witness statement

name: Ann Link
section: Environment
for: The Defence
experience: Paper bleaching, dioxins & organochlorides


The witness provides what is in effect a scientific report on paper production with regard to the current issues surrounding this process, stated governmental policies and identifies such organisations as McDonald's as culprits of inappropriate users.

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.

The existence of McDonald's in its present set-up increases the amount of solid waste which has to be dealt with.


I have worked at Women's Environmental Network (WEN) for six years. I was involved in WEN's 1989 Campaign for Unbleached Paper. I am co-author of UK PapermilIs: Environmental Impact (WEN, 1990) and I advised on the Second Report on UK Papermills (Laura Canning, WEN, 1992). I contributed to the Sanitary Protection Scandal (WEN 1989) and Tissue of Lies (WEN, 1991). I am the main author of the report Chlorine, Pollution and the Parents of Tomorrow (WEN, 1991) and Living With Dioxins in North East Derbyshire (WEN, 1993). I have an Honours Degree in Chemistry (Oxford) and have researched dioxins and organochlorines, especially health aspects, for six years.

Full cv:
Available for this witness

full statement:


I am informed that McDonalds uses large quantities of paper. Almost 14,000 tonnes of this is stated to be directly derived from bleached wood pulp. For example, the cupstock, mainly used for paper cups, is made from bleached wood pulp, according to Casper van Erp's statement. This consists of 10,147,924 kg, 90% of which comes from Enso Gutzeit in Finland. This is only one example of McDonald's paper use worldwide.

The use of woodpulp has environmental consequences some of which relate to forestry practices and some to the processing of the wood to make paper. Wood processing has chemical consequences, due to the breakdown of substances in the wood and to reagents which facilitate that breakdown. Some of these consequences can be avoided or minimised. For example the use of chlorine and other chlorine chemicals such as chlorine dioxide to bleach the pulp creates toxic and long lasting chemicals known as organochlorines, and eliminating chlorine will avoid creating these.

All wood-pulping processes produce toxic discharges. so the ideal now aimed at is to have a closed process in which there is no effluent and in which the waste after bleaching can be burned and some of the process chemicals recovered. If this waste contains chlorine chemicals, then there will be corrosion problems due to hydrogen chloride. The organochlorines present will produce dioxins when burnt. Thus in order to have a closed process, all chlorine chemicals have to be eliminated.


These are organic chemicals with a carbon to chlorine bond. They are rare in nature and virtually unknown in the bodies of vertebrate creatures. Naturally produced organochlorines in the environment are dwarfed in quantity by synthetic ones. Many of the most persistent toxic "problem" chemicals are organochlorines. These include dioxins and furans, PCBs, DDT, aldrin, dieldrin, carbon tetrachloride, toxaphene and chlordane. The first four groups of chemicals have been found in the fat of humans all over the world and in animals in "pristine" regions of the world including the Arctic and Antarctic. Others are documented as appearing far from their country of use: for example toxaphene has been found in mackerel off Scotland, although its nearest use is thought to be on cotton in the Caribbean. There is now a world-wide movement to phase them out.


In April 1992, The International Joint Commissioner for the Great Lakes (document attached) called for Canada and the US:

"to alter producton processes and feedstock chemicals so that dioxins, furans and hexachlorobenzene no longer result as by-products and to develop timetables to sunset the use of chlorine and chlorine-containing compounds as industry feedstocks"

Their main reasons were that half of the 362 chemicals well known to be persistent in the Great Lakes ecosystems are organochlorines, and in addition there are many lesser known chemicals - by-products and metabolites - which are produced unintentionally when organochlorines are made, used, ingested or subjected to heat. Many of these are likely to be as persistent and toxic as the more well known examples. Organic chemical reactions do not proceed fully to completion, and there are many side reactions producing by- products. If chlorine is involved, these unintentional by-products include organochlorines, mainly unknown in nature, which often have a tendency to bioaccumulate: to collect in fatty tissue, with animals at the top of the food web having the highest levels. Concentrations in fish can be thousands or even millions of times higher than in the surrounding water.

Even the production of chlorine gas itself produces dioxins and furans, because chlorine reacts with carbon-containing materials in the reaction vessel. Hence, ultimately, chlorine manufacture and use should be phased out, beginning with carbon containing industrial uses. Smaller uses such as water chlorination and the production of pharmaceuticals should be examined. but they are not the first priority.

Many other national and international bodies have made similar calls, including;

The Agenda 21 Declaration of the Rio Earth Summit requires;

"states to consider priority actions which include eliminating the emission or discharge of organohalogen* compounds that threaten to accumulate to dangerous levels in the marine environment"
(*Organohalogens is a classification which includes organochlorines)

Paper and Chlorine

Bleaching wood pulp with chlorine is a particulary hazardous example of the dangers of chlorine use. Wood consists of cellulose fibres which are wanted for paper and a resinous substance called lignin which sticks the fibres together and makes the wood strong. One of the aims of using chlorine is to break down the lignin and remove it completely, bleaching the pulp white in the process. However when lignin breaks down it produces hosts of chemicals which then combine with the chlorine to produce organochlorines. Many of these are extremely toxic and persistent and there are estimated to be at least 1000 of them. They include known mutagens and carcinogens and even ozone depleters such as carbon tetrachloride. (Greenpeace Guide to Paper & The Sanitary Protection scandal: attached)

Another chemical produced is chloroform. This is an animal carcinogen and mutagen which can be taken up by fish. It is on the "comprehensive track list" of chemicals known to be persistent in the Great Lakes ecosystem. It is also volatile, so that it can escape into the air from effluent treatment plants transforming an effluent problem into an air pollution probIem.


However, dioxins are the most toxic known product and the paper industry has known about this at least since 1986 ( preface of No Margin of Safety, Greenpeace 1987, attached). It has been publicly known since 1987 when "No Margin of Safety" was published. By this date restrictions on organochlorine discharges were already forcing pulp mills in Sweden and Germany to reduce chlorine use (ibid) . In 1988 a wide range of unbleached paper products were available in Sweden, ranging in colour from cream to brown.

In February 1989, the Women's Environmental Network launched its Campaign for Unbleached Paper with widespread publicity. The whole paper industry was well aware of this. Dioxins were found in paper products sold in this country including nappies, sanitary towels, toilet paper, tea bags, coffee filters and tampons. However, there were suspicions far earlier than this. In 1983 over 50 ppt of dioxin was found in fish from a commercial carp fishery downstream from several pulp and paper mills on the Wisconsin River in the USA. The fishery was closed (No margin for saftey). Many similar examples exist.

Dioxin Toxicity - history of awareness

In 1986 the US EPA set a human risk level for exposure to dioxins of 0.0064 pg per kg bodyweight per day. This was the daily intake giving a one in one million risk of contracting cancer. It was based on experiments (Kociba 1978, details in Chlorine, Pollution and the Parents of Tomorrow) in which rats were dosed with TCDD, the most toxic dioxin. It assumed that dioxins behaved in a similar manner to radiation: the cancer risk is proportional to the amount received and so there is some risk, however small the intake, unless it is zero.

The amounts of dioxin at which some effects can be detected are incredibly small (parts in a million million on a whole body basis) and a precautionary approach would, on this evidence, immdiately lead to attemps to reduce the amounts of dioxin made. Some sections of industry and government did begin to move in this direction but most of industry resisted strongly. They alleged that dioxins are produced naturally and exerted pressure to revise the toxicity of dioxin. However, more industrial processes that produced it were discovered and further sinister effects began to be discovered at low levels of exposure, such as the behavioural effects on monkeys whose mothers had been given TCDD (Bowman, 1989; full details in Chlorine, Poluution and the Parents of Tomottow).

A company keen to do its best environmentally would have seen the writing on the wall and begun to phase out chlorine as, indeed, several pulp companies did. For example see The Dioxin Report, Alabama River Paper Company. (McDonald's US do not appear to get paper from this mill).

Chlorine dioxide bleaching

Companies wanting to reduce the amount of organochlorines, especially dioxins, in their effluent and pulp have often moved to the partial or complete substitution of chlorine dioxide for elemental chlorine (chlorine gas). Chlorine dioxide processes are known as Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) pulping. Chlorine dioxide is a compound of chlorine and oxygen which is made in situ from sodium chlorate. The main method of making sodium chlorate involves electrolysing brine (sodium chloride solution) at a higher temperature than is used to make sodium hypochlorite or chlorine. The latter electrolysis process produces persistent orgnaochlorines, including dioxins (Anderson, P. et al: Analys av Polyklorerade Dibensofuraner och Polyklorerade Dibensodioxiner i Processprover fran Hydro Plast, AB. University of Umea, September 1993). Therefore it can be assumed that a similar risk exists with a higher temperature electrolysis of brine and therefore that dioxins are formed when sodium chlorate is produced.

