@strypey Looking around my office...

I have literally no idea where most of these things came from.

As a business, I'm not taking back your waste unless you show a receipt. Why should I?

Like so many other failed recycling schemes, this one fails at usability, dumping a shit ton of extra cognitive load on the average joe. Even people who care will be hard pressed to get it right - and most people won't care.



If there was some extra deposit money being charged (which goes to a government fund, not to the vendor), similar to how this works for beer and cola bottles, then people would be incentivized to save the receipts and bring the products back to a collection point for recycling, getting their money back.


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@humanetech @strypey It's still way overcomplicated.

The only reason people like this sort of scheme, is because they want to punish businesses.

But I agree that paying people for garbage is the only way this gets fixed. Any plan suggesting otherwise is basically a plan suggesting everyone who is struggling to get by, suddenly start to care more about rubbish than they care about their own survival. Not gonna happen.


Don't know if it is overcomplicated, or just more complicated. Regulation and processing infrastructure is needed.

If you want to raise awareness on sustainability (quality, durability, repairability, recycling/upcycling, etc.) you could differentiate deposit amount paid and refunded. You could fund this from the system itself and create jobs in the process.

But limits competitiveness, and is actively lobbied against. Should be widely adopted to work. sigh ๐Ÿ˜ฉ


@humanetech @strypey I meant the original post, putting the burden of collection on the retailers, is overcomplicated.

Rereading, I have nothing against a scheme where collection points hand out money in exchange for well sorted rubbish. That has been proven to work, just needs funding.

Funding from the system itself ultimately means the consumer pays. So you make food for poor people more expensive if you're not very careful.

This sort of thing should mostly come from normal taxes.

@HerraBRE Ah, yes.

BTW Especially for packaging a separate tax can be effective, especially if separately mentioned on e.g your supermarket receipt ("groceries $40, packaging tax $2"). And then use the tax revenue in a separate fund to subsidize sustainable packaging solutions and plastic pollution cleanup.

We had this in The Netherlands, but was quickly stopped (I think due to industry lobbyists).

India is developing nation with has 28% GST.

28% is 1/3 of total cost


@strypey @humanetech If the poor are disproportionally paying, that's not what I'd call normal taxes. To clarify, I meant income tax and capital gains, which are proportional to income and this share the burdens more fairly. Smaller tax incentives may indeed help nudge the market in more environmentally friendly directions, but the poor will foot the bill, so be careful.

@strypey You just complained about sales taxes and how they hurt the poor and spare the rich, which is exactly right.

How can you then fail to see that adding the cost of waste management to the products themselves is the exact same thing, with the same dynamics?

This is fuzzy wishful thinking, advocating this is quite literally doing the neoliberals' work for them. Which given your tone, seems like something you'd prefer to avoid?

@strypey But just to clarify my position on this - I do think it would be useful to use some form of incentive so eco-friendly products have a competitive advantage. We should do that.

But I believe there are better ways to achieve that and fund this sort of thing.

You're proposing very radical changes to how retail works, why not also be radical about mostly funding it using a sane progressive tax scheme?

@strypey "the only reason..."

Nope. Gonna stop you right there, that's incorrect. One of us doesn't understand the dynamics of how these things play out, and we're not going to figure out which one in this thread.

So I'm just going to bid you good day and walk away from this thread now.

Take care!

@strypey Fair enough. That's pretty much what I figured was driving you.

I fundamentally disagree with the whole us vs. them attitude lefties have towards businesses.

I don't see how businesses paying results in anything BUT the buck getting passed to the people, either in the form of lower pay, less jobs or more expensive products. And the "bad" businesses who deserve to be "punished" are the ones who pass the buck most effectively.

We're just going to have to agree to disagree here. ๐Ÿ™‚

@HerraBRE @strypey I think that there is a lot that can be done to right the situation before we even get to complicated regulation or taxation regimes to "de-externalize" the costs avoided by mass manufacturing (like NZ, Canada has a regressive, complex GST so complexity isn't always a barrier to implementing something).

