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Topic section: Waste not want not
TOPIC SECTION:
Waste not want not

Experts say that we need to make less rubbish and what we do make needs to come back to us as useful products

REUSE – REDUCE – RECYCLE. You see this slogan everywhere, but how easy is it to do?
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When we have eaten what's inside, where does all the packaging go?
Credit: Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library
 Experts say that we need to make less rubbish and what we do make needs to come back to us as useful products. Ideally, everything would be designed to be pulled apart, sorted into parts and materials, reused, repurposed and eventually recycled.

In Germany, car-makers barcode different components so scrap metal recyclers can easily identify the materials used in each part. Unfortunately, so far this is the ex
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Away has gone away - the things we throw away end up somewhere.
ception rather than the rule. The UK has been slow to set up a system to link the recycling of waste material to the production of new goods. Aluminium cans collected in the UK are transported hundreds of miles to Europe to be recycled into new window frames that are then sold in Britain. Until there is the infrastructure in this country to collect materials, landfill will pile up and toxic wastes will continue to poison waterways.

 

 
 
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Topic section: A shock to the system
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Modern electricity supply is a complex and large system. Power failures are usually a result of problems with the electric grid than rather than power generation. We can buy energy-efficient lights, but the changes we can make are small because of the system. Unless we move to small-scale technologies, it will be impossible for us as individuals to make decisions about energy generation and use.  > more

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Topic section: You are what you buy to eat
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British food production reels from crisis to crisis. The whole food system, from the seed to your plate, has become controversial. Food production is a complex system involving large corporations, supermarkets, government agencies and the European Union. How can we get the food we want, at a reasonable price and in a way we find acceptable?  > more
 
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