It’s time for our country to say ‘no’ to plastic

Friday June 29, 2018 Published in Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

While we have had to wait for the election results to be finalised, we’ve known for a couple of weeks that we will be having new ministers for environment and agriculture.

So hopefully there a new focus and direction as to how we can improve the impact of environment and agriculture ion our health, livelihood and the world at large, will be imminent. 

July is "No Plastic" month and it would be great if the powers that be could start drawing up plans like other Pacific nations are doing to totally eliminate all single use plastics in our country. 

Eight billion plastic straws are thrown away every day and they are ending up in our oceans, in our whales’ stomachs and up our turtles’ noses. We need to be leaders in stopping our own use of straws and plastic bags. We should be the leaders in these initiatives because they affect us directly as a little island surrounded by the large Pacific Ocean.  The Queen has just banned all single use plastic use from all her castles, just like that.  We could do the same, we don't need a big meeting or discussion about it, just make it a law starting now.  NO more single use plastic, full stop. 

Ways businesses can help.

Instead of charging 20c for the use of a plastic bag, CITC supermarket could perhaps look at refunding 20c for every bag you provide yourself.  This could be controlled with the happy "open" call they do for alcohol and special items to avoid discrepancies, and it would be more likely to encourage others to bring their own bag.

During July and beyond, perhaps CITC could operate like Pac ‘n’ Save in New Zealand, and only offer the option of cardboard boxes for people to put their groceries in.

We can't reduce plastic use if plastic is always on offer.  The local supermarket is also wrapping veges – while a petition against supermarkets who do this around the world has gone viral.  The call is for people to avoid food wrapped needlessly in plastic.

The plastic says “bio” something on it, but nevertheless it does not send the right message to the world to eliminate the use of plastic.

Bars, nightclubs, restaurants and cafes should not offer plastic straws anymore. Lots of them have begun not using them and they have no need to feel apologetic if anyone has to ask. Limiting plastic use is in our best interests.

We can't recycle or burn plastic straws and we have nowhere to bury them so let's just not use them or import them anymore.  Cocktails can be stirred with a wooden stick, or spoon. Adults don't need a straw to drink a gin and tonic. 

We can do this we can make a decision and be world leaders.

Vanuatu has, Palau has, so what are we waiting for? Action is needed now and it is a simple act we can all do, right now: Say no to plastic straws, bags, bottles and take out containers.

 Our world will be much better for it.

            Urth Healing

            (Name and address supplied)

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