Photos of marine mammals suffocating on plastic waste will do nothing to solve our enivronmental problems ... but a '˜bottle tax' will

Distressing photographs of turtles tangled in discarded waste may tug at the heartstrings but if you really want to tackle environmental problems you have to aim lower.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 23rd January 2017, 12:59 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd January 2017, 3:23 pm

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Ministers are considering a crackdown on single-use plastic bottles.
Ministers are considering a crackdown on single-use plastic bottles.

The pocket of the consumer has to be in the cross-hairs to affect any change. Hit ‘em there and you get results.

If the 5p charge for plastic bags taught us anything, it’s that hard cash holds more sway than a pelican choking on an Aldi bag.

Which why the Government’s planned war on plastic bottles has to be bound by pounds.

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Convenience, laziness and greed trump flailing marine mammals every time.

Despite environmentalists warning for years about the damage being caused by discarded plastic bags it did little to slow down their use.

We may have shook our heads in dismay and promised to buy a bag-for-life when confronted with the ugly environmental statistics, but when it came to the crunch, the convenience of a free ‘placky bag’ to lug your spuds to the car boot won out every time.

Today your humble plastic bag is viewed as a luxury.

Buying a plastic bag in your supermarket is a sign of forgetfulness or the ordinary folk’s equivalent of a tycoon lighting his cigar with a ten pound note!

The Government is to wage war on the plastic bottle and they are considering a ‘tax’ to make it work.

In short, if you want to swig from a plastic bottle, you pay extra. In countries like Germany you can reclaim that cash by returning the bottle to a collection point.

Short of frogmarching plastic bottle users to the nearest beached whale choking on a Pepsi Max to get them to consider the environment, a tax on this polluting nuisance has to be the best way forward.