These make quite alarming reading - if we want to have any kind of planet to pass on to our children and grandchildren, perhaps we need to be a little more aware of our actions.
No one has to save the planet single-handedly but if we each took a few small steps, we can achieve great things together. We get through nearly 3 billion disposable nappies each year in the UK alone and around 90% of these end up on landfill sites. Disposable nappies take 500 years to decompose. The disposal of nappies costs Bristol City Council around £500,000 per year. Over 20,000 tonnes of batteries are sent to landfill site in the UK each year. It takes 50 times more energy to make a battery than it gives during its life. Each day, we produce enough rubbish to fill Trafalgar Square to the height of Nelson's Column. Each year, one person gets through 90 drink cans, 70 food cans, 107 bottles and jars and 45kg of plastic. 55 million 2-litre plastic bottles are thrown away in Bristol each year. The UK uses about 12 billion cans each year - that's enough to stretch to the moon and back! On average each person in England and Wales produces nearly 500kg of household waste a year. In Bristol last year, 10 thousand tonnes of paper were collected and recycled. 7 million trees are cut down every year just to make disposable nappies. The average British family throws away 6 trees worth of paper in their household bin a year. Every tonne of paper recycled saves 17 trees. 25% of household waste is packaging and we throw £36 million worth of aluminium into landfill sites. Last year in Bristol, nearly 4.5 thousand tonnes of glass bottles and jars were collected and recycled. Five out of six glass bottles are thrown away.
Arabella Greatorex is the owner of http://www.naturalnursery.co.uk
, an online store selling organic and fairly traded products for families including organic clothing and nappies, fairly traded toys and natural toiletries.