Annual global sales of plastic bottles, glass bottles, cans and cartons are expected to reach 1.9 trillion in 2019.
Volunteers who took part in 229 clean-up events on beaches and river banks in the UK found 49,000 pieces of packaging litter. Of this, 15.5% were Coca Cola bottles, and 10.3% were produced by Pepsi. Other major polluting material came from chocolate wrapping (Cadbury and Nestle) and McDonalds. Manufacturers of all this gunk pay a mere 10% of the disposal costs; the remainder is paid for by local councils, taxpayers and the environment itself. You and me! (reported by The Guardian/Campaign to Protect Rural England).
Leaving aside the issue as to whether anybody at all should be drinking overly large amounts of Coke and Pepsi, fast food or chocolate bars ( the British taxpayer pays for the health results for the over-consumers, but we all support freedom, don’t we?), the companies concerned are clearly not doing enough to encourage recycling, and it isn’t even clear whether re-cyclers worldwide really recycle a lot of the waste, or whether they quietly bury it in landfills.
Opinions differ on these issues. Epicureans , for instance, advocate moderation. What the more laisser-faire advocates cannot deny is that we are collectively despoiling the environment, and that it is unjust to ask people who have not had a Coke, a Pepsi or. a McDonalds meal for twenty five years, to pay out of their pockets for the selfish and careless behavior of the people who do consume these things. I say, “Don’t ban them. Put the prices up and use the extra money to recycle. Just stop freeloading!”. (Part 2, more positive, be posted tomorrow)