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Re: [GreenYes] disposal/recycling/reuse of plastic's ??
OK, C. William has opened a dangerous topic here. In Canada, ADFs are being 
promoted by producers in response to existing and proposed 
producer-responsibility programs here. It is important, important, 
important to ask the following questions about ADFs:
- who charges them (government or producers?)
- how is the amount determined (average cost of disposal? inflated cost of 
disposal? whatever the consumer will bear?)
- what incentive will there ever be to drive ADF down (consumer protection)?
- what assurance will there be that the ADF fee paid by the consumer will 
finance waste management?

In our observed experience in Canada, ADFs are a blunt instrument, at best 
a transitional financing instrument. Any legislated ADF program must be 
structured to encourage competition as an escape-hatch for producers who 
can innovate less costly product management systems and leave the ADF 
system behind. A fixed ADF is a recipe for laziness and unproductive costs 
to consumers -- leaving the important player (the product brand-owner who 
is the only one in a position to design waste out of the product) laughing 
all the way to the bank while the poor consumer is soaked.

The way consumers are 'educated' is by product price. If a brand-owner is 
required to offer cradle-to-cradle environmental management of product, and 
competition is present, then the brand-owner with the lowest prices will 
educate consumers to make the right choice. The ADF that is presently 
charged on HHW by producers in my province of Canada has 'educated' 
consumers that disposal is not free -- however, the next lesson (once our 
system moves beyond the current primitive monopoly situation) will be that 
consumers can have a choice among environmentally responsible 
cradle-to-cradle systems some of which are cheaper than others. This is 
because our law is structured to allow brand-owners to set up their own 
take-back program if they find they can do it for less $$ than the ADF 
charged by the existing consortium monopoly. A traditional ADF, imposed by 
government in the US or by industry in Canada, does not encourage or allow 
innovation to reduce costs. Like a tax, it is sheltered from competition. 
You're right about self-sustaining - just like a cancer cell.

Helen S.

At 09:21 AM 12/14/2001 -0600, C E F G wrote:
>I believe advance disposal fees(ADF) could be the best of both 
>worlds.  Education of the consuming public is relatively easy in the ADF 
>system.  The TRUE user/consumer would better understand his/her role in 
>environmental stewardship.  Lastly, this system could and should be self 
>sustaining.
>

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