Re: Susan K. Snow
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:54:20 -0500

Steve writes:
> But to get back to the topic: In my mind the reason for not recycling
>more variation of PETE are purely "economic", which means "political". We
>have an economic system which heavily discounts future costs, and does not
>even take into consideration potential future costs. We have a political
>system which allows money to speak louder than public opinion, which leads to
>decisions that allow the externalization of costs, and allows the momentum of
>large institutions and organizations to remain unobstructed.
> For example, there is a lot of talk lately about those big bad evil guys
>at Coca Cola and how they are despoiling the planet. Well fact is that they
>and the rest of the gang are doing things that most likely will cause big
>trouble down the line somewhere, but they are not people! They are
>Corporations - they are nothing more than a governmented granted charter
>which allows a certain kind of business behaivior to occur. The problem is
>that this behavior is basically one that seeks to make a profit, or a return
>on investment for its investors. It has no moral values, and is focused on
>the singular goal of profit, irregardless of the costs to anyone else. The
>people within these organizations are basically good people, just like any
>other groups - with a few bad apples I'm sure. But just like any of us, we
>do bad things from time to time, and sometimes we walk down those slippery
>paths leading us to places we'd really rather not go.

It is beginning to look, more and more,that we need to re-design the entire
economic system that has become capitalism today - no I am not a loony
communist, but am able to see, in very harsh detail, what capitalism has
done to my fellow brothers and sisters here in South Africa. Thor chemicals
killing workers thru mercury poisoning was simply a well publicised case -
the lives and quality of life of people are sacrificed at the altar of
profit; that is a simple reality.

It has become necessary to become an activist for not only Zero waste, but
also an environmental economist; a social scientist; and a researcher into
alternative and appropriate technologies - for example, a natural, organic
system used at a sewage works used on a pilot basis in Australia has found
the natural approach uses less landspace; is cheaper to run; provides good
secondary benefits (extracting organic matter for re-use, for example); and
does away with the use of chemicals altogether - the only area where my
knowledge is lacking is where they use UV light as the last stage to kill
off micro organisms - I do not know if that is safe or not; however, the
entire process is way safer than what is the traditional way of managing
this waste.

If one wishes to convert corporation to a sustainable approach, issues such
as plastics must become a focus - by the kindness of Susan Snow, even I who
considers himself pretty well educated on matters green, have discovered
exectly how toxic plastics are, and we need concerted action around this
issue - this will also have the spinoff of making people more aware of
toxics in their lives in general, and will be less likely to accept
greenwash at face value.

CAMPAIGN: NO plastic packaging by the year 2004? 2010? ... just a thought!

I must not waffle on - take care, all!
Mr. Muna Lakhani

Cellfax: 082-131-416-9160
28 Currie Road - Durban - 4001 - South Africa
Phone: +27-31-20-28-291