Penalties for companies who break an EU directive banning excessive packaging should be made tougher, the Local Government Association has said.Councils say the EU rule has too many loopholes and the maximum fine of £5,000 is not a big enough deterrent.The Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment says trading standards are right to encourage firms to cut packaging rather than going to court.About 5m tonnes of annual household rubbish is used in packaging.It makes up almost one-fifth of all household refuse.There have been just four successful prosecutions since the UK adopted the EU law eight years ago.'
Many items sold in supermarkets are packaged to retain freshness
They include a butcher whose pre-packed meat was wrapped in two polystyrene trays and an office supplies firm that used large boxes to send very small items.Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said the law against excessive packaging is a "toothless tiger"."The fact that there have only been four successful prosecutions in the UK demonstrates the law simply isn't working," he said.He added: "Local authority trading standards services find their hands tied by regulations which allow retailers to defend excessive packaging claiming it is what the customer wants or that it is required for the purposes of marketing."
Whilst there is the reference to
5m tonnes of annual household rubbish is used in packaging.
there is no reference to any plans to make suppliers and manufacturers use bio-degradeable packaging! WHY?
My local council's green bags are not bio-degradeable........... again WHY?
I have heard of councils thinking about penalising residents for producing excess rubbish but what are we supposed to do? I have been recycling everything that I can since we lived in Newbury in Berkshire in the late 80's when councils first started to recycle seriously. What goes in my bin cannot be recycled and cannot be composted and I send plastic containers to Beauty's school to use in art work. So what is left I have little control over.For a time I was sending crisp packets back to Walkers asking them to recycle them as I was unable to find someone who would recycle them and there were results in this campaign (not just my campaign-I'm not that vain), Walkers reduced the size of their crisp packets because of public demand.
Every time I put something in the rubbish bin I feel guilty. I frequently think about Michael Palin's visit to the Sahara when they asked for a bag to put rubbish in and they were looked at with bewilderment. The locals had no rubbish, everything was recycled. Vegetables came without plastic, beans and pulses came in sacks and any meat was killed and eaten straightaway so no need for packaging there!
Packaging is the key to dealing with rubbish.
I have stopped using plastic bags to send Beauty's food to school in, I now use tea towels and packaging that cannot be recycled to wrap every thing in and I am in the process of making fabric bags to put the food in. Her food sometimes goes to school in bread bags, pasta bags and clothes packaging!I remember living with foster parents in the 70's and the mother bitching about a neighbours child being sent to school with their food in a plastic bread bag! Well whoop a dee do- if that were the extent of the world's problems. The child in question went to school school washed and with clean clothes and always smiling and people were worrying about the bread bag!
I would be quite happy for anyone to comment on the way that I re-use plastic packaging!