We hope Minister of Infrastructure Arden McLean is serious about beginning a national recycling programme.
And we hope it comes sooner than later.
The Minister rightfully said last Friday that there’s a need to recycle glass in particular.
Our landfill is chock full of glass bottles from restaurants, businesses, bars and our homes.
Bottles litter our roadways and beaches, where if broken, become hazards to barefoot beachcombers.
We also agree with Mr. McLean that government is going to have to kick start this initiative if it is to get off the ground.
But we think more can be done, and not by government.
We can take a cue from Hawaii where 800 million bottles are thrown away every year. That’s about 75,000 bottles a day.
The problem with glass became so great that Hawaii lawmakers implemented a bottle deposit law.
Basically anyone buying anything in a glass bottle pays a fee, part of which is returned when the purchaser returns the empty vessel.
The law puts the onus on recycling on the merchant and the purchaser.
That’s why we think retailers and bars need to get on board with Mr. McLean’s idea.
They can offer recycling bins and incentives for returning glass bottles.
Of course the incentive should be that we’re taking part of the burden off our landfill.
We would hope that our Members of the Legislative Assembly don’t have to pass a law similar to Hawaii’s. That state overcame many obstacles to get the deposit law approved and accepted. It was first introduced in 2002, put into full force in 2004 and is only now beginning to become an accepted best practice.
Recycling is one of those things we should take on ourselves, not wait for government to legislate.
And while glass bottles are an excellent place to start, there are many, many other items we need to be recycling.
Take a look around your own home or office and figure out ways to reuse things you would normally toss in the garbage bin.
Recycling isn’t just government’s business, it’s everybody’s business.
Now, about those plastic supermarket bags…