite civilised, parts are absolute rubbish. Parts of the UK are brilliant, parts are tragic.

  8. The local collection of unsorted household rubbish is weekly; and there is a five/weekly collection of recyclables: paper and (non-corrugated) board, and glass/metal for those who don’t use the retailers’ machines. Apart from some notorious hotspots in the bigger cities, DK is well-kept and respected.

    Oh and all at no cost to the householder – if we ignore the taxes on eveyything else we touch!

  9. Interestingly here some of the towns include collection on the rates in the interest of public health but out in the County, where our rates are lower we have to pay directly for the collection service. It seems to work as there is no flytipping in evidence.

  10. What irritates me is the fact that we are all being asked to cough up for the cleaning up of pollution being generated by giant corporations in order to increase their profits. Coca-Cola alone, which is surely one of the highest profiled and therefore most easily identified plastic single use packaging on the planet, produces more than 100bn throwaway plastic bottles every year – or 3,400 a second, spread across 250 bottling plants throughout the world according to analysis carried out by Greenpeace. Do they really think all those bottles are just going to vanish after they’ve been used, or is it the fact that as long as it’s not their problem they don’t actually give a stuff? Until they, and companies like them, are forced to pay a tax on every unit of single use plastic packaging that their factories produce, they will happily go on polluting the planet for as long as the rest of us are mug enough to accept all the costs of cleaning it up. End of tirade.

  11. JH: In Sweden, rubbish is used to create electricity. Swedes are so adept at recycling that Sweden now has to import rubbish from Norway. The Japanese are diligent recyclers. In Germany and Switzerland rubbish is sorted carefully. In Italy, there are strictly-enforced rules vis-a-vis rubbish disposal that are hampered only be regional political corruption and incompetence. If people in some countries are incapable of sorting their rubbish, that’s their problem, not Coca Cola’s. Coca Cola has no choice BUT to produce enough bottles to store their products.

  12. Or……Coca Cola et al could invent/use bio-degradable materials.

    Meanwhile district heating here in Vikingland is powered largely by rubbish collected locally. For those who don’t know: hot water is piped around the town very efficiently at a reasonable price.

  13. Christopher, As far as I know reasonable alternatives have been available for a number of years, it was just a bit more expensive.

    “Polylactic acid (PLA), a plastic substitute made from fermented plant starch (usually corn) is quickly becoming a popular alternative to traditional petroleum-based plastics. As more and more countries and states follow the lead of China, Ireland, South Africa, Uganda and San Francisco in banning plastic grocery bags responsible for so much so-called “white pollution” around the world, PLA is poised to play a big role as a viable, biodegradable replacement.

    Proponents also tout the use of PLA—which is technically “carbon neutral” in that it comes from renewable, carbon-absorbing plants—as yet another way to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases in a quickly warming world. PLA also will not emit toxic fumes when incinerated ”

    I think that the problem can only begin to properly addressed on an international level rather than a national one.

    While it’s undoubtedly true that some countries are very efficient at recycling, many of the less well off countries do not have the facilities to deal with the problem. That however, does not stop the international manufacturers selling their products into them while knowing full well that a large proportion of their packaging may well (and does) end up polluting the worlds oceans. Once that happens it then becomes no-ones “national” problem and therefore no-ones responsibility for clearing it up or bearing the all costs involved in the process.

    Vehicle manufacturers, power producers and heavy industry in general have all been forced to invest in measures, equipment and procedures that limit the effect of pollution that the making or use of their products may cause, why should the same not apply to plastic manufacturers? Should the continuing use of oil based plastic become more expensive than the cost of development and the use of alternatives, I have no doubt that their use would drop very sharply and very rapidly.

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