Angela: And how was the journey?
Harry: Great. It hasn’t been to see them since they moved, so it was great to catch up. My niece is getting so big! It lasted about two hours, and was quite comfy, really, apart from one thing that really annoyed me.
Angela: The train was packed and you couldn't get a seat!
Harry: No, no, The train was quite busy but there were plenty of spare seats both going and coming back.
Angela: Right, that’s lucky.
Harry: Well, you remember how hot it was last weekend. Everyone on the train was armed with bottles of water. But there was no recycling bin, just general litter bins, so litter at the end of each carriage.
Angela: Better than leaving them on the floor, surely.
Harry: Of course. But the train operator should provided recycling bins on their trains. I'm going to write to them about this. We have recycling bins everywhere else in the city. Why not on long distance trains?
Angela: I know what you mean. I’ve got a bee in my bonnet about the thousands of plastic water bottles we throw away each day. Have you seen the piles of bottled water on sale in convenience stores? Where do all those plastic bottles end up?
Harry: I think people are good with empty water bottles. They get rid of them in recycling bins. I'm sure some of the people on the train took their bottle home to recycle when they saw there were no facilities on the train.
Angela: Exactly! That's what I've got a bee in my bonnet about.
Harry: I don’t see what the problem is. I buy about a dozen small bottles of water each week to drink when I’m coming. And I make sure I recycle every bottle. What’s the problem with that?
Angela: Of course, recycling helps the planet, but it’s not the way to go with water bottles. People who think they are ecologically conscious would fill a bottle at home and take it with them when they go out. One that can be used many times. If you put a dozen empty water bottles in the recycling bin a week, how many is that a year? An absolute waste. A waste of recycling facilities and the materials that have gone in to making the bottles. Think about it.
Harry: I see your point.
Angela: I always have two or three used plastic bottles around my flat and I fill one up with cool boiled water as I leave in a morning.
Harry: Every day?
Angela: Yes, every day. I haven't bought a bottle of water in ages. In summer, I always put the bottles in the fridge before I go to bed filled ones in the fridge when I get up so when I leave they are nicely chilled just cool enough not to make me shiver!
Harry: I have thought about buying one of those cool aluminum bottles.
Angela: That’s a good idea, too. I must admit that over a few months, I probably lose or forget one or two bottles, so I do occasionally have to replenish my small stock. But if you think about it, my pollution score is a lot lower than loads of other people.
Harry: You’ve convinced me. I totally agree with you that ‘reuse’ is a better option than ‘recycle’. We all need to do our bit to protect the planet, and this is something that’s easily done. It just needs someone like you to give us a poke in the right direction!