Recycling - look to Canada
Wednesday, 09 July 2008 11:53

UK politicians are clueless when it comes to recycling. Labour only has one mantra - compulsion, if you don't do it they will fine you or make things difficult. The other parties don't seem to have any idea either.

So what is the objective - is it to tax us more, or get us to recycle things? The example of Ireland and the plastic bags shows that it's largely a tax grab.

In Canada the problems are largely solved and the system works extremely well.

So what's so good about the recycling systems in Canada?

When you buy drinks and many other items you pay a deposit and only reclaim it when the items are recycled.

How it works

When you buy a bottle of wine or orange juice you pay a small charge, you drink the wine etc. Now you have a choice . . . you can. . .

  • throw the bottle away and loose the deposit
  • drop the bottle into a recycling bag
  • leave it out for homeless people to collect
  • take it to a bottle depot and reclaim the deposit yourself

The system works because the deposit can be reclaimed by anyone who takes the bottle to the recycling facility.

What other benefits are there?

Jobs and businesses

In major cities there are many bottle depots, these are businesses that collect and sort the items for recycling and repay the deposits. They employ a lot of people and contribute to the economic activity to the country.

The recycling actually happens. The reclaim of the deposits is a major driving force in making recycling happen. It's a positive force that is quite different from the UK Labout attitude of compulsion. There's no landfill tax etc, you don't need it because people have a real incentive to make sure things are returned for reuse of recycle.

The UK political parties need to look at what other countries are doing and adopt similar measures.

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