5.3. 2:Human factors and pollution management

May 4th, 2013

Pollution management often depends on ‘buy-in’ from stake holders in the system. If the buy-in has associated costs then it becomes harder to persuade people of the benefits of pollution management. This applies also to Industry and Governments.

In many developing countries with limited infrastructures then even the removal of domestic waste can become a major issue. Societies awareness of the problem and cultural acceptances may also impact on pollution management. A plastic carrier bag with a designer logo may be seen as a status symbol in a LEDC, but but when it becomes time to dispose of the plastic the only answer may be to just throw it over a wall. “Out of sight out of mind”.

At a Government level, legislation on its own achieves little without enforcement of the legislation. Countries with rapidly growing economies based on high labour, low cost technology may be less likley to apply legislation strictly if that would increase the cost base. In MEDC’s, this pressure may come from individual corporate concerns through powerful lobbying within the policy making process.

Often the environment is seen as a free resource to be exploited economically. Where this is the prevailing attitude then additional costs from legislation and pollution control are difficult to achieve or to generate public support for.

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