Why don’t we recycle yoghurt pots?

Why do we not recycle yoghurt pots and how many do we use each day?

I’m wondering whether I should go into politics, at least to become involved with the Green party to try and change and influence the world in a physical and actual way, although I’m wondering whether party politics is the most appropriate way to do that. It may or may not be more efficient and effective than writing blog articles.

To compose a serious policy, ideas, and approach to the vision of an environmentally friendly world takes time and effort when probably the Green party has already done a lot of that.

I don’t want to join a party just to criticise but current parties implement Green policies only so very slowly. Indeed I have never seen a government philosophically convinced of the need for a green economy.

Some talk about economics as the most appropriate way to implement such policies, either through investment incentives or by clearly stating the economic case for moving to green energy production methods.

For instance, oil prices have risen over the years because there is less of it in the ground and its price will continue to increase as supply drops and methods become costlier to harvest the remaining reserves.

We will continue to use fossil fuels until they run out or until they are so expensive that we use solar power for purely economic reasons. I want to show that it is already economical to do so, even though I believe we should already be using solar power on ethical and philosophical grounds.
Solar panels are difficult to recycle, but at least they do not consume the earth’s resources.

These discussions have led to the idea of measuring the total energy usage of various systems and specific items, products and commodities from the cradle to the grave.

For instance, a yoghurt pot. How much energy does it cost to produce, distribute and recycle compared to a locally produced apple? I’m wondering even whether the cost is a motivation for choice. There seems to be sufficient money for people to choose exotic fruits and products, electronic goods produced in China, far away, rather than to favour locally produced goods.

Money is power. It seems that people make and spend their money in such a way as if to say “look at me, I can bring stuff halfway around the world, I’m powerful.”

Eating pears from around the corner is just not glamorous. Economics is a factor only for poor people. Environmentally friendly production methods are not cheaper because, since the Industrial Revolution, investment has gone into mass production.

The world seems to be the wrong way up when we no longer use the waterways for transport and yet this is the most environmentally friendly way to transport goods.

We have favoured the lorry despite using petrol, its need for road maintenance, because of its speed. Time is money, but planning and patience can pay. Supply chain management teaches that transport by waterway is not appropriate for all types of goods.

Could we refrigerate boats to bring our yoghurts to market? Transportation by boat is economical for make-to-stock items such as building materials, animal feed and large bulky items. What economic factors could bring other things off the roads and onto the water, to once again favour the use of canals, as did so heavily the Victorians.

Certes, they require maintenance, as do roads, but at least they do not consume large quantities of petrochemical and quarried products as do roads. Consider what the humble yoghurt pot requires during its cradle to grave life-cycle.

It takes plastic from the petrochemical industry, press moulding, aluminium and paper, glue, yoghurt, transport, expensive refrigerated storage in shops, lorries and homes. Disposal requires trucks to collect rubbish using roads and infrastructure and yet we cannot recycle yoghurt pots, only incinerate or bury them.

Considering how much yoghurt we eat and waste each year, does this not make us think that choice is a high price to pay to satisfy our seeming need to dominate our environment? Are the arguments to eat locally produced fruit as an alternative sufficiently heard or sufficiently made?

What will it take for people to understand the costs involved in our environment from the choices that they make? What may convince them to do otherwise, economics or ethics?

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