Tuesday, March 04, 2008

So just what is the point?

You do your bit by carefully separating out the glass, the newspaper (no polythene mind!), and the recyclable plastics (if you are lucky enough to live in one of the few areas that collect it). You put it it the provided bins and bags and along comes the collection wagon to take it all away for a second use.

It has become something of a weekly ritual for a great many of us, and it does make you feel as if you are contributing in your own small way. But, and it is a big but, you take it on trust that your local council/authority is doing the right thing. Well, according to this from the weekend's Telegraph, something like one in eight of the items that you've carefully sorted and put out for recycling collection, actually end up in landfill anyway!

"Around 240,000 tons of paper, glass and plastic is either dumped or burned after being collected in green bins and bags by local council staff"

Just why do we bother?

So is the congestion charge working?

Not according to this research from Direct Line, reported in Money Extra.

Research "reveals that 1.2 million (16%) motorists who intend buying a car over the course of the next year will purchase either a people carrier or 4X4 'Chelsea tractor'. In fact, motorists are four times more likely to buy a less fuel efficient vehicle than the more environmentally friendly hybrid or 'eco' cars this year."

"The research also reveals that despite the London congestion charge, 27% of Londoners are planning on buying a car in the next year, compared to just 20% of those living in the Midlands and 21% of Northerners."

Looks to me like the congestion charge makes absolutely zero difference to the purchasing habits of the Islingtonistas. But then again, banning plastic carrier bags is far more important for the future of the environment, isn't it?