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04 October, 2009


I was at Hyde Hall in Essex the other day, if you are into RHS places and have the chance it is worth a visit, and after wandering around the gardens we headed for the cafe.

The new visitors centre is a wonderful building of lots of wood and supposed to be all Eco and sustainable, although they have a metal roof which is probably not very "Eco". Inside they serve everything in or on paper plates, with forks and spoons made of some kind of re-cycled plastic.

After munching my way through a panini and cupa tea I headed for the "recycling point" and as I sorted my various articles one of the managers there began to enthuse about how the plates and cups bio-degraded in just 80 days, "just 80 days that's really good isn't it". When I am chucking out paper plates and plastic forks when the most Eco solution would be china and metal heading to washing up I can't get excited about degradable in 80 days.
"Surely re-usable cups glasses and forks would be far better" I replied, "the kitchens don't have a dish washer" un well that's not very well planned is it, doesn't she know how much energy and bleach etc is used in making paper products.
Its like Eco re-usable shopping bags, made from fibres of a plant but they forget to tell you that the rain forest is now being cut down even faster to grow the plants for the fibres. Yes really it is.

She went on about her 80 days, "and where is it bi-degraded is it on a compost heap and then used on the gardens here" I asked. "I don't know" was her feeble reply.

So there we have it, biodegradable crockery that degrades in 80 days, and if I guess right that will be in landfill somewhere, not very "Eco" after all is it.

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