Plastic-Bag Charge in England Prompts Applause, Anger and Humor/塑膠袋收費 英格蘭的喜怒與幽默


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讀紐時學英文
2015/10/30 第90期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
 
 

紐時周報精選 Plastic-Bag Charge in England Prompts Applause, Anger and Humor/塑膠袋收費 英格蘭的喜怒與幽默


紐時周報精選
 

Plastic-Bag Charge in England Prompts Applause, Anger and Humor/塑膠袋收費 英格蘭的喜怒與幽默
By Dan Bilefsky
陳韋廷譯

Some critics predicted chaos, confusion and “bag rage." But while this week’s introduction of a 5 pence charge for plastic shopping bags in England did not lead to a nationwide mutiny, as some had warned, it did prove polarizing.

Environmentalists, for the most part, praised the government initiative introduced on Monday(Oct.5), saying it would reduce pollution and waste. After all, it can take 1,000 years for a plastic bag to decompose, according to an estimate by Nick Clegg, who was deputy prime minister at the time the step was announced. Last year, major supermarkets in England handed out roughly 7.6 billion single-use plastic bags, about 140 per person, the government has estimated.

一些批評者預言此事必會引發混亂、困惑及「袋怒症」。實則,英格蘭本周開始每個塑膠購物袋收取5便士並未出現全境性反彈,然而正如部分人士所警告的,它的確引起了兩極化的反應。

環保派多半讚揚政府周一(10月5日)推出的這個行動,表示這將使汙染和廢棄物減少。畢竟,據措施宣布時擔任英國副首相的尼克.克萊格估計,一個塑膠袋可能要長達1千年才能分解。政府估計,英格蘭主要超市去年約發出76億個一次性塑膠袋,平均每人約拿140個。

The government hopes the fee, equivalent to about 8 cents, will help reduce the cost of cleaning up garbage by 60 million pounds, or about $80 million, over the next decade.

Stores and supermarkets are being encouraged to donate the proceeds from the bag charge to charitable causes, and are expected to raise 730 million pounds for such endeavors.

政府希望,每個袋子收費約合8美分(台幣2.4元)的作法,能使未來10年的垃圾清理成本減少6千萬英鎊,約合8千萬美元(台幣24億元)。

當局鼓勵商店與超市將塑膠袋收入捐給慈善事業,如此預計可募得7.3億英鎊。

But critics of the new fee say it will stoke mayhem, given the long list of exemptions; shoppers can still get a free plastic bag if they are buying pet fish; raw fish, meat or poultry; unwrapped blades (including axes, knives and razor blades); takeout food; or loose seeds and flowers. There are also worries that customers might verbally abuse supermarket cashiers, and some retailers have provided members of their staff with training on how to cope with angry shoppers.

但批評新費用者說,一長串的豁免項目將引起混亂;若消費者購買寵物魚、生魚、肉或家禽、未包裝的刀片(包括斧頭、刀和刮鬍刀片)、外賣食物或零散的種子和花,仍可拿到免費塑膠袋。也有人擔心顧客會辱罵超市收銀員,有些零售業者已開始訓練員工如何應付憤怒的顧客。

Then there were worries that shoppers would throng the British capital’s already harried streets, clutching, for example, jars of tomato sauce. One man who didn’t want to pay for a plastic bag for a single item was seen walking down a street in North London holding a package of wrapped salmon. Yet another fear is that there will be a glut of eating at checkout counters as wily consumers try to scarf down food before paying for it.

然後令人憂心的是,消費者將把本已忙碌的英國首都街道擠滿,手上抓著罐裝番茄醬之類東西。有位老兄不想為單一物品付塑膠袋的錢,抱著一袋包裝好的鮭魚走在北倫敦街頭。另有件事讓人憂心,很多人會在結帳櫃檯吃將起來,精於盤算的消費者會試圖把食物吃掉再付帳。

That similar plastic-bag charges exist in the other parts of Britain — Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland — seems to not influence the critics. In Wales, use of plastic bags has dropped 79 percent since a 5 pence charge was put in effect in 2011.

The new rules in England apply to retailers with more than 250 full-time employees. Retailers that fail to properly enforce the measure can be fined up to 5,000 pounds.

