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Re: [GreenYes] disposal/recycling/reuse of plastic's ??
Hi all,

I want to support and emphasize the point that Helen has
made about ADF's being a "transitional" strategy.  It has its
place as an "educational" tool for raising awareness about the
relative costs of handling society's discards, but it doesn't do
a whole lot for incentivizing the revolution in design which must
take place for the growth of the Zero Waste society.  Good
ZW design needs to be rewarded, and ADF's can only go so
far in doing that.

Eric Lombardi

Helen Spiegelman wrote:

> 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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