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Banning plastic straws and cotton buds is great – but we’re still burning recyclables at an alarming rate


Of course it’s excellent news that single use stirrers, cotton buds etc will be banned from 2020 (Plastic straws and cotton buds to be banned next year in effort to tackle plastic pollution, 22 May).

But can we now move on to halting the incineration of the plastic we continue to use?

Much of the plastic we think we put out for recycling is burned.

The “non-recyclable” plastic we put in the black bin bags can be recycled and turned into new plastic (or fuel, but then that’s burned).

The methods and technologies for dealing with these problems exist, but it requires one giant upheaval of our present waste management processes and the willingness to stand up to the powerful plastic manufacturing and waste to energy industries.

Patrick Cosgrove

British Steel

British Steel has gone into receivership after the failure of government talks. Of course, we all know that if British Steel’s plants were located in southeast England, exactly the same thing would be happening...

Richard House

Voting for Brexit

I fear for the prospects of people leaving education after the UK has crashed out of the EU.

What will people leaving education in 5-10 years’ time find in the way of a job then? The children currently doing their GCSEs (as well as their successors) will struggle to find an occupation in a country that is suffering the worst initial effects of leaving the EU without having alternative arrangements in place.

The best of them will go abroad to find a decent life and the UK will the poorer, as will their families. I have a grandson in this cohort and I fear for his future, however well he does in his exams.

Ruth Colvin
London SE24

UN report on welfare system in the UK

The UN report rightly presents a dim portrayal of the social welfare system in the UK since 2010.

It is harrowing and heartbreaking that people are still trapped in a vicious cycle of excruciating inequality, crushing poverty, food banks, homelessness and rough sleeping, prostitution, tough labour conditions and high debts.

It is undeniably true that the Brexit debate is crucial but the May government is just roaming around in the same circle, not trying to comprehend the serious impacts on security, housing, education, job security, mental health, crimes and destitution.

Time is ripe for change in public policies and mindsets.

Munjed Farid Al Qutob
London NW2

Mea Culpa

Joining words with a hyphen can add emphasis, but joining multi-word phrases doesn’t usually work.

The article about the dying French village referred to “anti-erectile dysfunction pills”. I’ve not heard of dysfunction pills before, but the function of these particular ones is presumably to prevent erection.

Hope you don’t mind two in one week. As a matter of interest I wonder whether I am one of a small group of “persistent offenders” or merely a drop in the ocean of contributors?

John Harrison
Address supplied