Bromley’s Drive to Salvage Waste, 1941

During the Second World War recycling was at a high in Britain.  Though at the time it was not for environmental reasons – far from it.  During the war Britain feared a Nazi blockade would leave the country with a paper shortage, so the wartime Government made recycling paper compulsory in 1940 as part of its National Salvage Campaign. Three days after the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, the Ministry of Supply sent a memo to every council in the country demanding an “intensification of salvage work and fullest co-operation…

Appeal: Householders told to save bones

During World War II households were encouraged to save bones, as well as other waste materials, in a bid to help the war effort.  Bones in particular were needed as they were used to make explosives lubricating oil, glue, fertiliser and animal feed amongst other things. This article featured in the local Bromley newspaper in 1943 appealing to householders to save their bones, however small they seemed.  The Ministry of Information also used promotional films such as the cartoon “Bones..Bones..Bones – Save Bones” (1944) to highlight their mission. Appeal to…

Our History in Salvaging and Recycling

In 1914-18 and in 1941 we were saving our country, in more ways then one.  Today we are urged to recycle rubbish to save the planet, but even back then we were urged to do the same.  Everything was saved – paper, tins, glass jars and even bones, to larger objects such as iron railing. This article, taken from the Bromley & District Times in February 1941, raises some interesting points, including encouraging Britain to salvage these materials and to use the ‘raw’ materials in this country to produce goods,…

Some Bone! – Collecting for the War Effort in WW2

In 1941, the Department of National War Services put in place a nation-wide salvage programme. Households across the country were asked to collect metals, paper, bones, rags and fat.  It wasn’t done for the environment but rather for the war effort. Bone became a vitally important material to the war effort. Fortunately, bones were readily available because they could be collected from the carcass of any dead animal. They were in high demand because the extracted fats were used to make glycerine, an agent used in high explosives. Alongside this, bones…