The announcement that the Bank of England is going for plastic notes (subject, apparently, to public consultation – yeah, right) is very depressing.  It’s said that these notes will be ‘greener’, take fewer resources to produce.  But what do you do with the old, discarded notes?  They can’t easily be burned, nor will they decompose, because they’re not a natural material.  They will just become yet more plastic rubbish, with us forever.

Plastic, even when it does biodegrade, is a series of unnatural polymers.  It has no place in the ecosystem, which has never evolved to deal with it.  Even when it’s fairly inert, it’s not like rock – the chemicals that it will inevitably release will have nasty effects.  One of the arguments against incinerators is that burning plastic can create horrid dioxins.

But burning it is really the only way to get rid of it.  Recycling is only finite – the plastic wears out after a while.

We need to tax products on their disposability – to make plastic, and other harmful materials, expensive to produce.  (Taxing water would help, too.)



Filed under Streams of Consciousness

2 responses to “Plastic

  1. Toby Hawks

    Couldn’t we just dispense with money altogether…? I don’t mean go back to a barter economy (although that does have its appeal…), of course; rather, stick with ‘virtual’ money: cash is such a bore! I suppose that would still mean having hard-wearing, chip-filled plastic cards…

    • I think we could use it a lot less – but banks have got to drop charges, and for that to happen, the government must sit on them. But it won’t, at least in the near future, because people like cash and the government is too populist and spineless. The barter economy still exists, but the government doesn’t like that either, ‘cos the taxman can’t get his mits on any of it.

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