Roswell is drop in ocean compared to threat posed by too much waste

PUBLISHED: 12:16 02 August 2007 | UPDATED: 12:43 04 May 2010

LES Walton is right. How about some public input into a debate of far wider importance that affects us all - waste? Roswell is important, but it s a fragment of a bigger, largely ignored issue that ought to be uppermost in everyone s minds. I refer to the

LES Walton is right. How about some public input into a debate of far wider importance that affects us all - waste?

Roswell is important, but it's a fragment of a bigger, largely ignored issue that ought to be uppermost in everyone's minds. I refer to the huge, growing, unacceptable and avoidable levels of waste.

Although East Cambs has a high recycling rate, it is far from where it could and should be. High on my list of waste demons is plastic - bottles, containers, bags, toys, goods of all kinds - and much more, should be recycled than is being done.

Where a plastic product bears the recycling symbol, there should be the means to do so, but there are too many food wrappers and containers with no symbol or one with a code number above three for which there is no recycling facility.

As for polystyrene, its manufacture should be banned, yet it appears in so many places, the worst in my opinion in garden centres where tens of thousands of bulky containers find their way into household rubbish and landfill by way of bedding plant holders.

The European Joint Research Centre reports that residential electricity consumption is rising (more CO2) and that increasing numbers of appliances on stand-by are a big part of this rise.

Last year, I changed my lighting to either low-energy bulbs or dimmer control, reducing that energy and its cost by around 80 per cent, without ill effect on my lifestyle. I believe the waste of large-scale lighting in many shops and stores is outrageous when often it is bright daylight outside and no or little artificial light is needed.

And I have really only scratched the surface of the waste problem. Official reports tell us that on average we throw away 33 per cent of the food we buy.

That food not only costs a lot to buy, it also cost energy to be grown, transported, stored, and possibly cooked.

So, readers - how can so much verbiage, concern and intense feeling go into the relatively small matter of Roswell when there is a whole lot more at stake? A similarly long and emotional debate, and better still some positive actions by government, local authorities and importantly - the public, would have more, far-reaching benefits for each and everyone. But then waste doesn't have the same appeal of bitterns, marsh harriers, flora and fauna, does it? Well - don't you all think it's time that it did!?

BILL MUNNS

Watson's Lane

Little Thetford

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