VEGA News Item

Litter and Waste-Blight or Resource? - 05/01/2006
Welcome to government earnests in coping with the challenges of "disposables", dumping, littering and of turning words into keywords for recycling, reuse, and amenity-and exercise of kindly citizenship
Consultation for DEFRA on (1) Guidance and Regulations for Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 and (2) Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse.

Partial Regulatory Impact Assessment on a Proposal for Implementing a new national waste data strategy Consultation on criteria for waste PFI projects.

1. We endorse Option 2 in the Waste Data Strategy Document.

2. Our experience in Neighbourhood Watch schemes indicates that most of the litter in suburban streets comprises the packaging and containers and remains of food and beverages from take-away enterprises, cigarette packaging, and (especially near bus stops and railway stations) discarded tickets. Much of this material is plastic and flimsy (e.g. bags) and some of is eminently recyclable (e.g. bottles and tins).Much is dangerous, especially to children and animals, as a cause of injury or disease and attraction to vermin and other scavenging animals.

3. In country areas discarded materials endanger the food supply from, say metal-poisoning in products from free-ranging livestock, (e.g. high levels of lead in milk, Plastic materials and degrading tires (eg. from silaging activities), may cause distress to livestock unfortunate enough to consumer such products and contaminants from culpably malign forms of husbandry. Much tighter veterinary controls and litigation are necessary. Present policies for cheap food continue the decline in husbandry and stockmanship.

Modern lifestyles in the suburbs, with ephemeral occupancies and by-to-let investments, are destroying the “village” community spirit and the pride of occupiers in tending their own patch. Penny-on-the bottle refunds, updated, might elicit more care; grabbers to pick up dropped waste and for many household purposes, especially for the aged), are on sale for as little as £2 pounds each and some councils are selling them, (or even giving them to applicants), in the manner of equipment such as rubbish and compost bins and boxes for recycling.

On the polluter-pays principle, possibilities in levying taxes on food prepared and packed in a catering place but to be consumed off-site should be considered. The litter left in the towns of the UK indicate the dire toll the nation has to pay in snacking and grazing in public places and in transit in unspecified areas in public and private vehicles, violating the salutary warnings of the Food Standards Agency and Dept of Health.


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