Wednesday, January 20, 2010

BBC article on waste

An interesting read on waste 'trends' in the UK that draws from an EFRA Committee report; kudos to the authors for referring to the 'Primark effect'. Yes, it's a good thing; the more exposure for the term, the more likely some changes are likely to begin taking place. Of course it is a worry that while the overall amount of household waste has decreased, the amount of textile waste has in fact increased. And while recycling is better than landfilling, reducing and reusing are key. Remember? Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Recycling is third on the list, but seems to be the only one on most people's minds. Here's a suggestion for reducing: instead of buying five whatevers from H&M*, Primark or Zara, pool the money together and buy one good thing from a local business. To those old-fashioned folks overly concerned with economic growth, reducing doesn't necessarily have to mean a reduction in the amount of dosh making the rounds.

The full EFRA Committee report is available here

*I should disclose that I in fact own four H&M whatevers. I have a belt I bought in 2005 (I bought two at the time but the other one broke beyond repair), and three identical black v-neck t-shirts. How very Armani-on-the-cheap of me. About two months ago, a friend was about to donate them; he bought them in May, only to realize afterwards he didn't like them. I love my friend, despite the fact I don't understand the decision-making process leading up to the purchase. At $8 a pop, not much decision-making was required, of course. Anyway, I tried one on, it fit well so I got them. The hems twisted in the first wash but I can live with that. The fabric will last a year at most. This often comes as a surprise to non-Scandinavians but back in the 80s, H&M was still known for quality clothes at a reasonable price. Now... Well, Google them with The New York Times.

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