The independent London newspaper

A video would help with education on recycling and rubbish

20 June, 2019

Griff Rhys Jones

• HILARY Paterson sets out much good advice for householders on how to sort rubbish for recycling or for “non-recyclable” disposal, that is, dumping waste, (Don’t make the food in bags mistake, June 13).

Only a few days ago a BBC TV documentary showed how much of UK’s dumped waste ends up in polluting piles in third world countries.

A website shows that Camden Council sent one quarter of household waste for recycling, reuse or composting, in 2015/16, and less than a fifth of non-household waste likewise.

The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames had very much better “scores”. Another website tells us that six outer London boroughs send waste, part of which is burned, to produce electricity. So what might we do to help make use of rubbish in Camden?

I suggest Camden hires a professional, to make a short video (reachable on the internet) to explain a range of the materials we have to get rid of, and to show which items go into which receptacle for disposal.

The New Journal piece this week on Griff Rhys Jones (We must save historic Camden from ‘commercialisation’, June 14), shows us his admirable “social conscience” on these matters and he might be the very person to get this suggestion off the ground.

The video should show what happens “at the other end” with our rubbish that is properly sorted. And also what happens with material that has not been properly sorted; and illustrate the hard, poorly paid, and unpleasant work that the collectors perform.

The video should be narrated by a top-level celebrity in each of at least two or more languages. Camden should attract a celebrity by auctioning each narrator role, which would then be performed with no fee.

The project could be publicised to raise excitement. Such a resource would continue to be available to schools and individuals and would usefully preserve and extend the points made in Hilary Paterson’s letter.

I know that Camden have distributed leaflets which cover some of this ground, but a video is likely to be more vivid in getting the message across. Other boroughs may have to have their own videos as their disposal methods may include important differences from ours.

A second suggestion is to ask one among the hundreds of scientists now beavering away in the Crick Institute to try to find an organism which would feed on plastic.

I realise there would be a problem in coping with such an organism once it has eventually consumed all the world’s plastic waste; but let’s get there first.



Share this story

Post a comment