Globalization is not a bad idea. In fact, free global trade (which the linked post argues does not currently exist) is a wonderful concept that would improve living conditions for the majority of earth’s inhabitants and is necessary for humans to survive. However, globalization creates oddities such as the below pictures.
Everything looks good, right? It’s just a City of Boston recycling bin, provided by the city to its residents so we may get our recyclables picked up once a week by the city. An overall good use of Bostonian tax dollars, right?
Well I thought so too, until today. Today is our trash and recycling pick-up day. Our recycling already got picked up so I went outside to bring the bins in and while doing so noticed a curious mark on the side of the bin.
I know it’s a bit blurry to see (taken with my iPhone) but the side of the recycling bin says “Made in Canada”. That’s right, the City of Boston’s recycling bins were made in Canada. Now, why is this use of foreign plastic bin makers such a big deal?
Well, for one think of the resources required to transport all these plastic bins from Canada to Boston. It’s ironic for a program designed to improve our environment to cause unnecessary pollution by using a faraway source for these bins.
Also, think of the economic benefit this bin manufacturing contract could have had to a plastic manufacture(s) here in Massachusetts. Even if the city government saved money by using the Canadian company, in the long run we lose money by it leaking out of our state economy and thus resulting in less jobs and less tax revenue.
All in all, it’s not the worst thing that the City of Boston has done but it doesn’t make sense why we didn’t use a company within the state to make these bins as it would have required less resources and thus been cheaper and more environmentally friendly.
Perhaps there’s something I’m unaware of behind the scenes that makes this situation logical. If any of you out there have additional facts about this story, please let me know via the comments for this post or by sending me an e-mail.