The news that Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, is planning to introduce new laws which could result in fines of up to £1,000 for households who fall foul of proposed refuse sorting guidelines, presumably being policed by inspectors, regrettably immediately reminded me of George Orwell’s 1984. Having recently re-read the book I am perhaps a little biased, but central government meddling in the intricate details of peoples lives is a central theme. This is, on the face of it, is what Mr Benn is advocating.
Clearly, something needs to be done to reduce the estimated 55% of household refuse which ends up in landfill, but imposing sanctions from upon high for those who don’t adhere to the rules is not the answer.
Alternatives such as encouraging food manufacturers to use more bio-degradable packaging or councils incentivising people to reduce their refuse quantity through tax breaks are surely preferable to increased snooping from central government.