Change Alley

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WWF Gives Wrong Message On Plastic

with 23 comments

WWF plastic wrapper

This morning, the latest copy of Worldwide Fund For Nature’s supporter newsletter, WWF Action, flopped through the letterbox. This is a special ‘Campaign For One Planet Living’ edition, with lots of helpful hints and tips on reducing your ecological footprint.

Sadly, the ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ mantra seems to been missed by whoever made the decision to mail the magazine in a polythene bag. In common with many others, my local authority will only accept plastic for recycling in the form of bottles; not jars, boxes, bags or film, just bottles. This possibility is grudgingly acknowledged in a small note on the back of the bag. I am urged to recycle the polythene, but if this is not supported by my local council, I should post it back to the company in Norwich that made it, and they will recycle it for me.

How crap is that? A leading environmental NGO posts its stuff in plastic bags. Recipients can’t ‘Reduce’ because they have no control over it, apart from cancelling their membership. They can’t ‘Reuse’ because the plastic is so flimsy it’s no good for anything useful once it’s been opened, even if it survived the postal service intact. They can only ‘Recycle’ by posting the trash back where it came from. More cost, more waste.


Written by Pete Smith

June 21, 2007 at 10:11 am

Posted in Recycling, Waste

23 Responses

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  1. That’s crap. Complete crap. In fact it’s so crap I’m stunned into saying anything further …. for now. πŸ™‚


    June 21, 2007 at 12:20 pm

  2. Yes, sorry, it isn’t one of my best πŸ™‚

    Pete Smith

    June 21, 2007 at 12:28 pm

  3. > How crap is that? A leading environmental NGO posts its stuff in plastic bags.

    Pete, you’re being naughty twisting meanings of words & phrases again.

    Doesn’t your allotment need some attention!



    June 21, 2007 at 12:39 pm

  4. Sorry Matt, I can only respond to the words as written πŸ™‚

    As for the allotment, what it needs is a healthy dose of pesticides, herbicides and artificial fertilisers 😎

    Pete Smith

    June 21, 2007 at 2:23 pm

  5. This kind of reminds me of donating money last summer to an organization here which is acting to have put in place a law agaist pesticides in our community. For the donation I was given a sign proclaiming that my lawn was pesticide free ( as if it needed such a sign!) and this sign was printed in vynil inks on coroplast. When I pointed out to the lady at the booth that this was quite unecological, she made a wry face and admitted that yes, it was a poor solution to the need to publicize the need to stop using pesticides.


    June 21, 2007 at 3:33 pm

  6. Hi Pete,

    Wad the plastic up and toss in your attic. It makes fine insulation once the density reaches a sufficient level πŸ™‚

    As to lawn pesticides, while I spray for wasps, mosquitoes, and Japanese beetles on my wife’s roses where needed, I’ve never understood the desire to do anything that encourages the grass to grow, since it just means more work mowing. As to lawn fertilizer, our dogs manage that quite well.


    the Grit

    the Grit

    June 21, 2007 at 6:24 pm

  7. Hi Grit,
    “In the United Kingdom, an allotment is a small area of land, let out at a nominal yearly rent by local government or independent allotment associations, for individuals to grow their own food. This could be considered as an example of a community garden system for urban and to some extent rural folk”. See Wikipedia for more.
    For years allotments were desperately unfashionable and seen as the preserve of ancient men with flat caps and a inexhaustible fund of knowledge about club root and the best source of well-rotted manure. Just as pressure grows for sites to be sold off for development, they are now increasingly popular amongst younger people keen to grow their own organic vegetables.
    We recently ran a thread about the obliteration of an East London allotment site by work for the 2012 London Olympics.
    β€˜Olympic’ Allotments Bulldozer Threat

    Pete Smith

    June 21, 2007 at 7:43 pm

  8. Hi Pete,

    Thanks. That was my initial impression, but I wanted to make sure. Many of our larger cities have similar programs, and I think they are great.

    As to pesticides, may I suggest BT and Seven Dust. While they are not as efficient as DDT, they are all natural and, while a bit more labor intensive to apply, have worked quite nicely for me over the years. As to fertilizer, nothing, besides sea weed, is better than compost.

    Since I had a tiny, half acre, pond that never kept water very well, I’ve turned it into a large compost heap. I’ve allowed a few local landscapers to dump their grass clippings and Fall leaf harvest there. Of course, it takes a tractor with a front loader to turn, but I’ve got that. In a year or two, I’ll be able to mention at parties that I am a dirt farmer. Literally!

