written by Sharon Rowe – our CEO –
Hi. I was interviewed yesterday for the Mary Jones Talk Radio Show in CT by Laurie Perez, a local news anchor. I decided to talk about the many laws that are being passed, banning or taxing plastic bags at checkout and how that’s really only the first step towards living more abundantly with less waste creation.
But, Laurie asked me a question that took us in a slightly different direction for a few short moments. Laurie asked, “are we inviting government into our lives, by doing these bans and taxes, when it doesn’t belong there? Are we giving government too much control when this should be market driven, people’s choice, etc?”
When we create waste in such huge volume that it creates a public crisis (referring to the plastic pollution – gyres in the ocean, wildlife deaths, flooding caused by bags being caught in drains in India, etc) can we wait for personal choice or industries to shift or do we need laws? The government isn’t some third party, it’s us or at least that’s the intention? I don’t buy this us vs. them approach and I’m not patient enough to wait for industry to shift on it’s own when the social incentive appears to be bigger than the market incentive.
The truth is we have a waste problem. Is it really that big a deal to either bring your own bag or not take one. Millions of people around the world are already doing this and in the US, the state of Hawaii has completely banned the bags. Why waste precious resources on a throw away item, the disgraces public spaces and can create ill effects, that you then have to tax and spend to clean up. The key here is why create waste when you have other choices.
When Austin Texas announces that they want to be zero waste, is that too much government? It’s a public-private partnership moving toward a goal that will support the beauty and function of the local environment not drain it’s resources.
I think we need grass roots that engage government to support the change we seek…for everyone.