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British Law Raises Environmental Awareness Amongst Consumers And Companies

December 30, 2010: 11:39 AM EST

The drive to cut waste in Britain is gaining momentum as taxes for landfills are up almost 50% in the last two years to about $100 per ton and the European Union requirement to halve all trash sent to landfills comes close to its 2013 deadline. In 2003 and again in 2008, the British government passed legislation to curb the increasing amount of waste sent to landfills. Working with government agencies, companies have made changes to packaging such as reducing boxes and bows on candy. Consumers are also looking critically at the packages in stores as seen when the Lincolnshire County Council, which has seen annual complaints rise from 3 to 100, sued over packaging of luxury meat. The store later reduced the packaging by more than 50 percent. In contrast, the United States Environmental Protection Agency encourages waste reduction but has no federal regulations or taxes.

ELISABETH ROSENTHAL, "What’s Outside Counts, Too - British Law Spurs Scrutiny of Excess Packaging", The New York Times, December 30, 2010, © The New York Times Company
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