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for those who are environmentally conscious you may like to read this

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What gets me is the straws and other plastic pollution do not get into the ocean by themselves. The legs which take them there are ours. Like the takeaway coffee cups, we can all do our bit to change things. It's WE who need to change our habits not the plastic itself. The campaign to ban single-use plastic bags is debatable ... we have ingrained habits and plastic bags are such a convenience and able to be re-used multiple times. Replacing light weight plastic bags with heavier weight ones does nothing to stop those bags from being thrown away and ending up in bird's nests or in the ocean.

These campaigns can imply that there's something wrong with plastic. There's a lot right with it too. Like weeds out of control, our plastic habits are out of control. We are in charge and can change and saying 'no' to straws and takeaway coffee cups is a good start.

Did you see the Waste programme on ABCTV on Sunday night? There's an Australian entrepreneur who's figured out a way to recycle takeaway coffee cups. Good news; meantime bring your own coffee cup if you can (and say 'no' to straws).

yes so true about its us not plastic thats the problem ... yes i watched the program - there was a guy in Western Australia who developed a coffee cup that was edible havent heard anything more about it - we have multi use hard plastic straws that we re use here all the time for the kids like these - as long as they are well washed we can re use all the time. someone suggested we use stainless steel straws but the energy and pollution involved in the manufacture of stainless steel also concerns me . We once had glass straws and ditto re energy etc. Retro Sipper Cups with Straw (473ml)

To say nothing of the damage caused by rigid and/or breakable straws when used as weapons by the not-so-littlies.

I recall takeaway food containers made from Potatoes. They were available at Southbank when it first opened. Haven't seen hide nor hair of them since. We are quietly opposed to any change ;-) It's tough to change attitudes even to something as obvious and as simple as reducing plastic detritus. But we gotta do something! We are trashing our one and only world.

This problem is here now, but wasn't in our youth.  Why?  We have accepted convenience and followed the conveniences that big companies offered.  

We are not angels, but we have our coffee usually at home or at a cafe with china mug or cup and saucer, that is our choice.  I prefer the reusable shopping bags but hubbie just uses the plastic ones offered which are used again for rubbish.  We drink water out of glass reusable containers. Our plastic milk bottles are recyclable as they have stopped producing glass milk bottles in our area.  

Maybe larger monetary fines for the persons who drop things where they should not be dropped.  

It sickens me to see those pictures of poor animals. Just do the right thing. 

I've thought about how  my garden differs to the one my father had in the 50s.

Simple answer: plastic.

Shade cloth was hessian. Tools were steel & wood. Ties were twine. Buckets were metal.

Nonetheless, aside from the fact that many plastics are light and easily carried by the wind --runoff moves them to the sea as much as dropping them overboard.

On the shoreline here it is pretty good.Brisbane you have lifted your game!

After a big city wide flood we gets lots of stuff washed a shore -- indeed 'Dead Man's Beach' (aka Godwin Beach) is so named because the drownings in Brisbane floods often were washed up there.

The Brisbane River walkway originally located on the river along  Valley/New Farm -- ended up at Nudgee Beach during the last big flood 2012/2013.

However, to underscore the problem of plastics, the big issue is the runoff of nitrates, silts and other chemicals mixes-- that are destroying our bays, hatcheries, sea grass beds and ecosystems -- into the sea via the river catchments. Of course the plastics share that journey too.

I reckon that the ease with which  runoff reaches the sea  is one of our biggest urban risk problems. It also hleps to worsen floods as the cityscape design -- especially bitumen roads -- does not foster seepage back into the soil or slow flash floods. .

Next year Qld is dropping free plastic shopping bags so the most relentless plastic burden is to be dealt with.There remains the challenge of plastic 6 pack carriers but then many suppliers are switching to cardboard.

Folk here voluntarily clean the beaches and tidal flats; and Clean Up Australia day is well sourced with labour.

Dave as usual a thoughtful and interesting read - yes 50years ago was very different and as Christa and Elaine say we have just accepted and use plastic so freely ! it has been found that the dropping of free plastic shopping bags is nearly  negated by the increase in the extra amount of plastic bin liners etc sold ! but I do suppose every little helps ! 

