Curriculum Vitae

name: Ann Link
qualifications: Honours Degree in Chemistry (Oxford)
occupation: Worked at the Women's Environmental Network for six years.
relevance: Environmental Expert

previous experience:

1/ Involved in WEN's 1989 Campaign for Unbleached Paper.

2/ Co-author of "UK Papermills: Environmental Impact" (WEN, 1990).

3/ She advised on the "Second Report on UK Papermills" (Laura Canning, WEN, 1992).

4/ Contributed to the "Sanitary Protection Scandal" (WEN, 1989) and Tissue of Lies (WEN, 1991).

5/ Main author of the report "Chlorine, Pollution and the Parents of Tomorrow" (WEN, 1991) and "Living With Dioxins in North East Derbyshire" (WEN, 1993).

6/ She has researched dioxins and organochlorines, especially health aspects, for six years.


In order to minimise use of resources and the production of waste, items should be necessary and durable, so that they can be REUSED many times.p> The existence of McDonald's in its present set-up increases the amount of solid waste which has to be dealt with.

McDonald's uses a large amount of throwaway items such as Happy Hats, trayliners etc. Many of these could simply be avoided - they are not necessary. Children can be entertained without giving out large amounts of unnecessary objects: street entertainers and theatrical performances manage this extremely well. Cups, plates and cutlery can be made of durable materials and efficiently washed: high-class restaurants do not use paper and plastic throwaways.

Returnable containers could be supplied with a redeemable deposit; customers could bring these back the next time they came in for a meal, and they would be either reused immediately if clean, or washed and sterilised for another customer. Any dropped in the street would be picked up by people anxious to make a bit of money.

There are many examples of returnable packaging systems that substantially reduce waste. Customers' own plastic fizzy drinks (PET) bottles can be refilled in US stores, and in Norway Coca Cola use a returnable PET bottle for smaller households and outside the home. Polycarbonate can be used for durable pastic returnable bottles - or is used for milk bottles in the USA and Sweden. A durable polypropene beaker is used at festivals in Munich; a deposit is charged, and the return rate is 100%. Beakers like this could be used for McDonald's soft drinks: they are available now, although the catering company first had to commission them itself. Sturdy returnable glass bottles could also be used for soft drinks, as is done for beer in the UK and for mineral waters in Germany.