This past 12 months has been full of news about plastics recycling – barely a day has gone past without someone phoning me up about it. But should we care?
I'm not advocating a war on recycling – far from it; my concern is that after so much activity is this a subject that qualifies as newsworthy anymore? “Man who makes pizzas sells pizzas” isn't news so why do we still believe that “Plastics recycler recycles plastics” qualifies as something interesting?
The measure of an industry's maturity is, in part, when its activity gets taken for granted. We no longer marvel at a whole range of everyday industrial processes despite many being pretty clever and yet recycling in its many guises still seems to attract headlines. And I want this to stop.
Recycling plastics is an established part of the UK's waste management strategy and it should therefore only be making news if something goes wrong. Shouldn't it?
The sorry truth is that there are still parts of society that don't ‘get' the importance of recycling – they still regard it as a fanciful waste of time, supported only by tree huggers and Boy Scouts. They don't see that waste can be a valuable resource.
And sadly, until this blinkered minority see sense we will need to carry on waving the green flag of recycling – a growth industry that creates jobs, saves resources and is helping reshape the nation's economy.
Now that is news… isn't it?