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Customer perspective on individual taxes

The UK sustainable consumption action by the UK government, targets behavior groups and purchasing patterns together with a series of policy interventions in areas like; waste recycling, energy efficiency, and water usage. The promoting of sustainable consumption in specific products is being developed (OECD, 2008, p. 55). The UK recycles more than 19 per cent of its waste (from households), this is a small proportion compared to the EU.

Regarding the role of the government, key performance indicators of most government publications according to ‘a waste strategy for England and Wales,’ has shown that that the government is involved in sustainability as follows: • Giving incentives to local authorities to develop the recycling infrastructure. • Expanding the range of producer responsibility. • Eliminating barriers to recycling for by reviewing policies on manufacturing and purchasing standards. • Encouraging the growth of new markets for recycled materials. • Enforcement of the landfill tax…. (DCSAS,1997)

A number of charities have also shown support for the idea of promoting recycling especially in the flatted estates. Densely populated towns need to be more aware of environment changes. One of these NGOs is, Waste Watch. The organisation has considered that as a part of its scheme, to give financial incentives to tenants in the flats region where the scheme applies. However, the number of authorities applying the idea of financial incentives is still wanting. A recent study has indicated that, 17. 7% of local authorities in UK amend the financial incentives in their activities.

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The role of the Landfill tax The success of the landfill tax has been good since, the tax was able to reduce waste successful from about 98m tonnes in 1997-98 to around 72m tonnes in 2005-06, a 25% reduction (Defra, 2009). Other environmentalists have proposed that, the best way to present the tax policy is to introduce Tax on plastic bags. The Irish nation was the pioneer to apply the tax on plastic bags; the success of this tax has since been observed in the country, As a result of this double taxation occurring in Ireland, an increase number of Irish shoppers have opted to using their own bags.

Moreover, other studies have indicated that the double tax policy was helpful for Ireland even in times of recession (Guardian, 2009). Firm’s take on sustainability A good number of UK retailers are applying the ‘green’ concept. Their basic idea is to utilize the green concept to make the most use of resources through the use of recyclable materials. At the forefront of these retainers is TESCO. The supermarket is leading in the s application of the green concept (Financial Times highlights). TESCO’s goal is to reduce carrier bag use by 25% in 2 years.

What the company is doing is to discourage their customers from using their old carrier bags and to start using the ‘GREEN’ bags. By doing so, the customers are able to earn club card points for their participation in waste reduction. Another consideration is that of Sainsbury and their activism in turning green. The firm has successfully targeted the reduction in the use of carrier bags by 5%. That was the overall trailer in organisation to avoid being part of the environment issues. Most supermarkets are now offering “bags for life”, these are thicker and durable hence can be re-used for some time thereby reducing wastes.

Retailers can also stock items that have a high recyclable content, however most argue that they can only do so if there exists a market for that (Postpone 2005, p. 4). Tesco also reached another milestone in its quest for sustainability by completely diverting waste in the UK away from landfill. The Europe’s giant retailer generates more than 531,000 tons of waste yearly, the approximate weight of 75,000 double-decker buses. However, about 385,000 tons of the waste produced is recycled. TESCOs success comes by the firm’s utilization of technology.

That is why currently, Tesco has achieved its goal of diverting all its waste away from landfill (Times online 2008, para. 1). The supermarket is, for example, using its unsold meat to generate energy. Products past their sell-by date are sealed and frozen before being taken to one of 11 recycling service units at Tesco’s distribution centres. The meat is then moved in chilled containers to a biomass power plant run by a waste-management company. The waste is incinerated, heating the boilers that drive generator turbines.

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