Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1037/28951

From The Socialist newspaper, 10 April 2019

Only socialism can stop capitalism's plastic problem

Low oil prices can make it cheaper for capitalists to make new plastic than to recycle, photo (public domain)

Low oil prices can make it cheaper for capitalists to make new plastic than to recycle, photo (public domain)   (Click to enlarge)

Lily Branchett, Derby Socialist Party

Marine plastic pollution costs the world up to 1.9 trillion a year, a report published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin suggests. There is a 1-5% decline in the benefit humans can gain from the ocean.

This study, the first of its kind, assessed the economic and social impact of marine pollution. It shows that the negative impact pollution has is often underestimated.

But what this study does not show, however, is the threat posed to marine life or human health by the eight million tonnes of plastic that enters our oceans every year.

The report makes it clear that the situation cannot continue and something urgent must be done to protect our oceans and reduce pollution. Plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental threats we face. It can enter the stomachs of marine wildlife, either choking or killing them, or enter the human food chain if swallowed by wildlife that people consume.

Following public outrage on this issue, the government has attempted to grab headlines with small measures to supposedly address the problem. For example, there is a plan to ban single-use plastic straws in the UK.

However, small steps such as this, and governments encouraging individuals to recycle will not be enough to tackle this huge threat. Under capitalism, corporations will always seek the cheapest and most profitable option in production.

Economic environmentalist Nicola Beaumont states: "Recycling a ton of plastic costs us hundreds, against the cost of thousands if we let it into the marine environment."

But big capitalist companies see only short-term profit, and not the big picture. In many cases, it is still cheaper to produce new plastic rather than recycle existing plastic products. In a system that puts profit over people, the capitalists will always prefer this option.

Only 56% of plastic produced is currently recyclable. A democratic, socialist planned economy - where nationalised industries are under workers' control, and production is taken out the hands of the capitalists - could produce sustainable and environmentally safe materials.

The worldwide climate strikes show that young people understand the massive threat posed to the environment by pollution and climate change. There is an urgent need for mass action to demand change that goes far further than what capitalist governments have proposed so far.

To escalate the climate strike movement, Socialist Students says student unions should be set up in schools and colleges to democratically organise the next steps.

Students on strike can link up with the trade unions, which represent more than six million workers. Through strike action, the working class has the power to bring society to a halt.

To really protect the environment, we need to radically change the system and fight for a socialist transformation of society.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 10 April 2019:


What we think

Corbyn must demand general election, defend workers' interests and fight for a socialist Brexit


Climate change

Organise against climate change, austerity and capitalism

Only socialism can stop capitalism's plastic problem


International socialist news and analysis

Algeria: Bouteflika is finished but the Algerian revolution is not!

China: police state in Xinjiang under global spotlight


Local elections

Local government in crisis: councillors can fight cuts!


Socialist Party news and analysis

Boot out the Tories - end austerity

Stop Tory NHS destruction

Gender pay gap widening

Them & us


Workplace news and analysis

PCS: vote Yes for action, back socialists in the elections!

NEU conference: organise for the key battles to come

Swindon workers discuss action to save Honda jobs

Southampton Hospital security workers strike

Support the Glasgow Airport pay and pensions strike

London Overground cleaners strike for better pay


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Leicester Socialist Party letter for no-cuts budget

Walthamstow: end the school funding crisis

Reject the rotten NUS 'reforms'

Leicester NHS Trust and the brutal reality of cuts

Social cleansing continues in Southwark

Newcastle anti-fascist demo

South Yorkshire Freedom Riders - still battling on

Gateshead FC crisis: save our Heed!

Health Campaigns Together AGM success


Opinion

Low pay, long hours, isolation - a taxi driver speaks out

'Traitors': Cold War cloak and daggers as capitalist powers spy on allies


 

Home   |   The Socialist 10 April 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Environment:

triangleThe history of struggle to make the workplace safe

triangleCuts and climate change cause floods

triangleSocialist Students says democratise the climate strike movement

triangleWindrush deportations: end the hostile environment

triangleTrump's trashing of the environment - Dump the capitalist profit system!

Socialism:

triangleLessons from the Corbyn experience

triangleSocialism the Podcast: 2020 episodes

triangleSocialism the Podcast: 2018 episodes

triangleSouth Devon Socialist Party: End of the Corbyn era - What next for socialism?

Capitalism:

triangleThe Jungle: capitalism's remorseless attack on workers' safety and conditions

triangleUniversal Basic Income: not a solution to insecurity and poverty under capitalism

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Crisis, capitalism and class division - a discussion on perspectives for Britain

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

29/5/20

Labour

Lessons from the Corbyn experience

27/5/20

TUC

Covid crisis boosts union membership but TUC leaders want to cosy up to the bosses!

27/5/20

Coronavirus

Reckless, lying cheats

26/5/20

Coronavirus

Coronavirus pandemic news in brief

26/5/20

Coronavirus

More blunders and profiteering in Tory track-and-trace scheme

26/5/20

Coronavirus

United action can defeat Tories' dangerous school plan

25/5/20

Coronavirus

Care home workers suffer PPE shortage and job loss fears

22/5/20

Coronavirus

Black and Asian Covid-19 deaths: an indictment of capitalist inequality

20/5/20

Coronavirus

Johnson's reckless 'back to school' plans threaten everyone's safety

20/5/20

Coronavirus

Confidence plummets in Tory strategy for Covid-19

20/5/20

Benefits

Universal Basic Income: not a solution to insecurity and poverty under capitalism

20/5/20

Covid

Furlough cut-off could force millions back to unsafe workplaces

20/5/20

Council

Crisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

20/5/20

Rich

Rich get handouts - workers get pay cuts

19/5/20

Coronavirus

Transport workers and passengers mustn't pay the price

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: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999