Recently I read a fantastic metaphor about the planetary plastic crisis that every living thing on earth is currently facing:
“If your bathroom is flooding, you turn off the tap before you reach for a mop.”
Unfortunately, humanity is thus far proving itself equivalent to the morons who casually wander out of a public bathroom leaving the faucet on full blast.
We humans, the sole creators and facilitators of this plastic problem, seem to have a massive problem with not only cleaning up our mess, but with doing anything even remotely useful to cease making it in the first place.
Just this week our esteemed US of A has been in the headlines for their complete incompetence dealing with their own waste now that China has refused to continue being the world’s rubbish dump – a problem we share over here in the Southern Hemisphere too.
In a bid to curb the tide of single-use plastic shit at home, Hobart City Council has recently attempted to turn the tap one, single degree closer to the “off” position by enacting a law stopping any business that sells takeaway food providing single use plastic. Instead, these businesses will have to use reusable or compostable packaging.
This, while completely underwhelming when put in the context of the current climate catastrophe, is at least a stumble in the correct direction.
However, some petty, small-minded fuckheads (aka the Tasmanian Small Business Council) have had the audacity to declare these laws tantamount to an act of insanity.
“THE SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS!” they cry, “WHATEVER WILL THEY DO?!”
Mr Robert Mallet, the CEO of this illustrious institution, insists this new law “smacks of arrogance”.
To be more specific, he has stated “I don’t think it will be too difficult to transition but it would definitely be more costly which then puts Hobart businesses at a price disadvantage against some of their neighbours”.
Well. Boo-fucking-hoo to you, Mr Mallet, to the Tasmanian Small Business Council and to the rapidly shrinking number of small business owners that aren’t already on board with stopping single use plastic sinking the earth-ship.
The bottom line is that your bottom line does not trump the planetary future.
If you can’t afford to absorb the costs associated with providing packaging that doesn’t putrefy the planet, maybe you’re just shit at business. And I’m not just saying that. Last year the Hobart Aquatic Centre investigated this spurious argument against environmental accountability and found the costs associated with switching to environmentally friendly packaging were less than one per cent of annual turnover.
Setting aside the fact the world would be probably a lot better off with at least 50% less shit takeaways and generic cafes, I say this:
If you find it too damn hard to add another 20 cents onto your product price, a cost that we all know you’re gonna pass onto your customers anyway, you are a lazy unconscionable, incompetent fuck who shouldn’t be in business. And, if your customers find paying an extra 20 cents too expensive an investment in their future, perhaps they don’t deserve to live to see it.