英國其他地區(威爾斯、北愛爾蘭及蘇格蘭)都收取類似塑膠袋費,但批評者似乎並未因而降低音量。威爾斯2011年開始收取5便士至今,塑膠袋用量減少了79%。

英格蘭新規定適用於全職員工超過250人的零售業者,未適切執行者最高可罰5千英鎊。

Similar efforts to regulate plastic bag have been put in place across the world.

In 2002, Bangladesh became the first country to introduce a ban on thin plastic bags amid concerns that they were clogging drainage pipes and contributing to devastating flooding.

規範塑膠袋使用的類似努力已在全球各地實施。

孟加拉2002年成為第一個推出薄塑膠袋禁令的國家,因為擔心塑膠袋堵住排水管且造成毀滅性洪災。

In 2008, Rwanda banned plastic bags outright, helping to solidify its image as one of the most environmentally conscious nations in East Africa.

In the United States, many communities have regulated or even prohibited the bags. Since 2007, they have been banned in nearly 100 municipalities in California, including Los Angeles. In 2014, California banned stores from giving out free plastic bags. The law was to take effect in July, but after lobbying by opponents of the bill, including the bag industry, a referendum on whether to repeal the ban is planned for November 2016.

盧安達在2008年完全禁用塑膠袋,鞏固了它東非環保意識模範國的形象。

在美國,許多社區已規範或甚至禁用塑膠袋。2007年起,塑膠袋已在加州洛杉磯等近百城市禁用。加州2014年立法禁止商店發放免費塑膠袋,原定當年7月生效,但在包括塑膠袋產業在內的反對者遊說下,計畫於2016年11月就是否廢除禁令進行公投。

Only a tiny fraction of plastic bags are recycled, while many end up in kitchen cupboards, floating through the air or wasting away slowly in landfills. “Plastic bags end up everywhere — stashed in cupboards, floating down canals, littering our streets or killing wildlife," Friends of the Earth, a British environmental group, said in a statement welcoming the new measure.

However, the TaxPayers’ Alliance, an anti-tax group, said the new measure would burden families who are already struggling to get by.

只有極小部分塑膠袋被回收再利用,卻有許多最後待在廚房櫥櫃內、飄浮在空中,或在垃圾掩埋場慢慢腐爛。英國環保團體「地球之友」在歡迎這項新措施的聲明中說:「塑膠袋落得到處都是 — 藏身於櫥櫃內、飄流在運河中、散布在我們的街頭,或殺死了野生動物。」

然而,反稅團體「納稅人聯盟」說,新措施將使那些已在掙扎圖存的家庭負擔更重。

A 2013 study by the Washington-based National Center for Policy Analysis, which champions laissez-faire economics, argued that paper and reusable bags were worse for the environment than plastic bags when it came to energy and water use, and to greenhouse gas emissions. “Every type of grocery bag incurs environmental costs," wrote H. Sterling Burnett, the author of the study.

提倡自由放任經濟的華府美國國家政策分析中心在2013年的研究報告中主張,就能源和水的使用及溫室氣體排放而言,紙袋跟環保袋比塑膠袋更不環保。報告作者史特林.柏奈特寫道:「每種食品雜貨袋都有環境成本。」

Whatever the arguments, the rules have inspired a mix of applause, resentment, fear and no little humor. “Can England cope with the bag charge, or will there be a bagpocalypse?" Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett asked in the British daily The Guardian. “Plastic Bags Chaos Looms," read a headline in The Daily Mail. Chloe Metzger, a 21-year-old blogger and student, wrote on Twitter: “I understand the whole #plasticbags thing but it couldn’t be more annoying."

無論主張為何,新規定已引發多種反應,掌聲,怨恨,憂懼,還有不少的幽默。雷亞儂.露西.科斯雷在英國衛報上問道:「英格蘭能處理好塑膠袋收費嗎,或是將出現袋之末日?」每日郵報的標題則寫道:「塑膠袋亂局一觸即發。」21歲的學生部落客克羅伊.梅茲傑在推特上寫道:「我完全明白塑膠袋這檔事,但它讓人煩透了。」

 


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