Recycling … it's more interesting than you think!

I suppose that most visitors to Madeira whilst on their travels see the coloured eco-point recycling bins, and some posters as well, and assume that Madeira is  a recycling island, and are impressed or otherwise? I have just read an article in todays Diário saying that São Vicente is just being equipped with recycling bins, so it sort of triggered a few thoughts. If São Vicente is just now getting it’s first recycling points (9) whilst most of the island already has them, does that mean that it is not a legal obligation to recycle? I read somewhere some time ago that it was. I asked my local council to put recycling bins in our street over a year ago … surprise, surprise, zilch happened. I recycle voluntarily, not because I am told to, and I have to walk into town with my recycling (about 20 minutes round trip) … no big deal. However a local businessman told me that he used to separate everything and followed the guidance, only to watch the bin men repeatedly throw all the separated boxes and bags into the same wagon. Have I been wasting my time for the last 4 years too?

Continuing the theme, and as a follow up on something I covered in a blog a couple of weeks ago, I read a letter in today’s newspaper from a lady who went to Pingo Doce to do some shopping. I have abbreviated it in places:

“Yesterday, in one of my frequent visits to the supermarket – normally Pingo Doce, because it’s convenient – I filled the basket and headed to the checkout.  The checkout girl gave me one bag and it was soon completely obvious that it was impossible to insert so much stuff, so another bag was required. After paying the bill I asked for one more bag, to reinforce the bag full of the heaviest items, and was refused, on the grounds of environmental  pollution (she must think that I do little bonfires with the bags, instead of reusing them).  I explained that, with the extra bag I could put one inside the other and tie a knot at the top, avoiding the possible spillage of the contents on the bus, but she stuck with her decision. When I said I would stop being a customer of Pingo Doce, she looked pleased. I then offered to pay for the bag desired, but she continued to protect “her” precious property far from my sight and well out of my reach. [having given up at this stage] My fingers hurt from carrying the bags from the supermarket to the bus, and then from the bus to my home.”

Hard to believe? Maybe? So I will defend Pingo Doce to the hilt on this one. People shouldn’t be allowed more than two bags in case they go home and burn them instead of reusing them, and customers who buy so much stuff in one go are clearly not shopping at Pingo’s frequently enough. Although it is probably not Pingo’s policy to discuss individual cases, in circumstances such as explained above, the customer should have shoved as much of the shopping as possible into her pockets and handbag, and got a taxi home, and the extra pollution created by using a taxi instead of the bus would have been off-set by the plastic bag that was saved. As for hurting peoples fingers by loading bags full of heavy items, well how stupid! Clearly people should buy lighter products, and if necessary wear gloves.

If there is no interesting news in tomorrow’s newspaper, I am going to make some up!

5 thoughts on “Recycling … it's more interesting than you think!”

  1. Hi Der, i have also seen the bin men empty 2 different bins into the same dust cart, i thought to myself maybe they have a split cart and one lot goes into the top and the other in the bottom, but it does seem a waste of time if its all going in together….

  2. It´s a riduculous way to treat a customer if oce are introducing a save bags policy all well and good and if they do wish to charge for bags people will just pay up, provide their own bags
    or shop else where – but the girl at the checkout must have been really stupid and must have misinterpreted the policy or deliberately misused it, the shopper should have asked to speak to the manager (or any other responsible adult present). So many of the madeiran shop staff are moody and arrogant and need a job kick up the ***** sometimes, remember a lot of the till receipts show the name of the assistant so if you are treated badly they´re not annonymous you can name names.


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