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Perhaps someone should tell the Scottish Government that the research has already been done?

Summary:
There's nothing wrong with having a new idea of course, that's the very way in which civilisation advances. Yet it's also worth pointing out that many people have had new ideas over the years and millennia and those ideas have often even been tested. One of the points about civilisation being that it's, in one view, the manner in which we transmit to ourselves in the present and also the future which o those ideas work and which don't.That is, a useful thing to do with a new to you idea is to see if someone else did it first, then examine what the results of trying to implement that idea were?Scottish ministers have indicated their willingness to consider a tax on disposable coffee cups if there is evidence that such a move would reduce waste.A spokeswoman for the Scottish government said

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There's nothing wrong with having a new idea of course, that's the very way in which civilisation advances. Yet it's also worth pointing out that many people have had new ideas over the years and millennia and those ideas have often even been tested. One of the points about civilisation being that it's, in one view, the manner in which we transmit to ourselves in the present and also the future which o those ideas work and which don't.

That is, a useful thing to do with a new to you idea is to see if someone else did it first, then examine what the results of trying to implement that idea were?

Scottish ministers have indicated their willingness to consider a tax on disposable coffee cups if there is evidence that such a move would reduce waste.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish government said that ministers were keen to embrace “innovative ideas” to tackle waste and this could include a 5p levy on every disposable coffee cup bought in Scotland.

A coffee-cup tax is likely to be debated at the SNP conference this year. If it is supported, the Scottish government would be expected to take the idea on to see if it would work.

This has in fact been tested. As explained here.

Idiocy may not be a word contained within the report, but the research found that a charge of 25p per cup only gets a few per cent of people to take a reusable one. The vast majority of people shrug and take the standard ones which, after that 20 minutes of use, pile up in a landfill site. 

If 25p doesn't cut it then 5p isn't going to either, is it? 

Note that this is entirely different from the underlying point, which is that recycling coffee cups costs more than any benefit gained from the recycling, meaning that we shouldn't be doing it. This is the more brutal point that we've tested 5p and it doesn't work. We've tested it recently, on the current British population, and it doesn't work.

Therefore, obviously, we shouldn't do it.

Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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