Verbieden of belasten

Keer op keer speelt in het milieu-domein de vraag of bepaald gedrag verboden zou moeten worden. Daarnaast is er ook altijd de vraag of iets niet belast zou moeten worden. Een aantal elementen die spelen in het kiezen voor één van beide wegen, worden op een aardige manier behandeld in een essay van de hand van Michael Maniates over ‘choice editing’.

“Choice editing has been with us a great long while, and it is here to stay. If that seems far-fetched, just bring an especially critical eye to the layout of products and displays in a supermarket. Which products draw customers eyes? Which are easily reached? The question now is this: Will a primary focus on the promise of product labeling alone (and underlying notions of consumer sovereignty) continue to shape policy for sustainable consumption? Or will more-realistic assessments emerge about how and why people make consumer choices? Government and business, operating from a view that mass consumption means mass pros- perity, have tightly held the reins of choice editing for too long. Now is the time for a more nuanced, more sustainable vision of choice and choice architecture to prevail.”

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