There was something very bizarre about the recent figures from a PR bureau which claim that the Dutch are the least environment-conscious of the eight leading EU countries it polled.
The figures seem pretty indisputable, but don’t really fit. After all, this is a country with glass and paper collection points on every street corner and a ‘destruction charge’ on electrical goods to make sure they are disposed of in a green way.
By law, companies have to take away packaging when they deliver your new fridge or cooker.
Road-widening projects are constantly being held up because the impact on the environment has not been properly assessed. Soon you won’t be able to sell your house without giving the new owners a report on exactly how energy-efficient it is.
And shops may soon have to put lids on their chill cabinets to save energy. There are wind turbines all over the countryside and government schemes to encourage green energy investments are so successful they are always being cancelled because the money has all been spent. And petrol-guzzling cars are to be taxed more heavily.
In fact practically everything seems to have some sort of environment tax slapped on it. So why are the man and the woman on the street apparently the least green in Europe? Perhaps because the environment in the Netherlands is so over-regulated compared to everywhere else that a little bit of rebellion is sneaking in?
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