Silly lobby groups

Peter Garrett wants to phase out plastic bags. He could have simply banned them but instead wants to put on a levy (presumably set to cover the costs of continued clean-up). A levy is better than a ban and all in all this is a sensible, in principle, approach to dealing with such environmental matters.

In reaction, we have the Australian Retailers Association coming out with idiocy.

“They’ll comply, as any legislation will require people to comply, but what will happen is that consumers will pay more,” he said.

“You can’t legislate to change people’s behaviour and that’s what we’ve got here.

“We’ve got people suggesting that to save the planet you need to legislate – anyone who thinks you can legislate to save the planet is off the planet.”

This is wrong on many levels. First, we are already paying for the cost of plastic bags. Put on a levy and we ensure that those causing the problem pay for it. That is only fair.

Second, really, you can’t use laws to change behaviour? Have you looked at the effects of speeding tickets? Come on. Of course you need to legislate on these things, it is the way we control externalities and the basic case for collective action.

Now I am sure there is more to a sensible environmental policy on bags than just a levy but this sort of stuff contributes nothing to sound policy development.

One thought on “Silly lobby groups”

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: