@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.
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. #capitalism sigh 😩
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).
@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.
@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. 🙂
@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 @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 @clacke ...the experiment did not go well. The province couldn't or wouldn't redeem prosperity certificates as promised and the Canadian supreme Court ultimately ruled that PCs were currency and only the federal gov't could issue currency and regulate banking.
Over the years most social credit practises were abandoned or struck down by courts. The Alberta Treasury Branch still exists but is basically just a government owned credit union style bank now...
I kind of see where the theory was going - - kind of an economic version of the thermodynamics conservation of energy law. That said, as it is proposed by most advocates it sounds like an economic "perpetual motion machine", and the Alberta government certainly didn't account for friction or external forces lol.
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