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Washing bottles before they are recycled is costing valuable water

By Sleaford Target  |  Posted: July 04, 2012

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I WONDER how many of you saw the article in last week's Target – 'Bringing home the plastics message'?

A couple of things caught my attention, firstly, 'executive member for waste and green issues, and vice-chairman of the Lincolnshire Waste Partnership, councillor Lewis Strange'. Couldn't they make his title a bit longer or does this suggest that the longer the title, the more money they get paid?

Secondly, the bit of advice from Cllr Strange which everyone should ignore; namely the bit about washing plastic bottles before recycling.

Water is a precious commodity. We have just come off a hosepipe ban; the cost of water will need to rise in order to persuade people from taking it for granted. Given that Cllr Strange informs us to leave the labels on our recycled plastic bottles because this will be removed during the recycling stage – well, so will the contents, so don't throw good water after bad.

Cllr Strange also tells us that "if everyone in the country recycled just one extra plastic bottle during Recycle Week, this would save enough energy to power over 71,000 plasma screen televisions for a year".

What waffle is this? If they really want to increase the overall level of recycling then the partnership should offer a deposit return system like we had years ago.

And as for the ludicrous TV analogy – please give us some definitive proof.

Some years ago we were told that keeping our TVs on standby kept several power stations ticking over and that a plant per day was dying in the Amazon Rain Forest. When investigated both suggestions turned out to be balderdash.

Please pass me the pinch of salt.

Alan J Ford

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