Join the dots: Sugar and plastic legacies

Meathman Michael Sheridan, 32, was, he says, addicted to fizzy drinks.

Join the dots: Sugar and plastic legacies

Meathman Michael Sheridan, 32, was, he says, addicted to fizzy drinks.

Because of their very high sugar content, his teeth rotted and 27 of them had to be removed, so he could, with the help of a dentist friend, resume normal eating and hope to lead a fuller, more normal, healthier life.

Sheridan’s fizzy drinks story brings two of today’s issues to the fore — the almost inevitable consequence of a poor diet is one and our unending, destructive consumption of plastic bottles is the other.

Figures published in June suggest that nearly 40m plastic bottles are sold in the UK each day; less than half are recycled.

Though responsibility for these issues is primarily personal, government has a huge role to play, too. It seems at best contradictory that we levy plastic shopping bags, but do not challenge plastic bottles in the same way.

We tax tobacco products to protect citizens’ health, but not sugar. Maybe we need consistency.

It’s time we joined the dots and were far more assertive with businesses that sell products which undermine health and destroy the environment.

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