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Feature Opinion

It's Time Taxes And Tariffs Were Introduced On Excessive Use Of Plastic

If it's free, humans will use it.

It's a widely accepted concept that applies to anything really; healthcare, plastic, beauty products, and so on. We use things that are free, because we can. There's no accountability.

But there needs to be some, or we're just going to end up destroying our entire planet.

It's time we had some accountability on our use of plastic

Waitrose in Abu Dhabi announced a plastic bag fee of 25fils (per bag) in June - and the supermarkets have seen a staggering 74% reduction in plastic-bag consumption.

25fils is a menial sum, you wouldn't pick up 25fils off the ground if you saw it - but it's enough to make you question whether, in fact, you do need a plastic bag - whether you do need to pay the 25fils for a bag.

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Plenty of countries have outlawed free plastic bags

Instead, encouraging shoppers to bring their own bags - or they can buy them at the checkout if they've forgotten.

It's a small sum (15c in my native Australia - which is equal to about 40fils) but it's enough to deter people from using a bag for just one thing.

It's about reducing, which is first and foremost in the trio: reduce, reuse, recycle.

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A surcharge may cause some upset

Which is to be expected, but people will learn to live with it. Particularly if the money made from the surcharge was contributed to a worthwhile environmental fund.

It's not profiteering, it's making people stop - and think.

And companies need to get behind the movement too

Too often, markets and shops are are far to liberal with plastic bags - how often have the baggers at the market opted to bag up large, heavy items that already have a carry handle, like water bottles and toilet paper.

Staff need to be educated, patrons need to be taught, and everyone needs to stop using so much dang plastic.

And it's time the United Arab Emirates followed suit

A tweet recently shared by a UAE resident shows the excess of plastic bag usage - by the supermarket no less.

We all need to rally together, to cut plastic consumption

It's everyone's job - every person in the UAE, and the world, has a responsibility to reduce their consumption.

And we can do this in a few simple steps:

  • Take your own shopping bags
  • Take your own coffee cups for takeaway coffees
  • Say no to plastic whenever possible
  • Support businesses that are saying no to plastic
  • Stop using plastic straws (many businesses already have)
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle

Written By

Caitlyn Davey

Caitlyn is an Aussie journalist looking to change the world. In her spare time she loves playing sport, travelling and basically doing anything that means she doesn't have to sit still.

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