The Running Commentary


SA needs to learn to recycle and control usage urgently

free-living-forest-waterfall.jpgI have just, this week, returned from a trip to the UK and France and was absolutely awestruck by just how second nature it has become for them to recycle. Single dustbins have been replaced by colour coded dustbins so that consumers simply dump their trash into the correct bin.

While the cities are not necessarily the cleanest (Paris certainly seemed to be a bit dirty – in terms of graffiti on the subway) Europe’s most visited city was able to cope and I think that this is as a result of people understanding the importance of recycling.

I particularly enjoyed the fact that most restaurants served their soft-drinks in glass bottles and not tins.

One of the other moves, that is fast coming to the for, is the drive to drop the “2 for 1” specials and to look critically at the use of best before dates. One survey estimated that almost 50 % the second item sold in the “2 for 1” special was never used and was thrown out. This is simply staggering….

In addition the “best before date” was causing folk to throw food away which in fact was still usable, but because the package said that it was “old” the consumer simply reacted and threw the item out. 

With 2010 around the corner we might need to take some of this on board, certainly the benefits must be great. We have the opportunity, not only for 2010, but into the future to learn from these countries. We need legislation to encourage recycling and stricter control of guidelines like “best before dates” to ensure that consumers are not foxed into throwing items out. 

2 for 1 special2010best before dateRecycletrash

Mike • August 21, 2009

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