On 13 March 2008, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, announced the 2008 Budget, which says it includes "[...] measures aimed at tackling climate change."
[…] criminal wasted opportunity to set the country on the path towards a more sustainable future [...] Instead of seizing the opportunity to reshape our economy to deal with the serious threat of climate change, Alistair Darling used his much-awaited first Budget to set out a weak and flimsy agenda, which brought new definition to the word “greenwash".
Initially, encouraged that the government is a least listening to the public acknowledgment, that action needs to be taken to tackle climate change, however it was shocking to realise how small a step has been taken to eradicate plastic bags. One of the budget actions, to [potentially] charge for plastic carrier bags, IF retailers fail to take 'enough' (?) voluntary action to reduce their use, by next year… is ridiculous. Firstly, by focusing the public attention to the potential cost (one of those many purchasing decision-makers) of plastic bags, in my eyes completely undermines the global challenge that is climate change, blinding them to see problems caused by aviation and the like. As Lucas quite rightly argued, surely the Chancellor should be focusing on the feasibility of phasing out plastic bags altogether? If so many USA states can survive without the carrier, surely we can!?
Unsurprisingly, the UK retailers kicked up a fuss about the bag charges however, on a more positive note, the Daily Mail Newspaper did launch a BAN THE BAG campaign [pictured above], so maybe just maybe such media campaigns are our only hope in helping the public see the reality.