Deposit Return System for plastics

I held one of my first political speeches last month at the Welsh LibDem Conference in Swansea to support a motion that will seek to introduce deposit returns for plastic and other one-way containers.

I know for many this sounds like just another complication to their busy life but I believe the evidence about the damage cuased by the huge amounts of plastics found in the Oceans (including in its wildlife and even animal bodies) is overwhelming.

It’s hard work but essential to change people’s behaviour. Introducing a fee for plastic bags in supermarkets a few years back has achieved such a behavioural change and many shoppers now re-use these bags. Production of these bags has dropped dramatically.

Are we doing too much and alienate people?
Over twenty years ago I campaigned for a better recycling system in Bavaria, supporting a plebiscite that was then labelled “utopian” by its opponents.
Let me tell you that recycling in Bavaria today exceeds by far the at the time rejected initiative’s proposals.
In times like these, where Trump declares climate change a fabrication, it is more important than ever to speak up and stand up for the environment. We only have one planet and that planet needs us. 

German-born Christoph Fisher says the “eliminate the need for a Green Party”

“We need to carry on and stand up because our planet needs us” says Mr Fisher


5 thoughts on “Deposit Return System for plastics

  1. The problem is getting the Americans on board. A number of years ago our local supermarket introduced a system whereby you got 5c off the bill for every canvas bag you used rather than a new plastic one. It was amazingly successful — I have no figures, but from observation I’d guess the plastic-bag consumption dropped to something under 20%, maybe more.

    After a few years the supermarket dropped the scheme, reckoning the behavioral lesson had been learnt.

    Within a couple of weeks, almost everyone was exclusively using plastic bags again. It’s not uncommon to see people leaving with ten or more plastic bags wrapped around art most 20-30 items — i.e., largely empty. (There’s a staff-education effort that should be going on here too, but isn’t.) We get funny looks because, on the rare occasion we find we’ve brought insufficient canvas bags, we demand paper ones rather than plastic ones.

    What baffles me is that (almost) all them other buggers must have stacks of canvas bags at home, left over from when you got a 5c discount per bag. Why don’t they use them? Is it a matter of Republican principle?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The bizarre thing is that most of the people around here — not us! — are pretty well off. It says something about them that, without the incentive of 5c a bag, they couldn’t care less about the ecosystem upon which the survival of their kids and grandkids depends.

        Liked by 1 person

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