Friday, April 25, 2008

Waste not! Why not?

I don't want to hear any government minister complain about packaging or junk mail or any other commercial marketing material that they deem waste again. The government seems to be in love with sending me material for my recycling bin. Recently we had Preparing For Major Emergencies and yesterday we received the hefty Discover Ireland 08, which is as far as I can tell a print version of Tourism Ireland's obviously expensive web site. And, let's not forget that last year every house in the state received a copy of the new Rules of the Road book.

Three fairly sizable magazines/books that virtually nobody in the state asked for and which are probably (the government hopes) going to end up in the recycling centers. I think my copy of Discover Ireland 08 spent nearly 20 minutes in the house before I had it out the back door. I'm not sure what happened to the emergencies book. And, I'll admit I was mildly amused by Rules of the Road, but that went out too after a week or so.

Seeing as I didn't ask for any of those items and none of them came addressed specifically to me, I have to assume that every household in the state received each of these (& I'm sure there have been others that I can't recall at the moment). How much waste does all of this add up to? Well, Discover Ireland 08 is 144 full size pages (not counting the cover) and assuming that around 2m were printed that adds up to quite a nice pile of waste.