    Would love to see pictures of your efforts.

    the Grit

    the Grit

    June 22, 2007 at 9:31 pm

  9. Steady on there Grit; I ain’t even seen Pete’s tomatoes yet!

    I think his allotment may be a cover. Stashing gunpowder for a resurgent Guy Fawkes me thinks. πŸ˜‰


    June 22, 2007 at 11:08 pm

  10. Almost right Matt. I stash our supplies for TEOTWAWKI in our fallout shelter. Here’s a pic of it being installed πŸ™‚
    A bit early for nice red outdoor tomatoes. Summer raspberries are doing well though.

    Pete Smith

    June 23, 2007 at 10:20 am

  11. Hi Grit,
    Thanks for your suggestions on pesticides. I’m not familiar with either of the brands you mention. A quick Google tells me that Sevendust is a heavy metal band based in Atlanta, Georgia. Opens up a new aspect of the use of music in horticulture. In the UK, BT is British Telecom, our very own communications quasi-monopoly. Regarded as toxic by many, but not in the way you meant πŸ™‚

    Pete Smith

    June 23, 2007 at 11:33 am

  12. Excellent, so when WWIII happens The Coffee House has a shelter to run to! Most important we keep the blog going as the world destroys itself. Hope it has WiFi, wind & solar power with battery pack. πŸ˜‰


    June 23, 2007 at 12:26 pm

  13. It’s that inevitable “What do you mean ‘We‘?” moment 😎

    Pete Smith

    June 23, 2007 at 1:33 pm

  14. You mean you’d really want to be The Last Man on Earth.



    June 23, 2007 at 3:07 pm

  15. I’d prefer to be The Omega Man. But after all, I Am Legend (soon to be a blockbuster film release starring my cousin Will πŸ˜‰ )

    Pete Smith

    June 23, 2007 at 3:41 pm

  16. Hi Pete,

    Sorry, but I keep forgetting that Globalization isn’t complete yet πŸ™‚

    BT is Bacillus thuringiensis, which is a bacteria that does nasty things to a good many insect pests without, so far, bothering people in the least.

    As to my other recommendation, you couldn’t find it because, my bad, I didn’t proof my comment very well. The true spelling is Sevin, and here is a link to the manufacturer:

    Both of them work quite well and are completely organic. Not, of course, that you should have a big bowl for breakfast.

    the Grit

    the Grit

    June 23, 2007 at 6:54 pm

  17. Hi Grit,
    Ah yes, that BT. As I recall, a lot of people have been bothered by the fact that pollen from GM corn ‘pimped’ with BT has been doing Very Bad Things to the Monarch butterfly. Or not , depending on which research you read and who funded it.
    Lest we forget, the Monarch is the state insect of Alabama, Idaho, Illinois, and Texas, the state butterfly of Minnesota and West Virginia, and the national insect of Canada. Doesn’t rate a mention in Tennessee though πŸ˜‰

    Pete Smith

    June 23, 2007 at 9:55 pm

  18. Hi Grit,
    Sevin, along with all other pesticides containing carbaryl, has been banned in the UK since 2001.

    Pete Smith

    June 24, 2007 at 10:49 am

  19. Hi Pete,

    Well heck. Guess you better just pick the pests off by hand. Although, before you start, best to check if that’s a union job πŸ™‚

    As to the Monarchs, we get some on occasion, but not a lot. Now, if you want ticks or hornets, we have plenty to spare, and I will be more than happy to ship you some, once I figure out the customs laws πŸ™‚

    the Grit

    the Grit

    June 25, 2007 at 8:11 pm

  20. Ducks will pick off the snails for you πŸ™‚

    Derris Dust gets rid of critters. Its the powdered root of Derris eliptica. I didn’t grind the root myself, but bought it in a plastic container (i’m going to hell for that). The packet says: its not harmful to plants, animals (apart from caterpillars and aphids) or humans, but it does kill goldfish.

    Wormwood gets rid of white butterflies (Pieris rapae) that eat cabbages. Soak the leaves in water and spray on plants. I used to have a dream of making absinthe from my wormwood plants, but manufacture never got off the ground.


    June 26, 2007 at 5:40 am

  21. Hi ClareSnow,
    If you drank homemade absinthe, I’d imagine you’d have trouble getting off the ground too πŸ™‚

    Pete Smith

    June 26, 2007 at 7:01 am

  22. Of course, instead of moaning about the plastic bag my paper copy of WWF Action was posted in, I should have signed up to get it online.

    So I have, and I urge other WWF members to do the same at

    Pete Smith

    July 4, 2007 at 12:05 pm

  23. Well done Peter!


    July 4, 2007 at 1:15 pm

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