Nappies. Do you use reusable or disposable?
Everyone has a view as to which one to use. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages.
Reusable – Con: messy, separate washing Pro: reused, no chemicals, air dry, cheap
Disposable – Con: landfill, chemicals, messy, cost Pro: simple, very absorbent
From the council’s point of view they see disposable nappies as evil. This is because they end up in land fill, and anything that goes into land fill costs because of EU taxes. So they want to ban disposables.
However they can’t because it’s difficult to ban a legal product. They could change the law to require nappies to be reusable, but reusable ones still get thrown away – eventually. They could change the law to make disposables illegal – but they would easily be shown for being stupid.
So they go for the easy target. The consumer, the one who doesn’t complain (much). The one who doesn’t have access to loads of publicity and money to fund campaigns. By going down this route, they can change things very quietly and surreptitiously.
Well not so quietly. One thing that state is very good at is propaganda. So they use campaigns and adverts and coerce single issue organisations into helping them out. The government was doing this since the early 1990s saying that disposables where the answer to Warble Gloming, though it saw the light in 2007 after a report indicated that disposables weren’t that bad. Councils however don’t seem to have seen this report. Either that or they are more interested in spending tax payers money on useless things. I know which one my money is on.
So the tells us that that we should be reusing nappies. And to help persuade us it says that it will even provide a cheap service to collect dirty nappies, wash them and return them.
So why don’t they just go to the source of the problem. The manufacturer. Why don’t they persuade the manufacturer to change their ways? Because it’s too hard and the companies like P&G (makers of Pampers) have loads of legal clout to stop the council (and even government) from stopping them making legal products.
As to how such banning works, I’ll take takeaways as an example.
First off the perceived problems. Takeaways cause a lot of mess and which requires council cleaners to clean up. Takeaways cause obesity and subsequent health problems which requires the NHS to pick up the bill.
Note that these are perceived not actually scientifically proven facts. The public don’t have the time to digest scientific reports and understand them. Half truths like the ones I mentioned in my NO2EU article are what should be used.
Now you’ve created the problem, you need to implement the solution. Now a logical solution would be to ban takeaways. But it’s legal to sell food so it would be a nightmare to try and come with a law to ban just takeaways. Councils will use a simple solution, not necessarily an effective one – that comes later. So they will start by using planning laws to stop takeaways from clustering together. And they will impose conditions on takeaways such as requiring them to provide bins and empty them with draconian fines if such conditions are broken.
Then they will use by laws to stop people eating takeaways except in the immediate vicinity of the takeaway or in a private place. The next target would be make it socially unacceptable to eat whilst walking. It might take some time but it can be surprisingly quick, just see how quickly it’s starting to become socially unacceptable to smoke with alcohol the next target. They can then work on restricting the area in which takeaways can be eaten till it becomes pointless to take food away unless to your home. And then the next target would be to have by laws banning the carrying of hot food because the smell could cause offence to others.
Many takeaways will be forced to close from the down turn in their customers. So you end up with very few takeaway shops and the problem has disappeared. Job done. A bit longer and more expensive than just banning takeaways but councils want to employ loads of Takeaway Officer Staff and Enforcement ReporterS so to them it’s the best solution.