Radical measures for plastics, garbage and water
According to recent thought leadership work on sustainability by MTI Consulting, the impact of climate change could drastically impact every facet of human life, arguably even the survival of humanity. Given that irresponsible use of plastics can have far-reaching negative implications, MTI has opined that mitigating it requires radical, unconventional measures.
MTI makes the case for making it mandatory for companies that use plastic (as part of their packaging) – to ensure that a sizable percentage of that is recycled. It is suggested that if not a hefty fine, then even eco-criminal charges against the Board and CEO may be brought. If they do comply, attractive tax incentive and social recognition can be provided. This double-edged move could also drive the much-needed green innovation. While consumers can and should continue to educate consumers, for significant change to take place we need to ‘attack’ where it matters most.
MTI’s thought leadership work on sustainability also focuses on garbage, which they argue is a function of consumption and consumption is a function of affordability. Therefore, it is ironic that the garbage we generate in the richer parts of a city is dumped where the poor live.
Successive governments are primarily responsible for not having stricter laws (and enforcement) on production, consumption, disposal, re-cycling and re-energising. But, businesses and consumers also have a role to play. Do businesses really think beyond getting the product to the consumer? Do we as consumers really think beyond consumption and the trail we leave behind?
Should businesses and consumers should be taxed for the garbage they generate – thus driving more responsible actions? Then use this tax revenue as incentives to start-up ‘Waste-2-Energy’ventures.
On water, MTI argues for a luxury water tax on the premise that product usage (and wastage) is significantly influenced by the price charged – as % of the consumer’s wallet. If we continue to use (and waste) water the way we do now, catastrophic consequences seem imminent, possibly water wars. Less wastage and more equitable distribution of water can certainly help, but the biggest squanderers are the top-end users.
A steep tax on high usage of water may help the environment and the Government’s income. Of course this must be supported by a multitude of other incentives and deterrents. For instance Los Angeles has a ‘Water Police’ and Rajasthan has ‘Water ATMs’. As for solar energy, consider preferential funding on water conserving devices.
Photo: MTI CEO Hilmy Cader and MTI’s New Zealand-based consultant Jason Cordier