ONE of the bizarre unintended consequences of moving towards a greener way of living is that the weather seems to have been replaced as the main topic of conversation amongst folk in this country.

Now people are more likely to discuss bin collections – specifically, the differences that exist between local authorities. Some have separate bins for almost everything, while others are happy to lump various recyclable items into the same one.

Then there are the different colours that are used by various councils so it’s little wonder that people can get confused at times.

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None of it ever really seems to make sense but most of us do it diligently anyway because that’s just the way we are programmed to behave.

But surely the way forward is to have a unified bin collection system across Scotland – it seems a fairly obvious thing to do.

However, that will of course not be happening any time soon after hapless Lorna Slater, the minister for bins and other green stuff, rejected it out of hand as part of the Circular Economy Bill.

During a Holyrood debate this week, MSPs urged ministers to work with council chiefs in order to introduce standardised bin collections across Scotland.

Edward Mountain, Convener of Holyrood’s Net Zero Committee, said: “It should not be too much to ask to have the same system of coloured bins across Scotland – it could certainly help reduce confusion and increase compliance.”

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But, rather like most of the Greens’ policies and attempts at legislation, the latest bill is a missed opportunity to make a real difference and instead just penalises normal people for doing normal things.

Rather than devise a proper grown-up strategy to help businesses and households devise a real circular economy, it just issues fines for recycling errors and littering.

Labour’s Sarah Boyack said: “There’s a lot of work that still needs to be done to ensure that this bill really is a circular economy bill and not just a recycling bill.”

Tory MSP Maurice Golden said: “What the Scottish Government have presented isn’t so much a Circular Economy Bill as a waste and litter bill.”

There have been numerous examples in recent years of badly drafted bills that end up unworkable and this latest one is set to join the hall of infamy.

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But I will offer Ms Slater a perfect example of how Scotland can become a proper circular economy, simply by returning to the 1970s.

Those of us who can remember them know that our milk was delivered in glass bottles by an electric float.

All our shopping was done in individual shops and the only fruits and vegetables available were seasonal.

Fish, and meat, fruit and vegetables were individually wrapped in paper bags.

If an electrical item broke, it was repaired, as were shoes and suits, while most children ran around in hand-me-down clothes, even in wealthy areas.

Unfortunately all this ended with the rise of globalisation and a throwaway culture.

Now everyone can’t handle being unable to buy a banana, mango or avocado every single day of the year regardless what season it is and regardless of where the fruits originate.

Admittedly, I’m as bad as everyone else but the answer is staring us in the face.

We should simply go back to the future and shop like we did 50 years ago and throw Lorna Slater's Bill in the recycling bin.

The correct one of course.