Ontario should throw out rules on recycling and start over if politicians really want to help the environment.
Think about this when you are forced to shell out an extra $27.60 for a large-screen TV: Eco fees are bad for the environment.
An oversimplification, perhaps, but the extra fees that corporations charge for the government-mandated recycling of electronics, tires or hazardous waste do little for environmental accountability.
After all, most producers just pass on recycling program costs (roughly $180 million in 2011) to customers who pay the eco fees when buying televisions, computers, tires or even antifreeze. Producers have less incentive to invest in greener products or advanced recycling methods because, hey, they don’t have to. No pain equals less gain.
Jo-Anne St. Godard of the Recycling Council of Ontario says the “individual” focus is better for consumers and the environment. If businesses are forced to pay for their own recycling they’ll do what comes naturally: compete for the best-designed products and cheapest contracts. That’s what happened in Germany when it disbanded a similarly flawed program eight years ago. Last year, the country’s annual recycling costs dropped to 1 billion euros, compared to 2 billion when the program began.
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