Chlorine dioxide is unstable and explosive (that is why it is made in situ and not transported). It commonly contains a few percent of chlorine. Where chlorine is involved, organochlorines are inevitably produced: in pulp bleaching this is because chlorine reacts with the breakdown products of lignin in the wood, producing around 1000 chemicals, many of which are toxic and persistent organochlorines. The chlorine dioxide bleaching process is known to produce organochlorines, although at a lower level than chlorine bleaching: it is estimated to be reduced to one tenth to one-fifth (K Solomon et al; A Revie and Assessment of the Ecological Risks Associated with the Use of Chlorine Dioxide for the Bleaching of Pulp, October 1993)

However, if (for example) the US pulp industry changed completely to chlorine dioxide the ecosystem would still receive thousands of tonnes of organochlorines every year. (The Medium is the Message; Greenpeace USA, 1994). This is still far from tolerable, when there are established calls for the elimination of such discharges.

The long term effects of the new set of organochlotrines discharges from chlorine dioxide bleaching may not be evident for some years, according to an industry document quoted in The Medium is the Message.

When pulp mill effluents from chlorine dioxide bleaching were compared with those bleaching without any chlorine chemicals, the latter showed lower toxicity in all tests. (Roland Loevblad & Jan Malmstroem, "Biological effects of Kraft Pulp Mill Effluents: A Comparison between ECF and TCF Pulp production", Non-chlorine Bleaching Conference, March 6-10, 1994, Amelia Island, Florida).

Chlorine dioxide bleaching results in the discharge of sodium chlorate, a herbicide which kills both plants and fish. It is acutely toxic to bladderwrack (seaweed) although it decomposes provided it passes through the effluent treatment plant.

Totally Chlorine Free Pulp

To minimise the chiemical impact of pulp bleaching, companies should not produce pulp which is brighter than necessary: in many cases, cream will do admirably, and Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) pulp should be used. If necessary, this can be made as white as chlorine bleached pulp by the use of alternative chemicals, such as ozone and hydrogen peroxide, and improved processing.

In 1990, a Swedish pulp mill (Aspa Bruk of Munksjoe AB) was producing totally chlorine free pulp, which by 1992 made up 66% of its production. A major Swedish company, Sodra, now produces TCF pulp of high brightness. In 1992, and possibly before, six paper mills in the UK were making paper from totally chlorine free pulp. (Second Report on UK Paper Mills, Laura Canning, WEN 1992)

In the USA, TCF products are available: I believe McDonald's USA is using TCF paper for some of its french fry bags.

Several Finnish companies can and do produce TCF (Totally Chlorine Free) pulp. TCF pulp is not necessarily more expensive than ECF (Elemental Chlorine Free) pulp. TCF paper continues to be available at UK paper mills.

US EPA Dioxin Reassessment

The US EPA eventually began in 1991, under industry pressure, to reassess dioxin toxicity and sources. Over 100 scientists have worked on this review during this time and outside, independent scientists in the US and elsewhere have been involved.

An enormous body of research references have been studied; far greater than that considered by the UK Committe on Toxicity in 1988/9. (Volume 9 of EPA document attached)

In 1991, the Womens Environemntal Network published a report which drew attention to the risks of dioxin-like compounds to the developing nervous system of the foetus (Chlorine, Pollution and the Parents of Tommorrow). These risks have been confirmed by the US EPA review.

The EPA's Reassessment has increased concern about the health effects of the levels of dioxin in the general population. The review reaffirms the association between dioxins and cancer: the assessment of cancer potency is "essentially unchanged from 1985". For non-cancer effects they say that levels in people are now close to levels that cause effects in animals: "average everyday exposures are close to exposures that are known to cause such effects in laboratory animals". Humans are stated in the report to be averagely susceptible to dioxins ccompared with a range of animal species, so there is really no margin of safety. Non-cancer effects include lowered sperm count, endometriosus, impaired immune system, and behavioural effects on children, caused before or around birth.

