Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/979/26776

From The Socialist newspaper, 24 January 2018

May's "war on plastic" still puts profits before the planet

The world's oceans are choked with plastic waste, but capitalism is not manufacturing alternatives

The world's oceans are choked with plastic waste, but capitalism is not manufacturing alternatives   (Click to enlarge)

Simon Carter, East London Socialist Party

A rapidly growing mountain of plastic waste is polluting the world's land and oceans.

Over 300 million tonnes of it is produced each year globally, according to Statista - roughly the equivalent weight of humankind. But a study in Science Advances found only 9% is recycled and 12% incinerated. The rest ends up dumped in the seas affecting the marine food chain, or goes into landfill.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that by 2050 the oceans will contain more plastic by weight than fish! In 2016 researchers at Plymouth University reported that plastic was found in a third of UK-caught fish.

The mountainous volume of used plastic in Britain has been compounded by the Chinese government's decision to ban imports of plastic waste since 1 January.

This means 500,000 tonnes a year of toxic plastic could end up incinerated or as landfill as Britain's recycling industry doesn't have sufficient capacity.

Faced with this massive environmental crisis, Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to abolish plastic waste such as carrier bags and food packaging. But not until 2042 - by which time global plastic production is on course to have doubled or tripled.

Even mild measures such as a plastic bottle return-deposit scheme have not been included in the government's plan.

Like their policy to tackle deadly levels of air pollution, Tory environmental measures are pathetically inadequate and come too late.

Apart from extending the 5p charge on plastic shopping bags to small retailers in England, and asking supermarkets to provide plastic-free goods aisles, the government's message to their pals in big business amounts to 'carry on generating profits - and hang the environment'!

Manufacturing

As far as the manufacturing and retail industries are concerned plastic is cheap and versatile. Coca-Cola alone produces over 100 billion throwaway plastic bottles every year, according to Greenpeace.

The environmental charity also says the six top six drinks companies in the world use a combined average of just 6.6% of recycled plastic in their products.

Plastic drinking bottles could be made out of 100% recycled plastic, but that would mean the bottles wouldn't be clear and shiny - a marketing no-no.

Under the media spotlight, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and high street brands such as McDonald's and Iceland have all recently announced 'initiatives' to tackle plastic waste. The rub is their 'ambition' is voluntary - and decades away.

The technology to eliminate plastic waste in an environmentally friendly way exists. However, as long as capitalism and big business-friendly governments continue to set the political agenda then profit will come first.

Workers, as producers and consumers, must fight to secure tighter regulation of industry. But you can't control what you don't own. That is why public ownership and socialist planning represent the real green future.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 24 January 2018:


What we think

Turn Carillion crisis into movement against privatisation and capitalism


Socialist Party news and analysis

Welsh NHS crisis - we cannot go on like this

2m to remove Grenfell-type cladding: residents to get bill

Private profit out of our NHS

Leeds playing fields rescued from Blairites

May's "war on plastic" still puts profits before the planet

News in brief


Vietnam war

Vietnam War: 50 years since the Tet Offensive


Socialist Party workplace news

Lecturers vote for strikes against pension cuts

PCS executive agrees next steps in pay campaign

Brum care workers protest council attacks

Amy Murphy Usdaw campaign meeting

Ballots against Bromley privatisers

Ferrybridge: Workers down tools over unpaid wages


International socialist news and analysis

Punishment of Tamimi family awakens wave of international solidarity


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Defend Louise Harrison - save Yorkshire women's services!

Victory against government's war on eastern European homeless

Women rally defiantly

Gentrification scourge hits Kent

Kirklees council opens consultation of library services

Southampton: Pay rise for uni boss, job losses for lecturers


Obituaries

Red Mary - a Force of Nature

Obituary: Maureen Mulhearn 1945-2018


Opinion

Carillion and the construction industry

Carillion crisis exposes PFI chaos

Universal credit: set up to fail

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 24 January 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Environment:

triangleBritain bakes as water pipelines leak

triangleEngland facing water shortage due to underinvestment

triangleSheffield tree fellings paused as bully Labour council feels pressure

triangleFCC Environment strike solid

triangleCarbon dioxide hits 800,000-year high: end profit-driven pollution

War:

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: The Spanish Revolution and Civil War

triangleBritish state complicit in torture and rendition: put Blair and Straw in the dock!

triangleWirral Socialist Party: The Spanish Civil War

triangleNo to Trump's trade war

Waste:

triangleSummer of discontent on the cards in Huddersfield bin workers' dispute

triangleBin workers - fighting back wins!

triangleNHS: fight for funding - not passport checks

Government:

triangleTory crisis deepens - demand a general election now!

triangle'Vote Leave' fined: For a workers' Brexit

Landfill:

triangleComment: Socialism and truth about Zane

Manufacturing:

triangleBritish capitalism in crisis

Coca-cola:

triangleMass student strike rocks Spanish state

Britain:

triangle250,000-strong human tide sweeps London against visit of bigoted billionaire Donald Trump

Big business:

triangle600 more retail jobs on the line: workers must not pay for the bosses' high street crunch!

Recycling:

triangleVictimised recycling strikers uncowed as Hull strike wave builds

Public ownership:

trianglePeople's Assembly event lacks understanding of task facing Corbyn

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

20/7/18

Brexit

Tory crisis deepens - demand a general election now!

18/7/18

Brexit

'Vote Leave' fined: For a workers' Brexit

16/7/18

Donald Trump

250,000-strong human tide sweeps London against visit of bigoted billionaire Donald Trump

11/7/18

Water

Britain bakes as water pipelines leak

11/7/18

Retail

600 more retail jobs on the line: workers must not pay for the bosses' high street crunch!

11/7/18

Them & Us

Them & Us

11/7/18

Universal Credit

Minister's benefits lie: sack the Tories - and scrap universal credit

10/7/18

The Socialist

Tories in crisis - Act now to get them out!

9/7/18

Tories

Walk Out against Trump and Tories

4/7/18

NSSN

NSSN conference 2018

4/7/18

Public services

Social care funding crisis: no to an age levy - make the super-rich pay

4/7/18

What we saw

What we saw

4/7/18

Them & Us

Them & us

4/7/18

State

British state complicit in torture and rendition: put Blair and Straw in the dock!

4/7/18

Refugees

EU lets 200 refugees drown in three days

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999