Recycling was introduced, worldwide, as a tool to teach citizens to become compliant. Forcing citizens to sort their rubbish into up to nine separate bags or boxes every week had absolutely nothing to do with ‘saving the planet’ and everything to do with teaching citizens (through a mixture of fines and shame) to behave ‘responsibly’ i.e. to do as they were told without looking too closely at the rationale of what they were being told to do.
The recycling never had anything to do with protecting the planet, of course. Most of the rubbish sorted, washed and collected in the UK was taken abroad, by lorry or ship or train, and burnt or dumped. It was, quite simply, impractical and not cost effective to recycle the material that had been collected. And, of course, collecting the sorted rubbish involved massive costs in terms of cash and pollution.
Today, the recycling business has reached an apogee of lunacy. Councils introduce ever more complex rules and fees. They refuse to take away much of the waste that is collected. And those wanting to take their rubbish to a ‘recycling’ centre will probably have to make an appointment and answer a host of questions. It is no surprise that fly-tipping has become a major problem. The biggest causes of plastic in the sea are dumped fishing gear and plastic waste (much of it officially designated as recycled) which has been dumped by ships.
The good news, however, is that in Britain, recycling rates are falling. More and more people have become aware that the whole recycling movement was just another piece of manipulative trickery.