Plastic manufactured items should have to apply for an Enduring Item Permit.
A comment that Linus Torvalds made in a video where he was presenting Git to a Google group has made me more aware of cases where people have solved the wrong problem.
Plastic bags are a prime example that has been on my mind for some time. The root problem is that they last too long, they are an enduring item that should be designed to bio degrade within a year or two. The whole raft of ‘green’ bags that are reusable (and have had no success at all) are trying to solve the wrong problem! I have been buying bio degradable bags for as long as they have been available, use them and throw them away happy in the knowledge that they will simply bio degrade in a year or two.
Plastic washing line pegs on the other hand are the exact opposite, here we have a reusable item that should be enduring. But wooden pegs outlast plastic pegs by 5 times in my experience because the plastic pegs are made out a plastic compound that degrades in sunlight within a year!
A solution that I believe could work very well here it that manufactured items should have to apply for an Enduring Item Permit and have a clear logo indicating such otherwise they must be required by law to be manufactured from non enduring (bio degradable) plastic. The result would be that by default general plastic would be bio degradable and items that are permitted to be enduring items can carry a clear logo that the customer will recognise (I would buy the clothing pegs with this logo!)
Save the Water (Simpson’s: Won’t somebody please think of the children)
There are good solutions to environmental problems if we solve the correct problem, there is no shortage of water on earth! The coverage ration is 70% water – 30% land for F@!#$akes, the problem is that it’s not in a usable state, solve that problem. Water from most rivers is not in a usable state until damns, reservoirs and some filtering and purifying chemicals are added.
We are saving the wrong things! We are all taught at school that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only converted from one form to another. Yet we all say make electricity and save electricity. You can’t save something that can’t be destroyed! Then we privatise the industry and push the prices up to pay share holders! Energy is freely available all around us, just not in a usable state, solve that problem! Convert it to electricity, which is the most usable form of energy that we know of today, we know how to solve that problem!