Although the reassessment is not final, it has already been externally reviewed as part of the ongoing public process. It is not likely that the toxicoity view will change. The UK Government has done little research into the health effects of dioxins recently and, in July 1994, the only new piece of information was a review of US research which concluded that "it would be prudent at present to regard TCDD* as a possible human carcinogen". (Committe on Carcinogenicity Annual Report, Crown Copyright 1994). Now the Department of Health Committee on Toxicity is giving consideration to the EPA report and will issue a statement this summer (1995). (*TCDD here means the most toxic type of dioxin, 2378-TCDD)

How do dioxins get into people?

Pulp mill effluent containing dioxins is discharged into rivers and is taken up by fish which are then eaten by people. For example, in Minnesota people were advised in 1985 not to consume fish from Rainy River below the Boise-Casscade mill at International Falls (No Margin of Safety pV-13)

However, the main source in this country is airborne sources suich as incineration, metal processing and fires in which organochlorines are burned accidentally or intentionally. Incineration, especially municipal or hospital incineration, is the largest known source. This has been stated by the US EPA, and in the UK it was concluded by Warren Spring Laboratory (then a government body) in 1991 that municipal incineration alone was the largest known source. Dioxins in the air fall on vegetation and are eaten by animals such as cows. Animal fat foods are the main route for dioxins into people in the general population.

Producton of large quantities of mixed consumer waste increases the incentive to build and use incinerators to dispose of it. All incinerators accepting this sort of waste accept waste indiscriminately: sorting is largely impracticable. Therefore increased general demand leads to the burning of more of the substances known to lead to toxic emmission, such as organochlorines and heavy metals such as mercury and lead.

In addition, dioxins created in incinerators or industrial processes may go into water or solids such as incinerator ash. These often do not enter the ecosystem as quickly as airborne dioxins but, once they are created, they remain indefinitely in soil and sediments. It is irresponsible to add to these because future generations may disturb them and suffer health effects. Incinerator ash is deposited in ordinary landfills where dioxins may be mobilised into leachate by other chemical in the waste and thus reach surface and ground water.

Our present levels of dioxins are not a natural state of affairs. Lake sediment studies reveal a huge rise in dioxin levels from around 1940, at sites far from known point sources of dioxins. This mirrors the enormous increase in the use of chlorine to make chemicals. (Chlorine, Pollution and the Parents of Tomorrow and J M Czuczwa & R A Hites: Historical Record of Polychlorinated Dioxins and Furans in Lake Huron Sediments).

Traces of dioxins existed before industrialisation, as shown by levels in preserved human bodies, but present day levels are far higher and include measurable levels of more toxic types undetectable in early samples. (Tong H Y et al 1990 Sources of Dioxin in the Environemtn: Second Stage Study of PCDD/Fs in Ancient Huiman Tissue and Environemtnal Samples, Chemosphere Vol 20, Nos 7-9, pp987-992; and Chlorine, Pollutoin and the Parents of tomorrow). The US EPA stated in September 1994 that "dioxins are primarily a product of modern industrial society". (US EPA press release, Sept 13, 1994)

Recycled paper and Mill Broke

Paper mills collect their internal paper and pulp waste and reuse it in other paper making processes. The waste is known as mill broke. Paper made from it is technically not recycled paper at all as it has never previously reached the public. (Tissue of Lies, WEN, 1990)


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. When they are worn out, they can then be recycled by melting down and reforming. They can then be made into similar objects. This may be done several times. Making into items such as fence posts after only one use is known as "downcycling" and it is often only a means of postponing the time when the material becomes waste. The new item may not be needed, and it may displace some traditional material which provided employment with low environmental impact.

Many national and international bodies and NGOs have agreed priorities on dealing with waste. The first priority is always PREVENTION and then recycling etc. Hence it is generally agreed that the most environmenatlly sound method of dealing with waste is not to produce it.

The UK Government has long stated that reducing the amount of waste produced is the first priority. Waste minimisation comes before reuse, material recycling, energy recovery and landfill and incineration in its hierachy - for example see Waste Management Paper No. 28 (DOE, 1991) on Recycling. In its latest consultation document A Waste Strategy for England and Wales (DOE, 1995) the Government states (p.9) "Preventing waste from arising means that the potential environmental problems associated with waste disposal, as well as with recycling composting and recovery of energy are avoided". The Department of the environment (DOE) has proposed a target of stabilising "the production of household waste at its present level" (1995). This recognition applies to other consumer waste similar to with domestic waste, whether generated at home or outside. The target is not consistent with an increase in the amount of takeaway meals, which seems likely on some current predictions.

