Letters: Tackling rubbish

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The Independent Culture
Tackling rubbish

Sir: In the face of the yearly 25 million tonnes of domestic rubbish threatening to swamp us (report, 1 July) radical targets for national waste recycling and recovery will certainly have to be set and met. However, that is not the only way forward. Michael Meacher was closer to the mark when he called for "a major change in public attitudes to the creation of waste".

If the Government had the guts, for example, to confront the retail market with curbs, bans and taxes on the superfluous packaging, promotion and advertising of consumer goods, there would be less need for disposal or landfill taxes to pay for the recycling, recovery, incineration or burial of the resulting waste .

Such intervention might mean consumers having to collect "takeaways" in their own containers, but would deny shops the untaxed luxury of passing disposable advertising on to their customers. It might also spread the commendable practice of unpackaged bulk-buying into the supermarket chains.

ROGER WITHERS

Wye Valley, Monmouth

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