Absolute rubbish

So Eric Pickles says that paying £250m to have weekly rubbish collections in England is ‘better on grounds of the environment’ (radio news this morning).  He supposes that mealy-mouthed ‘incentives’ to recycle will work, while people will have the chance to revert to throwing out more waste again.

Then, we hear, the government is considering raising the speed limit on the motorways to 80 mph, and the only concern raised is that of safety.  What about fuel consumption and exhaust emissions?  The argument ought to be about lowering the speed limit to 65 mph or even 60.

The most effective way to change people’s habits is through their pockets.  Higher fuel prices certainly made me look hard at my car journeys, and restricting council budgets so that they have fortnightly bin collections made me look harder at recycling and waste.

But the Welsh seem to have got it right, if they do go ahead and charge 5p for all plastic supermarket bags.  Perhaps the Celtic Fringe Countries can lead the way, and every car crossing from Scotland to England deliberately slow down to 60 mph on the motorways, while displaying a prominent national badge or banner.

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4 Responses to Absolute rubbish

  1. David Warnes says:

    The Today programme evoked exactly the same reactions in me this morning. It’s bin day in our part of Edinburgh, and when I put the bin out I reflected on the fact that we are now recycling so much that we probably only need our bin emptying once every three weeks, whereas at present it is emptied weekly. On the speed limit, the thing that most struck me was the argument that improvements in technology and car safety meant that the limit could be raised. Has there been an improvement in human nature, as well? I can’t believe it! Think I’m turning into the Revd Victor Meldrew.

  2. alisonpeden says:

    Funny, though, that the outcry against pollution is not coming from ‘yoof’, as far as I can see.

  3. Eamonn says:

    When I was in the US in 1981, they were still feeling the effects of the 1979 oil crisis, and the speed limit had been lowered nationally to 55mph, which is considered to offer the best balance between fuel consumption and journey timing. People got to their destinations just as soon, and a lot more safely.

  4. alisonpeden says:

    Yes, I too have experienced the less manic pace of driving in USA – somehow the long stretches of road help to put speed and distance into perspective. I’ll be getting snow tyres fitted next month, so I’ll have to slow down anyway!

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