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.

A takeaway service has more apparent need for disposables. However, McDonald's could choose not to operate a takeaway service for this reason. On the contrary, I am informed that the takeaway share of the busniness is 50% and is expected to increase with an increase in the number of drive-throughs in which most custom is takeaway. It clearly intends to produce more, rather than less waste.

The existence of McDonald's in its present set-up increases the amount of solid waste which has to be dealt with.

Even if a takeaway service is operated, however, waste prevention could still be carried out. There could be greater emphasis on products such as pittas which use little packaging. 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. People who collected a large number could be rewarded with a complimentary (eat in) meal. These durable items would advertise McDonald's and its environmental concern in a better way than the present litter problems do. Many countries do operate viable return systems in other countries: for example, Coca Cola in Holland.

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. Many of these examples, and others are in the report: Well Packed by W Richert & H Venner, Milieudefensie, Netherlands, August 1994

supplementary statement:

23 April 1996

1. My work has increasingly centred on waste prevention, in order to lessen the environmental impacts and health effects of processes such as monoculture plantation establishment, woodpulping, plastic production and waste disposal.

2. The UK Government has confirmed its position that waste prevention (minimisation, reuse, refill, etc.) is the first priority in dealing with waste (Making Waste Work: A strategy for sustainable waste management in England and Wales, Department of the Environment, December 1995).

3. Women's Environmental Network has launched a Waste Prevention Bill in the House of Commons. We have had a useful discussion with the Department of the Environment about the bill and we are hopeful they will support it 170 MPs have signed an Early Day Motion (backbench resolution) in support of the bill. The bill for the first time would legally empower local authorities to produce waste prevention plans and advise people on how to prevent waste by substituting refill systems and washing services for throwaways.

4. One of the ultimate aims of Agenda 21 the 1992 Rio Declaration is the "no waste society". There is also a strong concern that raw materials, food and other products should not travel long distances but should be obtained as locally as possible and reused many times. Industrialised countries should use smaller quantities of materials and make sure that what is used takes part in natural cycles: it should rot and become food for something beneficial. Cycles for substances such as metals and chemicals should be kept as closed as possible. In parallel, energy use must be minimised to counter fossil fuel use and global warming.

5. This emphasis on waste prevention is not really new. The 1975 EC Framework Directive on Waste (Council Directive on Waste No. 75/442/EEC, Article 3, Section la) says:

1. Member States shall take appropriate measures to encourage:

6. I work to prevent waste for the following reasons:

7. McDonalds as an international company has the opportunity to learn from and spread to its branches in other countries the very best environmental practice. I am informed that in Germany, McDonalds is changing its behaviour because of local pressures. In Nuremberg the local authority is permitted to refuse the disposal of waste types if they can be avoided or recycled. Dr Susanne Schimmack, of the Environmental Planning and Energy Department of the Municipality of Nuremberg states that:

"This provision we threatened to apply with McDonald's who then agreed to essentially improve their waste separation. There are 9 McDonald's restaurants in Nuremberg who together introduced a bio waste collection system. Bio waste and packaging waste are now separately collected in each restaurant and recycled." (Presentation by Dr Susanne Schimmack at recycling conference in UK, 1994)

8. McDonald's in Germany has conducted a trial involving three outlets of reusable polypropene beakers of the type mentioned in para 46 in my main evidence. I have seen a sample of these cups with McDonald's logos on.

9. In Germany in 1994, a small town, Kassel, introduced a tax on one-way containers. McDonald's and two other companies mounted a legal challenge in Kassel. The challenge was not on environmental grounds but simply on the right of communities to impose the tax. They lost and went to a higher court in Berlin and lost there also. Other towns and cities introduced the same law and took the case for judgement at the highest court in Germany at Karlsruhe. This court, in a pre-trial on assessment agreed to adjudicate and indicated that they believed the tax was correct. After this was known, many more communities introduced the tax: 100 by 1st January 1996, with more doing so in the following three months.

10. In Frankfurt there are 17 McDonalds outlets, which because of the tax are now using a type of multi-use plastic cup. I am informed that in Frankfurt and Kassel McDonalds has been refusing to pay the tax for two years.

