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Gosh, It's Just Too Damned Hard - 12-Year Attempt To Persuade Shoppers To Reuse Bottles Flops In UK

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-11 09:06 PM
Original message
Gosh, It's Just Too Damned Hard - 12-Year Attempt To Persuade Shoppers To Reuse Bottles Flops In UK
Hey kids! If you were wondering why we're doomed, read on!!!

Green fatigue among shoppers has set back Britain's long-awaited refillable bottle revolution, with the latest attempts to persuade supermarket customers to reuse containers ending in failure. Twelve years after one supermarket chain first began testing ways to encourage shoppers to refill detergent bottles rather than buy new ones, the group is no nearer to launching a national scheme across its stores.

Julian Walker-Palin, Asda's head of corporate sustainability, called its latest trial which ran in five stores across the UK and offered customers the chance to save money while cutting their carbon footprint, by reusing specially designed fabric conditioner pouches "disappointing".

A new report published this month by Wrap, the Government's recycling body which worked on the trial with the supermarket, said the self-dispensing machines were a "disruptive technology" that would take consumers time to come to terms with. But it also claimed that the technology, supplied by the manufacturing company Eziserv, could be a "viable option" for wider use.

Asda admitted this weekend that sales of the two own-brand fabric conditioners used in the trial barely hit half of its projections with the exception of the first two weeks the machines were installed. While a "good sample" of customers refilled the pouch twice, only a "limited number" refilled it more than twice, although the pouch was designed to withstand being refilled 10 times, Mr Walker-Palin said. It has no immediate plans to reintroduce the self-dispensing machines, although it may run another trial at some point.

EDIT

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/s...
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Systematic Chaos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-11 09:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. Reminds me of the EASY recycling effort put in place in Vegas years ago.
They went around and gave everyone colored and labeled bins to put their metal, paper and plastic in. All people had to do was curb those bins along with their non-recyclable trash.

It was abandoned shortly thereafter because everyone was too fucking dumb to try and do it right.
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enlightenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-11 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Really?
Edited on Sun Jan-30-11 09:55 PM by enlightenment
Then where do my cans, bottles, and paper/cardboard go every other week? I could swear they come and pick it up in a big white truck . . .

*Seriously - the recycling plan is working just fine in Vegas. They're contemplating going to a once a week trash and once a week recycle pickup; right now it's trash twice a week/recycle every other week.
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Systematic Chaos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-11 02:02 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. Not in any neighborhoods I've lived in.
As I responded below, I'm in a large apartment complex near UNLV and there are nothing but normal dumpsters in our parking lot. Same was true with our previous three apartments over the past few years. These include another place near UNLV, one by the Hard Rock Hotel and one near Nellis AFB. All really shitty neighborhoods, so maybe that's why? I don't know, and I don't get out much anyway.

Glad there's still something like this going on where you are.
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enlightenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-11 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Living in apartment complexes does complicate the issue -
my incredulity was based on your statement that the recycling project was abandoned (because people were too dumb, etc). It was never abandoned. There are plenty of people who can't or won't be bothered to do it, but the program still exists.

As the poster below pointed out, recycling in apartment complexes that use large tips instead of individual trash containers is a different kettle of fish and can go south very quickly if the people living in the complex don't make an effort. I have seen recycling tips here and there (they have three compartments with holes at the top of each for the different types of recyclables), but the large white tips that look just like regular refuse tips seem to be more common (if at all). I can certainly understand why you would think the project had been abandoned if you haven't seen any evidence in your location.

It does look like Republic Services is stepping up its efforts:

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/oct/20/recycler-si... /

Maybe you should talk to your management company about getting on-board with that!
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-11 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #5
17. Daily and Bi-weekly trash services say everything that needs...
...to be said about consumption and waste in the US. Most of the rest of the world makes do with weekly and fortnightly services.
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kiva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-11 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. As someone who lives in Las Vegas, I have to ask...
What do you think those white and red and blue plastic containers on the sidewalks hold? The people in my neighborhood use them to recycle aluminum, plastic, glass, paper and cardboard.
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Systematic Chaos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-11 01:59 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Maybe your neighborhood is using them.
All I can tell you is that my familiarity started and ended with the whole thing in the early 90s. I lived in a ratty North Las Vegas neighborhood, everyone in it got the containers, and nobody seemed to use them, including the guy whose house I was renting a bedroom in. I even tried to put my own trash in those containers and set them out, but he decided to put his garage junk in them, thus stopping me. He made it clear he didn't want me messing with his new "storage containers." Nice attitude, eh? :eyes:

I now live in an area by UNLV and there are no recycling facilities at our apartment complex. Just common green dumpsters which we chuck everything into.

So maybe your part of town has the recycling thing going on, but my experience for nearly 20 years has been that there is no such program.