Good point!

Going back to pre-plastic practices in suburbia, we wrapped any smelly or potentially fly brown garbage in newspaper and garbage collection was several times per week.

On farms the on-hand 'slops bucket' went to the chooks or pigs...

But changes in animal feeding laws now disallow the commercial use of recycled 'garbage' food.

So does that mean we buy our plastics to throw away or do councils rethink their garbage collection protocols? Big bins/once per week. Larger methane producing volumes?

What the chooks can eat from the kitchen leftovers, we feed them with. If no chooks, burying garbage is an option such as trench mulching. Most weeks it's a crime to put out the bins as they carry so little garbage.

Worm farms? That presumes a use for the end product. Slop buckets collected and utilized locally makes a lot of sense. indeed as a  job creation program. Collect the slops > feed the worms > sell on the worm juice and 'soil' even for potted plants in built up areas.

Locally made slops/locally used.

A slop bucket in every home: Ministers plan to impose fines if you don't recycle food waste : LINK

most people have no incentive to trenching food scraps and if as in the article they complain of smell, maggots and rats then they are not treating the waste correctly - it needs to be processed every day to stop those types of problems - maybe the council could allow a job creation idea of food scrap collection not just for worms but also for good garden compost heaps at waste recycling centres like dakabin - lots of brown and green waste add the paper and cardboard and other dry waste and viola great compost -  I do like the worm idea - maybe someone could suggest it too our council !!! will have to look into what Switzerland etc do with food scraps as they pay per cubic centimetre for the amount of rubbish they put out - they squash all their cans etc - maybe they use those food waste compactors that go into the sewerage system !!!! wow that would be just as bad ! 

Trenching food scraps is a very good way to in situ-compost. Works best with some soil to play with as in direct garden. Is OK too in wicking beds if you're not going to use the bed for a while, give the microbes and worms a chance to break it down. I killed some plants by not letting the heat go out of the scraps in a wicking bin. :-\ Ooops.

Food scrap can go into the sewerage  and be reclaimed that way  they need to mine the sewerage and cart the solids  to where it can be used as a resource compost and grow bio fuel  the Queensland government have already contaminated a large area with under ground coal to gas conversion  why not use this area. The water in sewerage they have already built a pipe line to cart the treated water from Brisbane to farms..

Unfortunately even tho I 'click to use Flash' I get no text on that site. Can you copy and paste the text? Assuming it works for you.

Every home will be issued with a kitchen slop bucket under plans being drawn up in Whitehall.

Ministers aim to ban the dumping of food waste in landfill sites.

They insist that all the food collected by binmen is instead sent to recycling plants. 

Ministers want to put buckets for food waste in every home so it can be sent to recycling plants

Slop of the pops: Ministers want to put buckets for food waste in every home so it can be sent to recycling plants

The nationwide scheme will mean that households will be forced to have a separate slop bucket  -  or kitchen caddy as Whitehall prefers to call them  -  for everything from chicken bones to mouldy lettuce and left-over baked beans.

Those who fail to recycle food waste and try to put it out with their general refuse are likely to face bin fines  -  which typically run at £110 but which can now in some cases reach £500.

Historic: A cartoon portraying a woman in her cottage doorway emptying a slop bucket

Historic: A cartoon portraying a woman in her cottage doorway emptying a slop bucket

The ban on landfilling of food waste  -  and also aluminium, glass and wood  -  is being prepared by Environment Secretary Hilary Benn. It comes amid rising fears that the scheme will cause hygiene problems and encourage vermin. 

In a trial at 94,000 homes in 19 council areas last year, a quarter of those taking part reported terrible smells and infestations of maggots, flies and rats.

They said that in the summer the stench grows worse and the slop buckets attract even more vermin.

Mr Benn indicated his intention to ratchet up the Government's push for more recycling earlier this summer, saying: 'It's time for a new war on waste'.

He intends to put out a consultation paper by the end of the year which could lead to compulsory slop bucket rules by the end of 2011.

However, more than a third of the homes in the country do not use the wheelie bins necessary for a slop bucket system and half do not have the compulsory recycling needed to end landfilling of food, or glass and aluminium bottles and tins, or paper containers.


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