11. McDonalds is well aware of best practice in packaging and containers all over the world but is waiting until it is forced to change by increasing environmental awareness. This is exemplified by the following statements in the minutes of McDonalds Europe Waste vs. Disposables meeting held on 21st January 1991:

"If reusable packaging becomes an issue in any community, it would have a major impact on the way we do business.

UK - Mike Matthews and Corinne Reed-Comfort indicated that solid waste is not yet a key concern in the UK. ... McDonalds' key UK environmental issues are litter, signage and traffic.

"Ideas such as Klarges (a recycling and composting pilot project) however are worth investigating in that waste/packaging concerns will soon arise in the UK as well.

"While early detection of a disposable vs. reusable packaging issue is important (via close interaction between marketing/PR and in particular, real estate people), it is even more critical that countries have waste initiatives in progress before this issue is raised."

It is clear from these extracts that McDonalds acts after there has been a change in public perception of packaging and waste issues, rather than leading the way to the best practice it knows about.

12. Recycling when carried out must be made to work. I am informed that in one scheme in Nottingham, people put plastic in recycling bins but it was never actually recycled. This is a betrayal of trust and will tend to cause cynicism about environmental issues.

13. In 1991, McDonalds restaurants in Switzerland commissioned a report on the ecological impact of a McDonald's restaurant compared with three other restaurants. However the study only included the direct local impacts of the restaurants themselves and not the wider impacts of running the different types of business. For example the water and energy use at the restaurants such as washing the reuasble dishes, was counted, but not the water and energy use for producing and transporting the throwaway McDonald's packaging. This is one way in which ecological balances such as these 'can be misused.

14. Improvements have occurred in techniques such as these since 1991, and a discipline of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) has built up. Nevertheless there are objections even to this. One of the main organisations involved in LCA is SETAC-Europe. In their newsletter (LCA-News Jan 1995 p.4) there is an article: "Is LCA losing its way?" in which someone criticises over simplification in LCAs. The author says:

"There is a danger that the current fashion for manipulating and presenting information from LCA studies, as if it was the result of objective and quantitative scientific analysis, will lead to loss of credibilty for the whole approach".

With this debate at its heart, LCA cannot be regarded an an objective scientific tool, but merely an aid to decision making.

15. With very different systems such as disposables versus reusables, the end result is comparison of very different environmental impacts some of which, such as habitat destruction, cannot be quantified.

16. Another objection is that LCA does not include secondary impacts such as the effluents from factories making extra materials such as the coatings for paper. It only includes the 'effluent from the central process. An alternative system, EIO-LCA, measures the environmental effect of the extra economic activity required to supply, say, a $5,000 increase in plastic cup demand. This is fairly easily assessed from economic statistics. It can include the extra carbon dioxide produced by secondary company transport, for example, as well as toxic discharges. It is good at assessing differences between very diverse systems whereas conventional LCA is poor, according to advocates of EIO-LCA. (Vol 29, No 90 1995; Environmental Science and Technology).

17. Hence the environmental assessment of impacts of different types of process, such as disposables versus reusables is still a matter of active debate. Conclusions from studies do not provide final universal answers, and they may simply reflect the bias of the sponsor. Very detailed and apparently scientific studies often obscure the issues, which can be simplified by taking a more local, low use approach.

18. In my opinion, using reusable containers is always preferable to throwaways. Reusables can be almost unbreakable and last indefinitely.

Proper control over them with a deposit system will ensure that when they do become unusable they are easily located for bulk recycling.

Recycling of one-use items is not efficient enough to provide the genuine care and conservation of materials that is necessary to move towards the no waste society. Washing is a process that can be controlled on the spot: it is obvious if too much water or energy is being used and this can and be constantly improved by better techniques which are well understood. By contrast, we not know and cannot control the resource and pollution implications of diverse throw away products made in distant places.

19 . In addition the example of materials care provided by a re-use system spreads awareness and induces people to be more careful about other objects and materials. McDonalds could be using its international structure to spread good environmental ideas rather than bad ones as at present.

date signed: September 2, 1995
status: Appeared in court (But evidence on damage to the environment ruled out)
references: Not applicable/ available
exhibits: Not applicable/ available

transcripts of court appearances:

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