Like everyone, I’ve been adapting to my new life in lockdown. With continued concerns about loved ones combined with entertaining an energetic toddler whilst working from home, it’s not been without challenge, but now that we’re in week eight of this new reality I’m starting to find some kind of rhythm.
The global economy normally works like a massive flywheel. Finely tuned, it is optimised for ‘just in time’ delivery. Of course, it goes through cycles in which activity runs too hot, followed by periods where things take a turn for the worse.
Last weekend, promoting what promises to be another seminal piece of work coming out later this year, Sir David Attenborough, when asked by Andrew Marr on the one thing we could all do to help protect our planet, replied: “Stop waste stop waste of any kind; stop wasting power, stop wasting food, stop wasting plastic. Don’t waste. This is a precious world, to celebrate and cherish.”
As well as supporting manufacturers to increase the amount of recycled content in the goods they produce in Wales – via the Circular Economy Fund, for example – WRAP Cymru is also working to drive further demand for such products.
When, in common with millions, I applaud the NHS every Thursday, my uppermost thought is what it must mean to be a doctor, nurse or care worker ‘on the frontline’. Although we may currently be ‘isolated’ as individuals, I can’t remember a time when we’ve been so connected to the efforts of others – and that includes many other critical workers, such as the dedicated people working for local authorities who ensure our bins are collected and emptied.
The principal duties of a board of trustees are to protect the organisation’s mission, and to understand the needs of the people striving to deliver the mission. As WRAP’s Chair, it is from this perspective that I view the current crisis.
I went out for my rationed exercise cycle as usual today. It is eerily serene - no cars on the roads; the birds are singing; the rabbits are nibbling the grass; the spring blossom is starting to emerge – as if they have reclaimed the space.
Daily life has changed beyond anything I could have imagined barely a month ago. Coronavirus has had a huge impact on all of us, from children being home-schooled through to vulnerable older people who need someone to do their shopping for them so they can stay safe at home. I’m so grateful to all those key workers who are keeping the country running, from the Police to the NHS. And that includes our brilliant colleagues across the waste and recycling sector, who are working hard to ensure that everyone’s rubbish still gets collected.
We’re all in this together and, in the Maddox household, that’s me, my wife, our 23-year-old son and our 20-year-old daughter – plus Molly the puppy who is a challenge worth a blog on her own.
The other day, my daughter and I were peering into the fridge, wondering what to have for lunch, when she held back from grabbing an apple and said, ‘Actually, I think I’ll have the yoghurt as that’s going to go off.’
Our global food system is a story of both abundant success and dismal failure.
On one side booming crop production and year-round consumer choice. The other of failing harvests, hunger and waste. It’s a business model which no self-respecting CEO would tolerate.