Saturday, November 24, 2007

Throw-away Society

I am all for Rebecca Hosking's campaign to ban the plastic bag. Londoners alone apparently get through 1.6 billion a year, lasting an average of 20 minutes before being thrown away.

I will admit to recycling mine as small bin liners but at the same time have about 8 reusable bags from various supermarkets - none of which manage to end up in the supermarket with me when I go shopping. Banning plastic bags would indeed improve my memory.

However, alongside bags and the eternal fight against over-indulgent packaging, we also are guilty of throwing away too much food - about 7 million tonnes of it a year.

I was guilty of this. The night before the bins were emptied, I cleared out my 'fridge of out of date food and was surprised every week on how much there was.

This, though, was not entirely my fault. I would have loved to pop down my local greengrocer, butcher, baker, etc and buy only what I needed for a few days; eliminating any waste and ensuring a fresh, local supply of food. But I couldn't because they all went out of business after the out of town supermarkets appeared. And to fight through the supermarket crowds, out of control children and long checkout lines every few days would have driven me to madness - it's why it's called the 'weekly' shop.

The good news, though, is that I've recently moved to a largish village and what I love about it more than anything is that there is a greengrocer, a butcher, a baker and, wait for it, even a Post Office. I'm eating healthier, I get some exercise walking down the shops and pay less at the end of the day, as I'm not tempted by the million different products available on the shelves, which end up in the bin 7 days later.

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