Behavioural Economics

When I visit Germany, one of the things I admire about the country is of course, it’s stunning forests and natural beauty, but also the fact it’s left so untarnished by human litter.

The same cannot be said for the U.K. and the act of littering is something I’ve always despised and have vowed never to do myself.

Unfortunately though, the culture appears to be riddled with apathy or even worse, a false sense of pride in leaving crap everywhere and anywhere. Over 2 million pieces of litter are dropped in the U.K. every single day.

I walk up and around the mountainside regularly, and cycle the trail to Cardiff and I find it hard to recall any time I don’t see litter at all in what is otherwise, an ultimately beautiful part of the world.

Nature is suffering and all for the sake of human laziness and stupidity.

Pleas, making a post on social media post, the aggressive posters threatening to fine you, don’t seem to do the trick either.

And part of problem is people don’t like being told what to do.

But there are ways to tackle this.

One thing that Germany has that the U.K. doesn’t is machines in supermarkets which allow to recycle bottles and in return receive a small receipt to spend on groceries.

You even spot a few folk going out of their way with bags of bottles they’ve picked up to cash in!

This is one simple solution that involves behavioural economics. A way to incentivise not littering. Something that can and should be implemented.

The issue is of course massive and challenging and my respect to those working hard to fight against it.

In the meantime, we should all ask ourselves what kind of place we want to live in. South Wales deserves more than us fly tipping and throwing cigarettes out of the car window.

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