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  • Writer's picturedavid Tanswell

Bricks and mortar stores are infinitely better for the environment

Traditional high streets are unfairly penalised by a heavy business rates burden, says Commercial Property Advisors (CPA).

As the UK prepares to host COP26, the vitally important climate summit, government should at last acknowledge the environmental damage baked into online retailing, for three main reasons.

Firstly, the failure to impose a digital sales tax puts online shopping at an unfair advantage, not least at a time when business rates are making their dreaded return. The trivial tax paid by multinational digital behemoths is a national disgrace. It guarantees that that the fleet of gas-guzzling HGVs, and the innumerable home deliverers, will continue to crowd our streets,

Secondly, online warehouses have been exposed as environmentally-unfriendly, an estimated 20% of returns being wilfully wasted, in the case of Amazon.

Thirdly, online firms appear to have no policies for recycling, or minimal packaging.

Besides being good for the Exchequer, and environmentally sensible, an online tax would help to regenerate our shops, and curb the excesses of business rates, which CPA is convinced will continue their upward trajectory, as the taper draws to a close.

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