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But when half of us decline to act responsibly, governments have to act. But here’s something in which Britain could set an example.
Let’s just tell the manufacturers to get on with it.
Within two years, plastic ducks were washing up on the beaches of Alaska.
By 2000 — eight years after the storm — they were fetching up on the volcanic sands of Iceland.
For all their affected cuddliness, the Liberal Democrats also failed to bring in a plastic bag tax during the Coalition years.
In October 2015, after a long campaign once again by this newspaper, the Conservative government finally introduced a 5p levy on single-use plastic bags.
The approach passively encourages littering, which is why the Daily Mail has launched a campaign to introduce a new deposit system aimed at reducing the blight of plastic bottles that are not recycled. Creating ‘a cleaner, healthier environment, benefiting people and the economy’ is listed as the top priority of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
When asked about trying to change attitudes by introducing a deposit scheme for plastic bottles, he said the Government had looked into the idea and decided it would be ‘an expensive exercise’.But it is a lot harder to shoot someone if you can’t get access to a gun.Something similar is true with the soft drinks industry.The story’s worth repeating, because plastic ducks are funny. But, for some reason, we don’t seem to notice plastic bottles so much, not least because they are transparent.Yet take a walk on a beach almost anywhere and you are certain to find them.
There is an obvious difference between the plastic bag tax and talk about a return scheme for plastic bottles.