Friday, 7 November 2014

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Ban Plastic Bags

This is from the ABC News on the Internet:

California lawmakers have approved a measure that would make the state the first to impose a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.

Senators who had previously opposed the bill, including incoming Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, this time supported the measure after protections were added for plastic bag manufacturers.

It includes $2 million in loans to help manufacturers shift to producing reusable bags and lets grocers charge 10 cents each for paper and reusable bags.

The bill had sparked one of the most contentious debates in the last weeks of the legislative session, with aggressive lobbying by environmentalists and bag manufacturers.

For years, a statewide plastic bag ban has been an elusive goal for lawmakers trying to reduce the buildup of plastic waste in oceans and waterways that costs millions of dollars to cleanup. About 100 local jurisdictions in California already have adopted similar bans, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.

We can do the same in Fiji by banning single use bags, and get the companies to  make bags that can be used again and again. And let's charge shoppers 10 cents for each plastic bag with the money collected to go into a fund to pay for environmental clean ups.

One thing I admire about the Gujarati shopkeepers is that they always have their cloth bags.They are way ahead of the rest of us.

By the way, if you go to the Vunato rubbish dump the most visible items there are plastic bags and bottles.

Government Vehicles

So some government vehicle drivers still think they are exempt from road rules.

I have some advice - each driver must have at least 10 years driving experience before he or she can  be given authorisation to drive a government vehicle. They must undergo a defensive driving course that they will pay for. They must have no previous record of accidents.

Each morning the driver together with the officer in-charge will inspect the vehicle for dents, when the driver returns in the afternoon the office in charge will inspect the  vehicle, and damages will be noted and if it is established that it was from neglect, the driver will pay for the repairs. No excuses.

Just compare our government vehicles with private company vehicles and you will see the difference. And just have a look at the Public Works Department yards all over Fiji  and you will see all the old vehicles that could have been looked after a little better but are now junks rotting away.

We need to put our foot down and take drastic measures, our tax is being wasted.

Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in Fiji. I thank Allen for permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.

1 comment:

  1. The drama of plastic bags and their relationship to saving the planet:
    There are "you have to start somewhere" and "every little bit counts" theories about protecting the environment. The 'plastic bag' issue is one of them. Its a catchy idea and as victims go this i a relatively easy one. Relatively. Plastic bags have also been banned in Hawaii and, present trends continuing, plastic bags may soon become museum items, things of the past. Plastic bottles are a major menace. Their days may also be numbered.

    But plastic bags and bottles are merely a minor distraction.

    The planet's major environment problem is fossil fuel burning--the single major cause of global climate change, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, ice cap melting, methane gas releases into the atmosphere, and the staggering 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Unless the fossil fuel burning issue is confronted we are headed for the Sixth Extinction.

    California, I might remind you and your readers, is the stage for many and famous environmental battles--some won, many lost. To name some: Hetch Hetchy, Mono Lake, Colorado Water issue over a hundred plus years. John Muir and Dave Brower are some of the celebrated citizen victims off some of the great environmental battles lost. Gray Brechin's book, Imperial San Francisco, the third chapter, is a singularly elegant piece on the devastating history of water in California..

    Fiji is slitting its own throat on environmental issues. Intergenerational equity is taking a beating. Fiji environmental laws are a joke. Fiji's water policies are also a joke. Time to wake up and smell the roses. Banning plastic bags might be a small symbolic beginning but it will not save Fiji's fragile, and increasingly endangered, island ecosystems.


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