I guess I stand corrected.... :shrug:
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kiva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-11 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. The first apartment complex I lived in
put up a dumpster for all recyclables, but it was a failure - largely, I suspect, because they didn't provide reasonable trash service for the other trash; given a choice between leaving bags of trash outside the dumpster or using the recycle dumpster incorrectly, most people did the obvious. I'm curious to know if apartment complexes and other dense housing developments have been successful with mass recycling - anyone have input on this?
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-11 01:11 AM
Response to Reply #1
8. We have one bin to rule them all here
People at the dump sort out paper, cans, and so forth.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-11 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #1
15. Quit making people sort the stuff, that will make it done more.
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-11 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. How about we keep "shooting" people till they get the message.
Get busted round here putting general waste in the recycle stream and its a big fine.

Repurpose a recycle bin (or any bin provided by a municipal service) and you can be done for theft and get hit with a whacking great fine for your troubles.

And whether or not you choose to use the service, you pay for it.
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-11 09:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. this is why we need GOVERNMENT!!
to protect the people from themselves... damn f##king private enterprise is not going to do it... we really are stupid... we are constantly crapping in our own living space...
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littlewolf Donating Member (920 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-11 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
3. Heh we don't have pickup were I live (country)
however the county has several drop off areas
one dumpster for paper/cardboard etc
one for all glass (this is much better then before - glass had to be sorted by color - which few people did)
one for 1 and 2 plastic
and a compactor for trash ... it works well ...
people actually use it .. the biggie was glass .. no one would sort their glass by color
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-11 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
4. Either needs a bigger carrot or a bigger stick.


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enlightenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-11 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #4
13. Bigger carrot, I think - if the recycling stick gets any bigger in
the UK, it's going to overtake the Empire State Building. While it differs by council, most areas are beating the citizenry half to death with enforced recycling - in some areas of London, they have six or seven different bins and bags that have to be set out (regular 'trash'/glass/tins/garden waste/kitchen waste/paper/etc) and can be fined for throwing away too much 'trash'.

I appreciate the idea, but fining someone because their rubbish bin lid is not securely closed (indicating a handful more trash than allowed) is pretty harsh. As is fining them because they mistakenly put a piece of paper into the garden waste bag.

They should strive for some consistency, I think - I've stayed in places in London where the council only picks up things like tins, glass, and paper . . . and others where they only pick up organic waste (kitchen waste) and tell you to throw away the tins, glass, and paper. It's a bit nuts.
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-11 04:08 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Tell me about it!
> As is fining them because they mistakenly put a piece of paper into the
> garden waste bag.

My nephew received a warning notice for putting the wrong stuff in
one of the recycling bins (i.e., next time, you get a fine) but it
happened *after* he put the bins on the street for collection ...
yes it was in one of the Greater London boroughs - they seem to be
the worst for petty fascists (heavy on the stick, don't even know
what a carrot looks like).

> They should strive for some consistency, I think - I've stayed in places in London
> where the council only picks up things like tins, glass, and paper . . . and others
> where they only pick up organic waste (kitchen waste) and tell you to throw away
> the tins, glass, and paper. It's a bit nuts.

Totally agree with that!

Our area (in Hampshire, not London) is pretty good and collect tins, paper,
cardboard & plastic bottles on a fortnightly basis (all in one green wheelie bin).
I have no problem in doing a monthly run to the bottle bank, etc..

My pet gripe is that our council have decided not to recycle tetrapak cartons
(cardboard/foil/plastic things used for liquids) even though the neighbouring areas
do it ... mutter, mutter ... and we get through a load of them for fruit juice ...
so we save them up in the garage and drop them off at my sister-in-law's when we
see each other (as their area *do* recycle them!). Ah well, at least the other
stuff is OK!

:hi:
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enlightenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-11 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Do you have to sneak the tetrapacks in during dead of night?
Or does your SIL's council turn a blind-eye to this *clear* violation of the rules? *rolling my eyes,here - I think it's wonderful that you make the effort, but I can almost hear the council . . . "how DARE that squatter come in here and use OUR bins for their rubbish!" *

:)
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-11 03:38 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. Not a kerb-side collection ...
... it's a huge "bin" near the bottle-bank in the supermarket car-park
so not quite as blatant a violation of the rules as it would otherwise
appear - but don't give them ideas as they already require you to show
a pass at their dump to prove you are a resident of the borough!
:P

To be fair, we take & recycle some of her electrical waste at our centre
(their one just landfills it, ours sorts/refurbishes/reuses/recycles as
far as possible) so it balances out after a fashion and it's totally within
the spirit of the system ... just accommodating the discrepancies between
councils by individual action: "think globally, act locally"
:evilgrin:
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enlightenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-11 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. *snork*
Well done . . . but be careful - you know how much petty despots despise logic!
:evilgrin:
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texastoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-11 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
7. A perfect example
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe.

Albert Einstein
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