I Vote To Pay The True Environmental Cost, But Who Is Going To Raise The Invoice?
Latte levy, bottle deposit scheme, oceans awash with plastic.
Outrage, disgust and concern.
Are you willing to pay the actual cost of living on this planet?
The BRC response to the recent attempts to move towards a bottle return scheme are well, mind numbingly unspecific. https://brc.org.uk/news/2018/deposit-return-scheme-requires-creative-thinking. Where is the acknowledgement that our right to abuse the planet is expensive? The automatic response is to appropriately split the costs between consumer and retailer. Does this include the full costs to the planet?
If we, a rich country cannot demonstrate to the world that we are improving, how can we ask them? Our plastic bag levy has successfully reduced plastic bag usage:
England’s seven main retailers (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, M&S, Co-op and Waitrose) sold 83% fewer single-use plastic bags in 2016 compared with 2014 – the latest full year of data which was gathered by WRAP.
Yet we are not strong in the environmental message, or as fraught with our problems as other less well-off nations. For example, in Kenya legislation enacted in 2017 says:
Kenya brings in world’s toughest plastic bag ban: four years jail or $40,000 fine
Producing, selling and using plastic bags becomes illegal as officials say they want to target manufacturers and sellers first. Source The guardian .28/8/17
In Indonesia, it is pay as you go for many consumer products as investment in a stock is not possible. Therefore, they buy enough shampoo for a day or two, and therefore have lots more smaller items of packaging. If we will not operate a deposit scheme to ensure we control what is controllable, how can we engage others to do so?
We have been happy for the Chinese environment to pay the price of our recycling needs. It is startling that Chinese environmental policy changes are driving an agenda the Western nations have off-loaded, along with the dirt and grime of manufacturing in general. My factory is in Trafford Park where we are now competing for space with scenery makers and media businesses. It almost makes me long for the smoke of a foundry, the oily haze drifting from heavy engineering, even the old smelly Salford docks. We have encapsulated this in the carbon measurements, claiming that our emissions are getting better simply because the emissions that are caused in the manufacture of the goods we consume are measured where they are now made. They should be measured where they are consumed.
It is the same with the cost of the planet. Where are the microplastic costs measured? In the belly of the whale? I vote to pay fully for the environmental cost of being alive today. I want to vote for the party who will ensure I get that bill. But who do I vote for? Our domestic cheerleaders are too concerned with the B word, to consider the world. The international bodies are lobbied by nations, multinationals and billionaires. Any of you on LinkedIn looking for a change of career, start a Party for the World with a one policy mission: To make all people, businesses and governments pay the true price of living on this planet. You never know it might take off, we might start to save the planet and maybe feel a little happier as a world too.
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