Monday, November 7, 2011

Story of Broke and Welfare for Waste

On November 8th, Story of Stuff Project released a new web movie: The Story of Broke: Why There’s Still Plenty of Money to Build a Better Future.

Product Policy Institute has long talked about government subsidies for managing spent products and packaging as “welfare for waste,” enabling our throw-away society.  Extended Producer Responsibility policies aim to put the responsibility for managing manufactured discards where it belongs – on the producers and consumers of products, rather than on taxpayers and garbage ratepayers. 

Government subsidies for virgin materials extraction and waste disposal facilities are other forms of Welfare for Waste (see Welfare for Waste: How Federal Taxpayer Subsidies Waste Resources and Discourage Recycling, GRRN 1999).  And there are lots of other examples of mismanagement of the public purse for the benefit of polluting corporations.

The new web movie, The Story of Broke (for which PPI was an advisor), is about such damaging subsidies.  It explains a lot of what the Occupy Wall Street movement is protesting – as does another SOS movie, The Story of Citizens United v. FEC.

Read Annie Leonard’s blog:

“The concept for this new movie was born, quite frankly, of frustration.

“You and I both know that a better future is possible—that we can make Stuff in ways that are safe and healthy and fair. We know that clean energy and non-toxic chemicals exist. As a matter of fact, I just spent a few days with a group of Sustainability Engineers in Australia who know how to build everything from buildings to whole cities that conserve energy and water and reduce pollution, while also facilitating a strong community life.

“In fact, many better alternatives have been around for decades. Amory Lovins laid out a plan for a clean energy revolution when I was in grade school, which was more than a few years ago! Janine Benyus’s brilliant call for remaking our materials economy with biomimicry—technologies that mimic nature, rather than destroy it—was published a decade ago.

“So, why does today’s resource-consuming, pollution-spewing, toxic-laden dinosaur economy keep chugging on despite all the safer, cleaner, and cheaper alternatives?

               “One key reason is that we’re propping it up with our taxes, funneling billions of
              dollars more into this dinosaur economy than into the better alternatives.” 
              Read more…     View The Story of Broke.

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