You think we're kidding?

The plastic containers you buy and the polythene bags you use are made from non-renewable fossil fuels. According to some projections we have about seventy years of oil left- at the availability we "enjoy" now. (Think of the cost to this country!) That's not a long time- just a couple of generations. Of course- technology advances and there may be breakthroughs. But there's no guarantee. The technology for recycling of the actual plastic is in its infancy. Meanwhile, tonnes of waste plastic are dumped into landfill sites with other garbage, it is impossible to know whether it can ever be successfully salvaged. Non-biodegradable plastic litter fouls the countryside and cities - some of it dangerous to children and animals. And- when plastic is heated and burns, it releases poisonous fumes to add to air pollution. (including carbon monoxide and hydrochloric acid)

You may ask- surely if there was such a threat- why don't we all know about it? Well-

* Human nature. Plastic is so readily available now- it seems that there is no end to it. 70 years does seem a long way down the road- especially for industries and governments with five year plans.

* Human habit. It's very hard to break out of a pattern. No one wants to be thought of as a freak. But the truth is- you are not alone! New legislation is being passed all over the world for resource management and pollutioon control.

Each individual can do something- and the effect of your efforts is real and positive. So please- value your "limited editions".

*Re-use your plastic bags as much as you can.

*Use empty plastic containers creatively- as plant pots, vases, seed sprouting containers, arts & crafts materials etc.

*Write to M.K.s asking for legislation to make the companies re-use their plastic bottles.

Thankyou for giving us your attention.


Plastic return & re-use.

*Lobbying Knesset for legislation for returnables. The A.A.C.I. can provide you with an up to date list of M.K.s to write to, or call. Write to our frum representatives in the Knesset!

*Writing to companies, presenting your arguments for returnable bottles- and asking or suggesting how can this be made feasable for the company.

*Promoting creative re-use of containers, for arts and crafts, growing plants, sprouting seeds, mini-mirpeset compost units, etc.

Food container return & re-use.

* So far, plastic is not recycled for food containers because it cannot be commercially sterilized. Glass is an option, as well as aluminium foil. Companies prefer to use plastic because it is lighter- and now they already have the machinery. So there is some inertia here!

*Write to dairies- Tara and Tnuva to persuade them to use returnable containers for milk.

Ideally, they could be returned to the makolets where they are transported back to Tara & Tnuva by their trucks.

Write or call M.K.s to give these companies cash incentives & to pass legislation for returnables. As in many other countries, money should be paid for glass & metal containers returned- this will provide incentives for us- especially children.

*Project litter action.

Regular social\picnic outings of "T.E.S. groups, picking up litter in forests or other abused beauty spots.

*Collection of information and ideas for public & private action. Library research.

*Fundraising. Volunteers, please!

*Private action suggestions.

*Until this country is recycling metal efficiently, reduce use of canned food. Fresher is better! Canning uses metal resources, & energy in extraction, packing and transport and adds to pollution. Reuse your cans creatively.

*Compost your food waste for garden fertilizer.

Obtain a large, metal drum. Make holes in the bottom for drainage. Dig this into the ground. Fix on a metal lid with a hasp- (you can use a rubber hinge made from old car tyre, and rivets.) This is to keep out cats and vermin. Deposit all kitchen waste & shredded soiled waste paper.

*Conserve energy. Turn off incandescent lights where not needed. Pull out your fridge & open sunless windows in the summer so the fridge uses less energy. Check that the temperature in there is not cooler than it needs to be. Is ice forming on your vegetables? To cold- and damaging to vegetable texture.

*Use simpler cleaning methods. Washing soda, pure soap etc- see leaflet.

The main thing to always bear in mind is that easy availability does not mean that the resource will last forever. Let's value the good things we have & enjoy them fully. Thoughtful conservation of resources does not mean sacrifice. It means that we save our money, the country's money, the quality of the air, the land and water- and that we don't take things for granted.

Copyright © 1999 Gila Atwood

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