‘Tis the Season to be Jolly Without Creating WasteSharron Barton
As the time of the year where it is most difficult keep our waste to a minimum approaches, Sharron from Losana B wants us to reflect about a seemingly small problem: sweet wrappers. We have a lot of these individually wrapped chocolates and sweets over the holidays even though the wrappers’ destiny is the general waste bin. If we don’t want to go without, can we reuse them in creative ways?
Everybody loves the sweets, chocolates and other treats that come with Christmas right? It’s the one time of year most of us get away with eating twice our own body weight in goodies whilst watching movies and TV programmes we have no interest in for the rest of the year with a board game thrown in as family fun. But how many of us actually consider all the extra waste we create at this time of year just from enjoying these treats?
Having just returned from a shopping trip with three children who spent far too much time begging me to buy sweets and treats ready for Christmas (they’ll never last until Christmas if I buy them now!) my thoughts have turned, as they do every year, to exactly this problem. Of course I want to let them, and myself let’s be honest here, have treats but I really, really object to the amount of packaging waste it generates.
One of my girls told me it was okay because the packaging could be recycled, ‘they have the recycling symbol on them don’t you know mum!’ And she showed it to me, on almost every pack. Apparently she’s been taught about recycling symbols at school and this is the symbol that says the packaging can be recycled. I can only hope that my daughter has misunderstood, if that’s not the case, then the school have taught her wrong as that symbol is not the one that says it can be recycled, it’s the green dot symbol.
The vast majority of sweet type wrappers are not recyclable. Even those that are made of recyclable materials can’t actually be recycled. For instance foil and paper are both recyclable but once they’re bonded together to make food wrapping recycling becomes non-viable because the foil and paper can’t be separated for practical and financial reasons.
So, since we can’t recycle them and we don’t want to simply throw them away I’ll be getting the children to take responsibility for these wrappers and to find ways of reusing them. I have plenty of ideas but let’s see what they come up with and I’ll let you know the results.
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