Great progress has been made in protecting the environment from ozone-depleting CFCs. Newport leads with the world’s biggest plant for dealing with end of life fridges. But how efficient are the plants?
Some are thought to be very poor in preventing the CFCs from contaminating the atmosphere. There are no enforceable schemes for ensuring high standards. The harsh reality is that theses compliance schemes are in fact beating the prices down relentlessly aided by the fact that poor fridge treatment operators are able to take economic advantage and reduce the charges payable for what should be a sound environmentally managed service. The bitter irony is that the lower the efficiency, the more competitive a fridge plant is in the market place.
Recovering CFCs is an expensive process. The higher the recovery the more expensive is a plant’s operating costs. £2 per fridge extra operating costs on average to do the job well – not a fortune is it over the lifetime of a fridge – 15 pence a year to protect the environment.
The compliance system is so inefficient that the best plants may close as the least efficient will continue with bargain prices. The result will increase pollution.
Protest by din
My window overlooks Whitehall and Parliament Square. The din of hundreds of revving motorbikes was deafening. I understand that it was an attempt to stop London traffic. They were escorted by police and stopped only for a couple of minutes at most.
There was an interview on London Regional in which a spokesman tried in vain to explain their grievance. He could not be heard above the racket from the bikes and the interview was cut short.
Gwent MPs expenses
The amount claimed by Gwent MPs was printed today. Only the headline totals were quoted. The details are fascinating. Labour’s Jess Morden is top, followed by David Davies, Don Touhig, Paul Murphy, me and Dai Davies.
The difference between the claims is interesting. Dai Davies has spent less because he does not use the Communications Allowance while David Davies spent a whopping £17,097. Mine was £7,000. Jessica Morden was tops with spending of her office of £27,000 because of staffing difficulties arising out of her pregnancy. The dreaded second homes allowance varied from £23,000 spent by David Davies and the £16,000 that I spent.
I have no idea what all this means, except that we all do our work in different way. Happily none of the Gwent MPs were among the UK high spenders. So that’s all right then.