YP Letters: Another of the '˜great evils' should be waste...

From: Brian Sheridan, Lodge Moor, Sheffield.

Waste has become endemic in society.

YOUR feature (The Yorkshire Post, December 12) adds loneliness to the five “great evils” – want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness identified by the social reformer Sir William Beveridge.

I would add waste. My wife and I were wartime children imbued with a near-obsession with austerity which sits uncomfortably with the modern throw-away society.

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My understanding is that thousands of tonnes of perfectly good food are thrown away every year. At the risk of sounding self-righteous we never let our children leave the table until they had eaten every scrap of food on their plates. Nor do we ever overbuy or throw way a scrap of food.

Andrew Vine highlights waste in the NHS (“NHS can’t cough up the cash to treat every sniffle”, The Yorkshire Post, December 12). Pharmacists are more than willing to give advice on medication to deal with minor ailments which should never get near a doctor’s surgery yet the disproportionate number of greedy pensioners who cram the waiting-rooms give GPs a hard time by expecting prescribed medication which could easily be obtained over the counter.

Waste is manifestly endemic in the NHS and the blame lies with inefficient management and thoughtless patients.