Weekend Thought by Brian Stenner

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I BELIEVE it was the Morecambe and Wise show where, after a few minutes of their performance, one of them would ask: “What do you think of the show so far?” The answer came back: “Rubbish.”

It is a feature of our culture that we generate rubbish in phenomenal amounts. Contrast this with a poor country, such as Kenya, where there is scarcely anything thrown away.

Tins are used as plant containers, old clothes are used as cleaning rags; plastic bags, the curse of our society, are kept and reused time after time.

We have come to regard refuse collections as our right and woe betide any council that seeks to reduce it.

Our supermarkets insist in double wrapping many products in paper, card or plastic which we throw away. What would happen if we all started to unpack our purchases after the checkout and left the rubbish for the supermarkets to deal with?

We have been encouraged to consume and to throw away unwanted items and packaging.

However, we do not “throw away” anything. We merely change its location and, for most of us, it is a case of “out of sight, out of mind”.

We are in danger of polluting our world with the mountains of rubbish in landfill sites, conveniently located a long way from centres of population.

As the “benefits” of modern life reach the third world, we see horrendous scenes of people scavenging in huge mounds of rubbish to make a paltry living on the edges of the affluent and effluent society.

In an age of diminishing natural resources, we urgently need to reassess our practice of “throwing away” to see if we can find a better way to utilise the good things that are given to us.

How about saying thank you to God at the start of a meal and then clearing the plate, leaving nothing to be thrown away. It could be the start of a new way of living, or is it just rubbish?