Perfectly good stuff gets pulped - what a waste when we are trying to embrace #ThriftyLiving

Brooms and other household items get pulped

Brooms and other household items get pulped - Credit: PA

The world has gone mad. I’ve suspected it for quite some time. Now I know it to be true. The evidence presented itself to me, quite unbidden, when I visited a friend I hadn’t seen in some time.

Ordinarily, she’s not someone given to an extreme need for tidiness or hours in the kitchen. Which is why I was surprised to see a clutch of brand new brooms stacked in her utility room and an array of still-packaged kitchen utentils and assorted baking goods on her worktop.

“These are nice,” I said, picking up a broom. “Are you setting up a market stall?”

“Would you like one?” she asked, proffering a selection. There were pink ones, black ones, multi-toned green ones....

Then, while I was still digesting the assortment of brooms on offer, she flung open a cupboard door to reveal an Aladdin’s cave of more stuff.

“And if there’s anything amongst this lot you’d like,” she said, “just help yourself.”

Now, for someone trying to live more thriftily this seemed too good to be true. I felt myself getting a little woozy with excitement.

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I could have all these new things without having to spend a penny! Who cared if I actually needed them or even where they’d come from. The desire to consume, suppressed these past months, kicked in. “Where did you...” I mumbled, weakly.

“They were going to throw it away,” she said. “There were skips full of the stuff.”

Then I remembered her new job, working for a company producing kitchen goods for a national store. I started to regain control. It turns out that products and lines that don’t sell well get pulped. Perfectly good, new items that have taken energy and environmental resources to create. “Why don’t they sell them off cheaply or give them to a charity shop?” I asked.

“They can’t do that,” she said. “It would devalue the brand.”

Of all the nonsense I have learned since I started my experiment this has to go straight in at number one, even ahead of farmers leaving crops unharvested and supermarkets throwing away tonnes of edible food each year.

I eventually chose a broom and a set of cooking tins. But when I think of what was wasted...

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