Islanders urged not to stop their recycling efforts

A LOCAL environmental campaigner has urged islanders not to turn their backs on recycling if a 25p charge on a recycling sack is introduced by the States.

Picture by Sophie Rabey.  28-06-22.   Generic pictures of Guernsey Recycling Bin Bags - Plastic and Paper.  Plans are being proposed to add a charge  onto our local recycling bags.. (30980138)
Picture by Sophie Rabey. 28-06-22. Generic pictures of Guernsey Recycling Bin Bags - Plastic and Paper. Plans are being proposed to add a charge onto our local recycling bags.. (30980138)

Helen Quin from the Clean Earth Trust said she was surprised at how many people were commenting that they would stop recycling and throw plastic and cans in with their black sack rubbish, which carry a much higher charge than 25p.

‘We hope that the community won’t be disheartened and keep separating their items,’ she said.

In her opinion, the target of any push back should be the source.

‘Packaging is coming from the producer, they’re the polluter. We need to cut the source off from the tap.’

Only 9% of the 400 million tonnes of plastic produced globally each year is recycled, while 12% is incinerated and the quantity of this waste is set to double by 2040.

‘While recycling isn’t a long-term solution – items that end up making into the recycling system will only likely be re-cycled once – it’s still part of the current story to tackle waste and is part of our responsibility. We need to keep doing our best.’

She wanted to see a greater move towards reducing the circulation of items that could not be reused or repurposed without causing environmental damage, and people adjusting the way they consume, by looking to shop free of waste or plastic and buying local or second-hand.

St Peter Port senior constable Zoe Lihou thought the change would likely cause issues with some people putting recyclables into black sacks.

While 25p a bag might not seem a lot of money to some, larger families might be having to put out several bags of recycling a week which could impact on their budget.

‘And is this more money so they can ship the recycling off-island?’ she said.

This was almost a ‘persuasive tax’ and she wondered if the idea was to try to get people to go back to the recycling bring banks, which have been reduced in recent years.

‘And is this an entry charge and will it go up another 25p next year?’

Mrs Lihou said she would be interested to find out how shops would be expected to sell the bags, and if they would have to buy them from the States first before selling them.

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