sumer choices in the market place will then penalize bad environmental processes and reward more cost-efficient environmental processes. Although cogent criticisms have been made of the applicability of market concepts in developing countries, Caribbean states have embraced them warmly. Environmental agencies have been specifically obligated to make use of current principles of environmental man- agement, including the "polluter pays" prin- ciple; the polluter should bear the cost of the measures to reduce pollution to ensure that the environment is in an acceptable state . The principle also requires the pol- luter to compensate citizens for the harm they suffer from pollution. Agencies have been encouraged to seek to incorporate imposition of product charges where the product manufacturing process or usage is a significant source of pollution. Also to be encouraged are adjustments of direct gov- ernment subsidies, or establishment of tax differentiation or tax incentives, to encour- age beneficial environmental activities or to ensure that pricing reflects environmental costs more adequately.
The economic instruments used in the Caribbean contexts are many and var- ied. They include emission/effluent/pollu- tion charges or taxes; user fees; product charges; deposit return schemes; adminis- tration charges; subsidies; tradable per- mits.
Emission/Effluent/Pollution Charges Or Taxes/Product Charges
These are essentially charges to use the environment and a direct applica- tion of the polluter pays principle. The charge is proportional to the level of pollu- tion discharged that is likely to result in intolerable harm to the environment. The development of emission standard is there- fore fundamental to the process; the charge may be formulated on a sliding scale to reflect an incentive to decrease
polluting discharges within or below speci- fied ranges. Environmental management legislation frequently specifies the obliga- tion to develop emission standards and cri- teria. Standards have been established to deal with sewerage and trade wastes, as well as for ambient water and air pollution. Noise emission standards are also being developed. Product charges provide an incentive or disincentive for a better or worse environment product and their impo- sition is mandated where the product man- ufacturing process or usage is a significant source of pollution.
User fees are normally imposed to recover the cost of providing a service. Typically fees are charged for collection of garbage , visit to parks, forests, and spe- cially protected areas, harvesting of marine and other resources, or viewing wild ani- mals and endangered species, such as whale watching; or on cruise ship tourists. No general attempt is made to link the use fee to any intrinsic value of the resource; more surprising is the failure even to charge what the market is willing to pay.
Deposit Return Schemes These schemes provide, on the
purchase of a product, for a charge for the packaging or product, which if returned, results in the refund of the charge. The region has a very good history of deposit return schemes for glass beverage bottles. Institution of legislative arrangement for the return of plastic "PET’ have not worked as well. In some jurisdictions this measure was reflective of protection of local indus- tries from foreign competition rather than any desire for waste management. A con- sequence was the lack of incentives to facilitate packaging and preparation of returned PET bottles for recycling. This resulted in the bottles being disposed of by retailers in landfills at a cost to society and