Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Cardboard, The Internet & The Shopper who never Sleeps

While our dinosaur MPs were debating and voting on the government’s totally irrelevant plan to relax Sunday Trading laws, savvy shoppers were logging on to the Internet 24/7 and ordering all sorts of stuff – you name it, you can now buy it on-line and business is booming. Indeed, many retail outlets don’t actually want you in their shops – prime retail space and staff are expensive, they’d much rather have a cheep downtown warehouse and conduct business with you via the pixels on your computer screen, tablet or 3G mobile phone.

This trend of 24/7 virtual shopping has some repercussions though. The goods that are ordered then have to be delivered, but these days the delivery services are much more sophisticated, customers being able to specify a date and even a time window up to 10pm in the evening. On the upside this is potentially more efficient on the use of road space and the impact of vehicular pollution. But there is a downside, which is just beginning to show up.

All that stuff comes in cardboard boxes. Sure cardboard can be recycled but local authorities with kerbside collection won’t take it away if it’s not inside the recycling box, as so ably demonstrated here by local councillor and Internet shopaholic Gwyneth Deakins.

Business Waste report:
British households are now producing so much cardboard due to the rise of internet shopping that even generously-sized domestic recycling bins aren’t big enough for many homes, meaning that alternative solutions are required – even if that means communal recycling bins on every street corner; which are a familiar sight across the continent, and already beginning to take root in some parts of the UK.
Meanwhile our welsh neighbours on the other side of Offa’s Dyke are hitting another but different recycling problem - Our insane economic system.
According to the BBC Wales report, the market for waste materials has taken a huge hit resulting in losses of up to £1million for Welsh councils.
Industry experts have blamed the failing waste market on plummeting oil prices, the economical situation in China, and cheap steel flooding the European market. As a result of these uncontrollable elements, the market price for recycled plastics has dropped by 58%; recycled steel can waste has fallen by a staggering 88%; and prices for recycled glass has tumbled by 67%.
What we are seeing here is the dominant vested interests within a "free market" system controlling the market to maintain the status quo in their favour.


  1. Just fold the cardboard up and put it in box or black bag next to box #regularinternetshopper

  2. Try packing it all into the biggest box, gets collected every week no problem.
    You put your household rubbish into a binbag, so present the cardboard neatly.

  3. Well hello people it's cardboard......do as I do...it tears ...meaning you can tear it down to small recycle box sized pieces and surprisingly it then fits into the "recycling box" God that really took a lot of thinking didn't it....it also breaks down quickly when in land fill...but that's no excuse to put it in normal bins...and the dump has a big cardboard bin which I must say is always full so lots of people already take it there...I hate shopping and do a lot online...the companies are very good at the logistics and much nicer than going to a big busy shopping centre where everyone is so stressed and robot like and rude ,,,

    1. Thin cardboard tears, but the big boxes are often really strong cardboard that doesn't tear. Even cutting it up with scissors is hard on the hands. I squash or tear my cardboard boxes as much as I can, then fill up a car every so often and take it to the Redbridge recycling centre in Chigwell Road, where the cardboard container is generally not full up and they have machines to squash the contents of the container.

    2. Full up when I go there but still enough room........and I use a Stanley knife so that my hands are soft soft soft .....and I must say that the staff at the dump are wonderful and we are very lucky to have such a great facility ..