Tag: environment

June 24, 2012
The subject of a levy on disposable plastic carrier bags has come up again, in an attempt to reduce the number used. The Scottish Parliament is planning a consultation on the idea of a 5p tax per bag. Cameron would like to follow suit, but has been blocked by the treasury, who think it might be seen as an attack on the common people.

One idea that has been raised to balance the idea of a “carrier tax” is that all funds raised be given to charity.

February 11, 2012
Have just finished this book, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I picked up the book as a result of reading about the film made of the same name by Cameron Crowe, starring Matt Damon. This was on my list of films to watch, but I suspect I will find it annoying, having read the book. It wasn’t until I started reading the book, that I realised I had come across the same story before – when Benjamin Mee took over the running of Dartmoor Zoological Park, the BBC made a 4 part fly-on-the-wall series of it, called Ben’s Zoo.

The film claims to be “Based on a true story”. Like many films with this claim, the story is frequently changed and twisted to suit the studio’s/director’s/star’s view of what the story should be. One wonders why they go to the trouble of buying the rights of a true story, if they are going to change it out of all recognition.

Spoilers follow.

July 5, 2011
For some time, now, we have been admonished not to use disposable plastic carrier bags. The supermarkets’ response to this has been to come out with a range of inexpensive multiple use bags (some of which are really nice – I like the classic Tesco hemp-like bag, myself), while discouraging customers from using the disposable bags. Tesco does this by offering additional loyalty points for bag re-use; M&S does it by charging a ridiculous amount for the disposable alternative; Morrisons does it by making the bags so small and thin, they are virtually useless.

So riddle me this. While all of this is going on, why am I received more and more cheap plastic bags through my letterbox, with requests for clothes donations from everybody from the Sally Army to Save the Children? In the last week, I have received 9 sack sized plastic bags, and this is not exceptional. That is far more plastic than I would have ever have used in carrier bags before I started carrying a “for-life” shopping bag.

January 29, 2011
A remark on the News Quiz today regarding the proposed selling off of publicly owned Forestry Commision woodlands intrigued me. The comment was made by show host Sandy Toksvig:

“…the first tranche of the forests, if they sell them off, is going to raise a hundred million pounds; that is exactly the amount of money that Defra and the brilliant Caroline Spelman, who is the Secretary of State in charge, gave to an international fund devoted to prevent deforestation.”

February 2, 2010