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Razors – not diamonds – are a girls best friend!


Posted At: 04 September 2008 11:44 AM
Related Categories: Environmental


I was completely astonished to read in the news yesterday that items such as nappies and razor blades could be taxed as luxury goods under Governments plans to cut waste.

A study by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs suggests that putting a crazy tax on these things – these ‘disposable’ things – might stop us using them. The idea -  to cut waste - is great; I agree, we DO still value cheap and easy over environmentally friendly, but we also haven’t been given much of an alternative, so I feel that imposing tax before doing as such is slightly unfair.


Let’s look at disposable nappies, then.


Created by a Swedish paper company in 1942, disposable nappies were introduced to the US mainstream in 1949 by pharmaceuticals manufacture Johnson & Johnson. These days, they are largely made from materials such as sodium polyacrylate…which (and this is where the environmental problems begin) isn’t overly bio-degradable. So, some people might argue that chucking 8 million a day into landfill (UK only figures) is pretty awful and I agree, but I also say that cotton/reusable nappies are not an alternative.


A recent study by the Environment Agency concluded that they are no more eco-friendly than the disposable variety; the people who use disposable nappies are likely to be the same people who don’t have time to consider the environment. They’d opt for the quickest washer cycle - which is often the highest temperature, the quickest drying option - often the tumble dryer, and probably a softener (although I have it on good authority that you shouldn’t use these on towels – something about them preventing absorption) which comes in a big old plastic bottle that’s been transported in an artic lorry half way across the UK spurting diesel fumes all over the place as it goes.


It’s not about eco-junkies who will know not to do the above; it’s about every day, busy people, and as one of those people it makes me so mad that not a single penny will be spent on advertising the tens of brands of eco-friendly disposable nappies out there before such a tax is imposed.


It’s just constant scaremongering! “Stop using plastic bags, they’re awful! BUY this reusable bag instead, because heaven forbid we miss out on a prime opportunity for making more money!”, “pay a fiver for 1 razor blade (which actually IS an essential, because lets face it, no one wants either hordes of Neanderthal looking beardies roaming the streets all unshaven, or women with inch-long leg hair flexing their pins in a flowery summer dress) because we’re sure as hell not going to reduce the price of electric ones!”, and so on and so forth.


Inept Government. If you really want to save the environment, why not focus your efforts on the bigger issues like, I don’t know, our complete independence on non-renewable energy - not bloody plastic bags and razor blades!

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The opinions expressed herein are the personal opinion of the author and are not intended as statements of fact and do not represent the view of SnapShop or Pragma in any way.


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