Friday, May 25, 2007

BA's Waste Bag

It isn't often that somebody deliberately labels an object to show how useless it really is, but BA are really on the money with their aptly described 'Waste Bag'.

I recently took the relatively short flight to Nice with "Britain's favourite airline" and was savouring the delicious sandwich fare that passed for the economy class catering on the flight. As is usual the whole package was enclosed in plastic with a natty piece of cardboard to make the meagre rations look more impressive.

The round of two different types of sandwich was further encased in cellophane, just in case the outer wrapper didn't keep the bread fresh enough. Also present was a small plastic-covered chocolate bar (I presume you don't eat the plastic) and the container for the milk to pour in your hot beverage (plastic again). I cannot quite remember if the paper serviette had its own wrapper, but I wouldn't be surprised if it did.

Anyway, so far so much plastic; I then discovered another neatly folded plastic bag which bore the curious inscription: "Waste Bag". This too had its own little wrapper to stop it unravelling by itself and looking messy. Its function was to hold all of the other useless packaging that I had been given and any other rubbish that I managed to generate whilst eating the contents.

This was an environmental nightmare, for all of these bags (and they didn't say they were made from bio-degradable material) were collected by the cabin staff at the end of the service and deposited in yet another plastic bag lining the refuse collection trolley.

So BA have managed to score an environmental own goal as they had managed to provide me with a huge quantity of rubbish which was then double wrapped to ensure that it probably never breaks down in its destination land-fill site. In years to come, archaeologists will be able to analyse samples of airline fare in the middle noughties.

It was ironic therefore that when I returned home there were many stories in the media about government efforts to get us all to recycle more. BA - it sounds like they mean you as well.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Always Be Composting

Why the title? Well, since falling in love with Twitter, I have a few new destinations to visit, web-wise and one of these, one of my Twitter followers, has posted about his favourite funny videos on YouTube. I watched one this morning, a guy and his children re-enacting the 'always be closing' scene from the David Mamet play, Glengarry Glen Ross. This has to be seen to be believed - especially the part where the guy's kid wops him on the nose before handing him the phone.

Anyway, that's only partly the reason. Things are never that simple in real life are they? We are trying to out-green ourselves here at Rod K mansions and although we have composted garden and kitchen waste for several years, we recently saw something on TV where this green guru recommended returning 'anything which had recently been alive' to the ground from whence it came. I wonder if this includes the Labour Party, judging by their recent electoral performances? I digress.

So, in a bid to reduce our frequent trips to the local council re-cycling centre, we have decided to add shredded cardboard to our stale veg mix. The big question is though: 'Is it OK to compost the printed variety', rather than your bog, no pun intended, standard loo rolls etc. I tried the latest technology of posting the question on Twitter but gained not one reply. Perhaps I didn't make it clear it was addressed to the entire community rather than my friends. Well it still stands. Anyone out there have any views on the subject? I'd love to know. We don't want toxic dyes from the print leaching out into the soil or the water supply do we, but how real is the risk?

Answers on a re-cycled post card, or leave a comment.