I was recently inspired by a discussion with my friend, Sim, when she posed the question to me, 'do you know where your local landfill is?' In shock of my own ignorance, I realised I didn't. What a revelation this simple question was to me. I practically had no idea what was happening with the items I was putting in my wheely bin.
So I visited the local rubbish dump and asked 'where is our local landfill?'. The answer came back, not here, not England. We take our rubbish to Belgium and China. Ouch that hurt. We literally take our shit, with the use of fossil fuels, around the world. On the land in Portugal it some how feels different. With compost toilets, compost tests, renewable energy, off grid and so on. I some how feel like I am doing my little bit. However in the UK, I am not owning my shit. I have been cutting back on my waste little by little, but some how hearing this direct made me connect more deeply with the problem. I have read numerous articles on this situation and now real life was kicking in.
I asked what is going in the landfill. Anything that cannot make money. Ouch again. So unless there is profit in being green, there is no interest. Money drives which environmental action to take. For example, textiles will be recycled because there is profit to be made.
This led us on to discussing plastic. Recycling plastic does not make commercial sense. The number of different plastics out there is huge, of all the plastics we use only 10% is recyclable. However to pay people to go through the plastic to extract this 10% is not financially viable. So guess what, it all goes into a landfill, in another country, in England or as we are seeing the oceans.
Even though when I write this I do not have the bigger answers, I do know another shift occurred within me of my own potential to bring change. Every £1 that I spend creates the world I want. As of today no more buying oat milk, I will make my own. No more buying bread, I will make my own. Over the coming weeks I will see what else I can make. Woking now has its first refill stall at the market on Saturdays, thanks Mel. May this ripple around Woking and we educate and inspire each other about what is happening so we act and makes changes in our life. Also some inspiration to help you reduce your plastic consumption from Sophie who has been on this journey, Trash Plastic.
And as I end this writing, the question I have for you is 'Do you know where your local landfill is? Curious to where this question will end for you. And once you have pondered, here is a website listing where they are in the UK.
For some inspiration