January 22nd, 2021

Why are consumers blamed for waste problem?

By Lethbridge Herald on May 6, 2018.

Re: “Ottawa launches dialogue about waste,” Lethbridge Herald, April 23.
Politicians, Greenpeace and other “authorities” who vocalize about post-consumer plastic in the waste stream all seem to make the same mistake — blaming consumers for the billions of plastic products besieging them — most enticingly packaged with more chemically modified petroleum selling and sealing the product.
Look at it — it’s mostly marketing with little to do with product usefulness. Rarely spoken of is an industrial standard, hint of morality or industrial or manufacturer responsibility! The yakking centres around the consumer — what modification to their behaviours will tame the beast? Realistically, on a consumption-gone-mad planet approaching eight billion people, is there an answer?
My toothbrush comes encapsulated in plastic on a thick paper advertising card contaminated with ink and glue, creating more landfill fodder. Couldn’t this ubiquitous product simply have a cap over the business end to keep it clean and safe? I do not need any part of the useless package it arrived in, which, after I rip and tear the product from, becomes my responsibility … my fault … my guilt!
Recently Environment Minster McKenna informed that “We have to develop a national strategy to cut back on how much plastic Canadians use and toss away.” Later, during Earth Day 2018 in Eastern Passage, N.S., Minister McKenna announced she’ll create a “public online consultation to help pinpoint ways for the country to eliminate plastic waste and reduce marine litter.”
Eliminating plastic waste (not possible) should begin at point of manufacture, not after I’ve ripped the toothbrush from the packaging. Nothing from Minister McKenna, Greenpeace or anyone else, indicating any interest in nailing manufacturers/industries creating these unconscionable messes with magnitudes unimaginable beyond stir sticks, flossers and straws! As it is with curbside recycling schemes, the residential taxpayer responsible for less than 20 per cent of the problem attracts the flak, gets hung with financing the wreck — the sordid yoke of disposal — while the majority merrily contaminate and pollute recklessly well under the radar or sensibilities of a plan demonstrating progress and leadership!
Alvin W. Shier

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The consumer pays for everything because it is a free enterprise system and the user pays while the provider and supplier makes a profit with no responsibility for repair of any damage done to the environment. Even if they were made responsible for the damage it would still be the consumer paying. The end result to this would be a stagnant economy and the advent of feudalism. Really do the CEO.s of the corporation need a salary for on year higher than the salary a working man achieves in his entire life. And how can the banks lend out monies they do not have?
Again the old adage “he who sells what isn’t his’n must produce or go to prison.”


Brilliant letter. Glad it was finally posted. This has been a mess from the start . Watch the last council meeting on the city website. Some councilors thought or claimed they thought that the pilot was really a pilot in the usual sense of the word. Really? After they voted to ok the sorting facility to the tune of 15 mil? Or , were some of them just playing to those who haven’t been following the council meetings and votes on this and they could claim they were tricked? Did they really think that they would get ,yet another vote ,as to whether they still wanted to move forward on this whole white elephant exercise?. I bet there is lots of heated discussions about this in incamera meetings. It is pretty obvious that they are at each other’s throats over this. I wish this election cycle was over ,so we could trick a few to go down the yellow trick road,once and for all! Too many on this council have just voted on this based on which way the wind was blowing at the time. I don’t think they have any idea where they stand on most anything,unless admin. or a MLA tells them where to. They are not even fooling themselves any more- thus the infighting. I think we need to reduce the number of councilors and hire 2 independent researchers. The few councilors can rotate as mayor. No mayors only, they have been reduced to figure heads and are old school.