One of the things I find disgusting about mankind is the throw-away attitude that most of us inhabit. Buy, consume, chuck it! Forgetting that it will remain for the next 10.000 years on a landfill side or floating in a river or the ocean.
Growing up in East Germany when it was socialist and called the German Democratic Republic showed me that it doesn’t have to be that way.
It was the number one recycling country in the world. Admittingly we had by far less consumer products to buy. But almost all of them were recycled.
Children like myself would earn their pocket money through collecting bottles, old newspaper, cans and jars. We would go around the neighbourhood after school and ring at people’s doors to ask if they had any recyclable stuff they wanted to get rid off. You could have asked any citizen back then – we all had a corner in our flats or cellars or garages where we kept the recyclable goods.
We would then bring them to the many recycle stations and get cash for it.
I never looked at rubbish as rubbish. Trash was Cash!!!
Unfortuntaley with the collapse of the wall almost the whole incredible recycling system fell apart too. But even now Germany has a much better recycling attitude than the UK. One simple example is that we forced toothpaste producers to get rid off the paper covers of the tubes. No need for them. The cover was replaced by a tiny metal seal lid on the tube itself to ensure hygienic safety. This alone saves thousands of tonnes of rubbish each year.