Plastic Pandora Box
China implemented a ban on all plastic waste import on the 1st of January 2018. This decision didn’t come overnight and had been announced at least 6 months earlier (somewhere in the summer of 2017).
What happened? Why did China ban our plastic waste import?
The Western world had send all its plastics waste to China for decades.
The “official” reason was for the waste to be recycled.
One day, China decided to pull out the plug and put an end to this masquerade.
The French have a nice saying … le baisser du rideau …. The curtain has fallen …. The show is over!
The reason was that the plastic waste we sent was unsorted, contaminated and mostly non-recyclable.
There were also arguments suggested by very expensive consultants that China wanted to protect its “recycling” market and operators …. I don’t agree with this. Why not? Cos what recycling market are we talking about?
It’s not really clear what China did with the million of tons of plastic waste that we sent but the waste was probably incinerated, landfilled and dumped in the open environment, rivers and oceans.
I call it …. le recyclage à la Chinoise …. the Chinese recycling style.
Can we blame China for this ecological disaster?
For sure, but I think the Western World is as much responsible …. and probably more responsible than China.
Who are the culprits?
The plastics industry, the chemical industry, the food companies?
I don’t think so. Those are corporations that have the objective to make profit. It’s not Coca-Cola’s job to protect the environment. They have to produce and market soft drinks for their consumers and turn a profit for their shareholders.
But who are the culprits then?
The people and organisations responsible to protect the environment.
But who are they?
Waste management companies and the politicians.
Waste management companies are doing their best to remain afloat and manage the huge quantities of waste coming at them.
We blame and point our fingers at the waste incinerators … but they’re the only one dealing with the gross of our plastic waste at the moment.
They’re the digestive system of our consumption society.
We’re blaming the buttocks for what is coming out of it … but the million dollar question is … how are we feeding the system …. what are we putting in the mouth of our society?
However, they could have ringed the alarm bell but they didn’t.
Greed. Sending all the waste to China and keeping the eyes shut was an easy and lucrative solution.
Finally, we’re coming to the real culprits …. the politicians ….the political class …. the master dodgers … the bullet dodgers … the magicians ….the world champions in not taking their responsibilities …. the guys who never had a real job in their lives …. the gatekeepers of the pandora box.
Where are we now?
Where are we since the summer of 2017 in terms of plastic end-of-life solutions?
Nowhere! We haven’t made a single inch of progress.
What about the EU Single Use Directive?
It’s the plastic “masquerade 2.0”.
Besides from banning straws, stirrers and oxo … that are all fake solutions …. the EU Single Use Directive is an empty box as no clear solutions are put forward.
And of course the EU plastic tax… another way to tax EU Member states and thus the EU middle and lower class.
It’s just a legal framework to protect the “buttocks” of the political class.
By the way …. cocktail stirrers? Who in heaven’s name uses cocktail stirrers today?
Cos we’re not in the 1970s anymore. Cos they’re not playing disco music on the radio anymore.
Well, there’s still one place where they use cocktail stirrers …. at the “bourgeois” reception organised for the European Commissioners.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
What about the Ellen MacArthur Foundation?
That’s a greenwashing platform.
Poor Ellen MacArthur; does she even knows that she’s up to her nose in the “plastic waste” soup?
Does she knows that her platform has turned into a gigantic greenwashing operation?
EU Politicians are being “efficiently” greenwashed by the Ellen MacArthur foundation and by industry lobbyists that everything is fine in Plastic wonder land.
But it’s not.
What about the EU grants invested in “circular projects” and the Green Deal?
It’s very funny in se and very lucrative for a bunch of privileged people …. it’s just a remake of the EU Common Agricultural Policy ….. a fiasco in the making.
Special message to Ellen MacArthur and EU lobbyists ….
Stop telling EU politicians that everything is fine and that you’re on the way to solving the problem …. because they believe you …. and we’re losing valuable time for real solutions.
How do we solve the problem?
- Could the Belgians solve the problem?
It would take two years of daily meetings for Belgian politicians to come up with a compromise that it has already been discovered that the earth turns around the sun.
- Could the Dutch solve the problem?
The Dutch would probably decide within 15 minutes …. the solution would involve a caravan, a frigo box and a tullip …. and some really cheap tasteless food.
- Could the German solve the problem?
Do you expect the solution to include your arm being tattooed or injected with a vaccine or a serial amount of little rules to force you into submission?
- Could the Italians solve the problem?
Nope, unless you’re planning to professionally organise a fiasco.
- Could the European Commission solve the problem?
Nope, unless you expect the solution to be a cocktail reception where they play schlager music, use plastic stirrers and give goodie bags to millionaires and billionaires.
- Could the Chinese solve the problem?
Well, now that you mention the Chinese …..
They know how to get things done fast and efficiently and they could turn the following into a gigantic PR operation to clean up their reputation.
The Chinese could solve one problem on their own: the existing ocean garbage patches.
They could remove the ocean plastic garbage patches in three years …. or maybe two.
They could mandate 250 containers ships and 5.000 workers, send them to the garbage patches and collect all the garbage with cranes and put the waste into open containers.
Send the ships full of waste containers to European and American harbours …. where they could literally drop them without any further questions.
Repeat until it’s done.
The deal would be the following; the Chinese pick up the waste and bring it to our harbours, and the Europeans and Americans deal with the waste.
Problems solved in two years time. No legislation needed. No political bla bla. No United Nation treaty. No Ellen MacArthur …. No fairy Tales ….
Problem 1 solved in two years time.
Thank you very much China, America and EU … See you to solve problem number 2.
My apologies to the Belgians, Dutch, Germans and Italians.
I didn’t mean to offend you.
I was using stereotypes for the purpose of making the readers laugh.
People should not be reduced to their nationalities.