Friday, May 04, 2007

Environment: an Overview

This article talks about the waste disposal system in Denmark. Gathering the whole population, building the domestic district-heating system to reduce energy consumption, Denmark has pitched in the solid waste reduction for more than thirty years, regardless of economic growth. Nowadays, Danish people have already set up a rooted concept of environmental protection. Danish companies are more active in the world due to an advantage of energy economization.

Shrinking costs leads to higher profits. In general, lower prices will arise from lower costs to attract more consumers, while companies are able to gain more benefits by the extra sales at the same time. In general, people believe that secondary industries can take the advantage of lower costs. However, there are some side effects created by the process of waste reduction.

The world does not always run straightforward. While a free market is usually controlled by economic factors, non-economic factors can potentially affect the market. Due to a negative connotation of the word “waste”, consumers often have a prejudice that the quality of virgin goods is much better than the quality of recycled substitutes despite that goods have the same functions. Furthermore, the vertical integration also supports virgin industries since a familiar work area avoids the process of “acclimation”. The manufacture is less willing to give up the advantage in their area (Franklin 20). Manufacturers would like to keep the control of raw materials rather than to get into recycled industries which might offer a higher profit.

By this notion, it is a paradox to the pollution problem. How can governments efficiently overcome the non-economic factors? Are governments able to find out the balance between environmental protection and development?

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