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N Touch
Thursday 14 December 2017
Letters to the Editor

Wake up to the plastic hazard facing country

THE EDITOR: I commend Rosanna Farmer for the magnificent work she has done and is doing for the recycling industry in this country, particularly where the disposal of plastic waste including bottles is concerned.

We must understand that these items are not biodegradable like paper and raw food material and would pose an extreme health hazard for the country and by extension the world environment.

I also want the Government and all those in authority to hear Farmer’s cries for the continuation and maintenance of the Plastikeep project.

We need to take a serious look at our use or non-use of plastic products, in particular plastic bags.

Here are some countries that have banned/outlawed the use of plastic bags:

Italy, since 2011, has banned the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags — about 25 billion a year.

Rwanda has one of the cleanest cities in Africa, according to reliable reports. Plastic bags have been banned for several years. One cannot enter the country with a plastic bag.

United Arab Emirates banned their use in 2012. Dead camels have been found with lumps of plastic in their stomachs weighing up to 30 kilograms — the equivalent of 4,000 plastic bags — according to the UAE’s Ministry of Environment and Water.

Other countries which are considering to ban or limit the use of plastic bags include the US, India (already banned but not fully enforced), Eastern Europe states, Mexico City and Australia.

So what are we waiting for in TT? Dead turtles in our waters have been found with plastic bags in their stomachs as they were mistaken for jelly fish — food for turtles.

One cannot help but re-emphasise the value of a recycling culture. A heightened awareness of our environment would be achieved if we promote a habit and a culture to separate plastic and bottles from our waste. This system must be encouraged and legislated by the powers that be.

Hopefully, if this is implemented then social awareness would be developed by the young and adult and we would stop this nasty behaviour we have of throwing our litter (plastic cups, bags, bottles, boxes etc) on the sidewalks and verges of roadways.

Wake up TT and stop the petty politics and let us pay some attention to our environment. After all, we live here.

DAVID JV RAGOONATH via e-mail

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