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The rs are categories at the top of our disposal options

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The rs are categories at the top of our disposal options

  1. 1. The Rs are categories at the top of our disposal options. They include a variety of initiatives fordisposing of discards. Generally, options lowest on the list are least desirable.Reduce - to buy less and use less. Incorporates common sense ideas like turning off the lights,rain barrels, and taking shorter showers, but also plays a partin composting/grasscycling (transportation energy is reduced), low-flow toilets, andprogrammable thermostats. Includes the terms Re-think, Precycle, Carpool, Efficient,and Environmental Footprint.Reuse - elements of the discarded item are used again. Initiatives include hand-me-downs, garage sales, quilting, travel mugs, and composting (nutrients). Includes theterms laundry, repair, regift, and upcycle.Recycle - discards are separated into materials that may be incorporated into new products.This is different from Reuse in that energy is used to change the physical properties of thematerial. Initiatives include Composting, Beverage Container Deposits and buying products witha high content of post-consumer material. Within recycling there is distinction between twotypes: Upcycle- converting low-value materials in high-value products (more desirable) Downcycle - converting valuable products into low-value raw materials (less desirable) Generate - capturing useful material for waste to energy programs. Includes Methane Collection, Gasification and Digestion, and the term Recover. Incinerate - high temperature destruction of material. Differs from Gasification in that oxygen is used; differs from burning in that high temperatures consume material efficiently and emissions are controlled. Devastate - to discard into the natural environment, or to "trash" the planet. Includes Litter, Burn Barrels, Unnecessary Vehicle Idling, and Dumping discards onto land or into water. Incentives for 3RThe promotion of waste minimisation has existed for decades, as evidenced by this paper department storebag which urged shoppers to reuse their bags as part of theWorld War II war effort The 3R’s of reduce, reuse and recycle have been considered to be a base of environmental awareness and a way of promoting ecological balance through conscious behaviour and choices. It is generally accepted that these patterns of behaviour and
  2. 2. consumer choices will lead to savings in materials and energy which will benefit theenvironment.In this context it may be enquired whether certain economic instruments may beconsidered to further strengthen these behaviours and choices. An example may be toreduce the sales tax or value added tax on goods that are made by recycling usedmaterials, such as paper, plastics, glass, metals. Another example may be to reducesales tax or value added tax on second-hand goods, which may include books, clothes,house-hold gadgets, bicycles, cars and automobiles, office equipment, medical andscientific equipment, telecommunication equipment, agricultural equipment, industrialand manufacturing equipment, boats, ships, trains and trams, aeroplanes, oil rigs, andso forth.An additional approach may be to reduce the interest rates on the financial loans, whichcompanies avail of, for their commercial activities in the recycling, re-use and resale ofused material and equipments.It is plausible that this may have a significant impact on consumer behaviour, and maystrengthen those sections of the economy and trade that are associated with suchgoods and services. Additionally, this would be consistent with supporting consumerbehaviour and choices that are beneficial for the environment and for the economy.

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