Last week I wrote about recycling, but hopefully communicated the message that recycling is a last resort after first trying to refuse, reduce, reuse and repurpose our waste. This week, the Green Team hosted its inaugural Free4All Stall in a bid to reuse old text books, unwanted stationery and unclaimed water bottles. They enthusiastically sorted donations, tested pens, sharpened pencils and checked the mechanisms on folders. Meanwhile, all water bottles were washed thoroughly and the bottoms of wobbly metal bottles hammered flat. On Monday morning, the stall opened to a large crowd of customers and within ten minutes, eight tables of stock were reduced to just one! Over the next few days, more donations were received and made their way quickly to new owners. This is a huge success for the Green Team as they spread their message of how acting on the desire for new is counterproductive for the environment and are instilling in their peers the acceptability of loving the preloved.
Spent plastic items are in abundance and there are recycling schemes available across the state. However, recycled plastic is not currently a commodity that carries much value, unlike used metal, and the demand is not yet high – most manufacturers use virgin plastic in preference. This highlights the importance of reducing the amount of single-use/short-life plastic items that enter our lives. However, given the lack of alternatives in many cases, it can be impossible to avoid all items. This week saw the launch of the collections of oral care, beauty products and contact-lenses for recycling through Terracycle – collection boxes are currently at Student Reception in the Secondary School:
- Colgate’s Oral Care – all brands of toothpaste, manual toothbrushes and dental floss packaging
- L’Oréal/Garnier’s Beauty Products: all brands of hair care, cosmetics and skin care packaging
- Bausch + Lomb: all brands of contact lens and blister packs (not the cardboard packaging)
Ms Elizabeth Cranfield