From my perspective, the Irish go to great lengths to deter certain activities. Massive ad campaigns featuring teenagers with mutilated faces to scare kids into not drinking and driving. Millions spent on supermarket shopping cart locks so that shoppers cannot get their one euro deposit back from the cart without returning it to one of the designated bays in the parking lot. Charging customers for plastic bags so they won't request them, thus decreasing waste.
But the most puzzling of them all is the recycling situation. The only way to get glass recycled is to drive it to a recycling center (see below), just like Americans used to do back in the 1960s and 1970s with old-fashioned soda pop bottles. For an island nation that is concerned enough about waste to charge a 22-cent levy on each plastic bag, you would think they would be focused on developing a more sophisticated recycling program. When we moved in, we were given no instructions from the building management company here about do handle our trash and recycling. It took me a good month to figure out that food waste is separated from all paper and plastic, but that's about the extent of it. We organize all our empty glass into a plastic trash can, which we had to purchase, and tote it to the recycling center once every two weeks. I am probably hurting the environment more by driving the car to the recycling center and buying a 12-gallon plastic trash bin that will reside on this planet in a landfill for the next 300 years than it would for the trash collection company to add glass recycling to its services and charge for it.
But I care about the planet, so I gladly drive my empty wine bottles to the gigantic plastic recycling receptacles, which will also be living in a landfill some day too. I hope all the young students at NUI, our local university, have the foresight to do the same.
I'm not saying any of these initiatives are bad. It's just frustrating that some countries don't realize that if you give consumers incentives to do something, they will do it. And if you provide them a service that adds convenience to their lives, they will pay for it - especially something that helps the environment.