Recycling bad?

I grew up in the ’80’s surrounded by hysterical fears of ozone layer damage that would kill us all. The best thing that individuals could do to help fight problem was believed at the time to be recycling. And to this day most people are confident that recycling is beneficial to the environment.

But is it really?

Peter Jones suggested that an “urgent” review of Labour’s policy on recycling was needed to make sure the collection, transportation and processing of recyclable material was not causing a net increase in greenhouse gases.

Jones is a former director of the waste firm Biffa and now an adviser to environment ministers. And he thinks kerbside recycling collections is “stupid” in some areas because they mixed together different materials, rendering them useless for recycling.

He suggested that much of the country’s waste should simply be burnt to generate electricity.

“It might be that the global warming impact of putting material through an incinerator five miles down the road is actually less than recycling it 3,000 miles away,” he said.

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