Environmental back-down worth a bagging

BAG MOVE: Reader Stephen Dewar argues the Coles decision to delay its plastic bag transition is a betrayal of customer support for the decision to eschew them originally. COLES haddecided to not return to its original decision to ban single use plastic bags and to continue to hand out free plastic bags (“Coles in backflip on bags”, Herald 2/8). Many people applauded Coles’ original decision,but this is a betrayal of customers’ hopes to cut down on the billions of plastic bags polluting our environment each year in Australia.Unlike many other countries where single use plastic bags are totally banned, Coles’ actions originally were a great first step in cutting down on the number of the bags. I believe 85% of people supported Coles and people were getting quite used to bringing their own bags to avoid the cost of buying multiple bags.

Shame on Coles for caving in to a very small minority who can’t adapt to change, which was in fact a change back to behaviour of the past that didn’t waste resources or trash our environment. Sorry, Coles,not good enough.I, and many acquaintances, won’t shop in your store until your bag ban is reinstated.

Stephen Dewar,TorontoA HEARTY PORT WELCOMEI WELCOME the appointment of Craig Carmody as the new CEO at the Port of Newcastle and his plans to pursue the construction of a container terminal in the city.

The government should never have been able to apply an anti-competitive cap on container movements at the Port of Newcastle.I have been pursuing this issue for the past four years. I have asked over 80 questions in NSW Parliament on this issue, met with the ACCC who are investigating this Port lease and relentlessly called out this restrictive contract for what it is – a handbrake on the local economy.

I am pleased that their vision aligns with mine.Acontainer terminal would deliver jobs,providea boost to the economy and offer savings to businesses who are currently forced to use a port in another city and suffer the higher freight cost that comes with it.There is a great need to diversify the Port and the employment that this will bring over the next 94 years.

Tim Crakanthorp, Newcastle MPVOTERS CHILLED BY‘KILL BILL’I THINK the Kill Bill campaign trumpeted by the Coalition and their media backerswas the result of at least five minutes of ‘careful’ planning in the lead-up to the weekend by elections. The Coalition poured all their resources into this simplistic Abbott style soundbite and were miserably disappointed with the result (“Turnbull to have ‘humble’ rethink”, Herald 30/7).

By the way, the Coalition is the party charged with running our nation but this pathetic by-election catch cry was their best effort. It was a spectacular fizzer.

Not surprisingly, many LNP MPs are feeling nervous about the massive swing against the Coalition in Longman and the implications for the federal election result in Queensland.Maybe a little effort on the part of the Coalition could have helped their campaign. Instead of taking their usual negative approach, the LNP could have seen past the history of by elections and adopted a truthful, positive style – but this is completely alien to their conservative natures.

Mr Turnbull said this was a contest to show who had the best policies and the people of Longman, once a LNP stronghold, sent a clear ‘Murder Malcolm’ message to the government.

Dylan Tibbitts, Raymond TerraceSTRAWS ARE NOFINAL STEPTHE WAR on straws seems to be going well, with McDonald’s announcing that they will phase out the use of plastic straws by 2020. But, if you are concerned with keeping animals in the ocean safe, don’t just look to your drinking straw—look to your dinner plate. In fact, eating fish does far more harm to our oceans than sipping your drink through a straw ever will.

Abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear — otherwise known as ‘ghost gear’ — is a problem that spells catastrophe for marine life. At least 640,000 tonnes of ghost gear are added to our oceans every year, killing and mutilating millions of marine animalsincluding endangered whales, seals and turtles.

Swallowing plastic remnants from ghost gear leads to malnutrition, digestive blockages and death in these creatures.

In the Pacific Ocean, there is a floating patch of garbage twice the size of France and weighing roughly 88,000 tons. While this enormous area, like our oceans at large, is full of plastic, scientists estimate that 46 percent of the mass of the garbage patch comes from fishing nets alone. And other types of fishing gear account for much of the rest.

So, while many people are stocking up on cloth shopping bags and signing petitions to ban single-use plastic straws to save the oceans, those who fish (or eat fish) need to re-examine their personal choices too. It’s simple: Less fishing means less fishing gear—abandoned or otherwise.

Clearly, fishing is hazardous to the environment. But it’s also horrifically cruel. Commercial fishing kills hundreds of billions of animals worldwide every year—far more than any other industry.

Fish are intelligent, complex animals but, when caught, they are impaled, crushed, suffocated, or cut open and gutted, all while conscious.

You can’t eat fish and call yourself an environmentalist.

Desmond Bellamy, PETA Australia special projects co-ordinatorPATH FORWARD ISN’T SHAREDREGARDING John Matthews (Letters 2/8):John thinks the rules of shared paths are the same as roads for walking towards oncoming traffic.

He is right about the road. The road way is shared with vehicles, and so cars and pushbikes must travel on the left and they must have lights at night whilepedestrians must walk on the footpath or on the other side of the road.

One reason for not walking on the left side of roads is walkers have no lights and motorists might crash into you (not injuring the motorist),so the shared paths are similar:they are shared for walkers and cyclists, and the Lake Macquarierecommended speed is 10km/haround walkers.

If a cyclist crashes into a person walking, both will get hurt.It is different from a motorist, whowould not get hurt. The real problem is there should not be shared paths.

They should all be world’s best practice separated walking paths and cycling paths to meet our city’s vision. Direct from Newcastlecouncil’s 2030 vision comes:“Walking, cycling and public transport will be viable options for the majority of our trips”.

It reduces congestion and makes main roads faster, a win-win. Cycling(includingcovered cargo electric assist bikes) isuseful, and mostother excuses of not cycling are solvable. We must bust the transport myths that 99% of people are confused about.

Dan Endicott,IslingtonSHARE YOUR OPINIONEmail [email protected]出售老域名.au or send a text message to 0427 154 176 (include name and suburb). Letters should be fewer than 200 words. Short Takes should be fewer than 50 words. Correspondence may be edited and reproduced in any form.

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