We already have very elaborate carbon emissions reporting and a "price on carbon" (the numbers of which are just estimates anyways but we still do it)...

@HerraBRE @strypey ...we already track production and sales of electronics and other manufactured goods more closely than carbon emissions, and it wouldn't be any more complicated to track who made what was returned for recycling.

We don't have to force manufacturers to accept obsolete and broken goods back directly but we CAN qualify a "price on disposal" just as we have a "price on carbon" which would make planned obsolescence less economically viable for them...

@HerraBRE @strypey ...externalizing costs is something that is often overlooked in general and when the ability to do so is reduced the beneficiaries of it say "but then everything gets more expensive because we have to pass the costs on to our customers". But they already to that.

Amazon and many other retailers for example pays such low wages and hire so many temp and part timers (to reduce obligations to pay benefits) that their employees have to rely on social assistance to live...

@HerraBRE @strypey ...so instead of customers paying more for shipping and handling at checkout, we all pay (not just poor people but even them) through taxation to fund social programmes more than we would otherwise.

Again, policies could be enacted to quantify "social costs" though already established payroll deduction reporting to determine how much assistance is provided to the workforces of various big employers.

This kind of shift is achievable though it will take time and effort.

@strypey @HerraBRE I just find the discussion interesting. I look at certain things holistically and try to keep ideological bias to a minimum. Conventional means of taxing business seem to encourage investment but are largely decoupled from the actual impact/costs to society.

TBH I would be fine if businesses paid zero income tax as long as they paid the true and full costs associated with their business activities (everything from inputs to proper wages to waste disposal costs).

@strypey @msh

My understanding is, but I have no references and am very open to correction, in an open global economy:

1) It basically only works entirely like that if you're the country issuing the the world currency reserve currency.

2) If you're powerful and credible enough to issue your loans in your own currency, it works a bit like that, but people will be more wary of you running too big a pile of sovereign debt compared to your turnover.

3) If you can't even issue your debt in your own currency, you're just a normal business with an unusual business model.

Hong Kong is special, as it has its own currency, but it has no central bank and it doesn't use sovereign debt to create currency or finance operations. The only HKD that exist are those issued by the Monetary Authority (HKMA) in exchange for USD, those issued by the private banks, as loans and as 20-to-1000-dollar bills, and those issued by the HKMA as coins and 10-dollar bills.

The government does borrow money, but not as an economic instrument, only to finance specific projects, and the level of debt is nil compared to most countries.
@strypey Those governments that can't usually messed up when they could, so I'm not sure if it means anything important.

The USA is the only country that can maintain a negative trade balance forever (?) and have others finance their wars. With that in mind, each country providing the resources for their own growth doesn't sound so bad.

@strypey @clacke The province where I live in Canada (Alberta) was governed by a Social Credit party for many years. During their first term in office there leader, premier William Aberhart, attempted to issue such a secondary currency at the provincial level through the creation of the Alberta Treasury Branch and issuance of "prosperity certificates". Alberta is the only jurisdiction in the world that actually attempted social credit for real at any meaningful scale...

@strypey @msh Local currencies are definitely an intriguing tool, and I can see how they would work, but unfortunately the only examples we have are very local currencies that are struck down by central government or non-konvertiblos issued by dysfunctional local governments, where the local currency becomes garbage and only foreigners can buy toothpaste.

I do believe these cannot be the only two options and would like to see more currency experiments.

@HerraBRE @humanetech @strypey whaaat. The price for the bottle is separate. You pay more and then get money back (Pfand). I couldn't care less if it kills the business (it doesn't) if they're shitting & heating the planet.

@humanetech @HerraBRE @strypey it is happening already like that here in Belgium : you buy electronic goods and you pay a "recupel" tax on it, and the retailers are compeled to take back any old things you could have to bring back ...
in practice, I really don't know how it works well or not (actually never brought back anything, but I'm not the good exemple - I kind of keep thing long and repair/hack the rest... ;) )

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