Posted tagged ‘Environment’

Extra responsibilities thrust onto an already laden Department

March 5, 2011

It’s been known for years that in my family I am in charge of the Sports and Leisure Department. However, with the boys all grown up I am no longer needed to chaperone them to the park and coach them in all things sporty (apart from rugby and golf, of course). This department is now defunct from the Government.

The Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer, my good lady wife, now says I must justify my existence in the cabinet. I asked for the role of Minister without Portfolio knowing full well she would guillotine my suggestion. After chairing a committee meeting comprised of herself she decided to expand my duties in my other, less glamorous, cabinet post.

Since entering into marriage and without any discussion, it was just naturally assumed, I have been responsible for taking the rubbish out. This laborious and mundane task was sexed up to appeal to my love of self-importance. Bestowed on me was the grandiose title of Environment Secretary. For the first few months I was as happy as a pig in mud as I trudged to the bins in all weathers with my garbage. I soon became pig-sick of, basically, trudging to the bins in all weathers with garbage.

In a startling new development the PM has added further responsibilities to the Environmental Department. The rubbish has to be separated into the respective recycle bins. Colour-coded receptacles are provided for the household and it is an onerous undertaking remembering what item of recycle material goes where. These added chores are taxing on my brain and I might have known that it’s all down to the green lobby. I am the last person in the world that will go green, if you know what I mean.

(Exterminate! Exterminate!)

There are so many problems in my new job that could unexpectedly arise. For one, the bin men could go on strike leaving my filled to capacity containers to bloat in the yard. Nobody wants a bloater in their back garden. Demanding a downsizing of a shelf or two from my cabinet post I barged into the PM’s parliamentary study for a showdown. She was online viewing the shopping channel, QVC. Before I could utter a word she said. “Do me a favour, love. Be a dear and empty my recycle bin on the computer when I’m finished here.”

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A Nation of Shopkeepers Bags

February 23, 2010

Previously plastic bags were compulsory when you shopped and drum roll…they were free. Now horror upon horror the customer is hit with a stealth tax at the checkout as a nominal fee is imposed in some shops to wean the shopper off their plastic habit. This is unfair, they shout as when we hire a trolley we get our pound back when we’ve finished with it. That is true but retailers citing the green issue are cashing in.

Like the little puppy at Christmas a plastic bag is for life. It takes 500 years (human years not dog years) for these bags to decay in a landfill. The plastic bag is not very resilient and when over-filled bursts quite easily. Hence we see double baggers in shops which add to the problem as most of the bags are thrown away after one use. Double baggers are loathed almost as much as the eleven item consumer in the ten or less queue.
So what’s to be done?

The paper bag option is also a fragile boom and bust container but has nowhere near the half-life of its plastic counterpart. All sorts of items would tear the pulped wood to ribbons: prickly pear, lobster claws, Satay sticks and other dangerous foods. And usually after being used they litter the streets. I think paper bags are a waste of a tree and could be used to make more copies of a good book like The History of Tractors.

Re-usable bags are a good idea, the only thing I see wrong with them is the advertising of a specific shop leading to a misleading comedy of errors. For example, you have a big reusable Tesco bag and house it with a sweater bought from Marks and Spencer’s. Problems could occur if on meeting a friend he is hungry and asks kindly if he could eat something from your groceries; he can’t eat a big woolly jumper.

A solution would be for shoppers to carry a bed sheet or beach towel to the shops. They could place all the goodies on the sheet then wrap it up, tie it and force a stick through the knot and walk about like an American cast-off railroad Hobo.