The Obscenity of Subsidising Recycling

Was browsing the BBC, and came across this gem.

11. I buy these little beauties for a quite different reason. The floppy disk costs an average of £3.66 for 200, however they have a resale value of £5.50 at any good computer recycling centre, so I buy them in bulk and simply sell them directly at a profit. Take that, Bill Gates.
Cynthia, Tamworth

How on earth do we get to the point where recycled materials are worth more than the original? She doesn’t say, but I’m almost certain that this is almost certainly caused by government subsidies to encourage recycling.

So instead of recycling wasting fewer resources, it actually wastes more by encouraging people to purchase simply so they can throw away and take the profit.

(Unsurprisingly, many of the legitimate uses of floppy disks boil down to legacy systems. Hardly surprising – ATMs and aircraft and aren’t replaced at the same rate as PCs.)

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