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The campaign to clean up our environment - particularly when it comes to plastics - is gaining momentum, but as far as I'm concerned, it's not happening quickly enough. Yes, I know if takes time for manufacturers to get everything into place and that changes to production lines and processes can be a real headache and very expensive, but this has been coming for years... On the commercial front, those who are ahead of the game are gaining goodwill at the expense of the competition who may be dragging their heels. But as we've all seen from the images of some of the devastation we're causing, it goes beyond commercial losses, doesn't it?
Extinction Rebellion is making a name for itself in some 30 countries and while I don't support the idea of damaging someone else's livelihood by, say, preventing people from getting to work or making it difficult for customers to visit, while also delaying deliveries of such crucial items as medical supplies, I can see why the activists have been spurred into action. Many are citing climate change but others who are aware that our climate is constantly changing are trying to draw attention to the damage we seem to be inflicting so willfully on our planet and asking us to do something about it. This message I do agree with.
The Marine Conservation Society has asked me to get involved in its campaign to encourage our Government to include drinks cans and bottles of all sizes and materials in its proposed money-back recycling scheme, rather than just some types and sizes. The Government is consulting on a scheme to cover England, Wales and Northern Ireland (Scotland is already in the design phase) and the MSC wants to ensure we adopt a scheme that's easy for consumers and one that's harmonised across the UK. If you've read my grouses in previous leaders about the different and confusing schemes run by our councils, you'll be aware that I totally agree with the MSC's sentiments on making things easy. Consultations cost a fortune and so does implementing systems to suit whatever decisions are made. Let's not do this in phases - let's get it right first time and make it all-encompassing from the start! Visit www.mcsuk.org to find out how you might help, and if you're reading this from a country that took action in the early days and can suggest some solutions to this pressing global problem of ours, do please let me know!
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18th April 2019