I was forwarded this feature from Time magazine this morning. Just a little indent about plastic bags, but it got me thinking, we like to think that in the ‘developed’ world we take environmental issues more seriously than the so called ‘developing’ world, but take a look at this, and ask yourself, why has it taken the UK to implement this bag tax, and how do we live in a society where companies that manufacture something that is so bad for the environment are able to lobby successfully to try and change the law?
Oct 5 – The Uk finally puts a tax on plastic bags of 5 pence, note just a tax, not a ban. Fact is if you go to the shops and they are still available easily and you’ve forgotten a bag, you still have the option to buy them. So whilst it is a step in the correct direction, and it has already reduced usage it is not the ultimate solution.
1994 – Denmark introduced the first scheme in Europe to encourage retailers to charge for plastic bags, by 2014 it had the lowest use of plastic bags in Europe with the average person using just four a year.
2002 – Bangladesh was the first country to totally ban plastic bags, it did so because an estimated 9 million, yep 9 million, were discarded every day and were blocking drains and sewers causing catastrophic floods.
2008- Rwanda completely bans plastic bags, with fines of 150 bucks being enforced for anyone caught using them and 400 buck fine for plastic bag smugglers.
2015 – The US state of California was due to introduce the first US state wide ban on plastic bags, however the plastic industry wielded its wallet and rounded up enough signatures to force it to a ballot in 2016, at the very least delaying the act.
You can draw your own conclusions from this, and there are many, but environmentalism doesn’t always just exist in developed nations.