Over the past few years I’ve collected a fair amount of litter from the slopes of Jacob’s Ladder. In the main it’s plastic drink bottles.
When I first started picking them up I filled a couple of garbage bags. Since then I collect around a handful each week. There are others on The Ladder that do the same.
Taking these photos (click to enlarge) it struck me that each are a billboard for a big business. And those businesses don’t care about the harm they’re causing the environment so long as their brand is out there.
There’s a simple solution.
I propose charging drink manufacturers a branding fee if they want to place their brand on a container. It might be a modest fee of say 20 cents per drink. The alternative is simple. Use a standard size and generic branding.
If the drink manufacturer wanted to save the 20 cents they could sell their product in a standard size and shaped container. Imagine the cost saving there! All drink manufacturers could buy in bulk as all their drinks of a similar size – 33o ml, 600 ml, 1 litre, 2 litre – would come in exactly the same size and shaped plastic.
Branding would be done by all manufacturers using the same colour sticker with the same colour writing and the same type face. In other words, all drink labels would look exactly the same with only the letters and words changing.
Alternately they could pay the branding levy – which they’d no doubt pass on to the customer – or come up with some genuinely non-disposable alternative.
Will it happen? Probably not. But I’d vote for the person that had the guts to try.