?National flower? recycling nipped in the bud PDF Print E-mail
News - Aktueel
Tuesday, 18 August 2009 01:27
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The millions collected by the government from levies on plastic bags are ‘missing’. Only R90-million out of an estimated R360-million in levies collected from the plastic manufacturing sector since 2004 can be accounted for by the National Treasury. Buyisa-e-Bag, the Section 21 company which was set up by the government to build buy-back centres to recycle the plastic, has been described as a dismal failure.

Former environment minister, Valli Moosa’s plastic plans have turned into a cash cow for the authorities. Moosa admitted that, when he told MPs he might ban our ’national flower’, it was merely something said off the top of his head.

However, once his remark made it into the press, Moosa realised how much public support there was for the idea and he was forced to go ahead with it. Moosa’s outright ban was later transformed into a ban on thin plastic bags. To keep people from throwing them away, plastic bags now cost 35 cents or more at supermarket tills. Out of this amount, three to four cents had to be set aside for recycling and environmental protection projects.

All that has happened is that plastic bags on rubbish dumps are now thicker and take longer to degrade.

 

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