Bag­ging plas­tic

Nelson Mail - - COMMENT&OPINION -

My name is Deb­ora, I’m a 35-yearold bi­ol­o­gist from Brazil. I have been trav­el­ling through New Zealand for three weeks. It’s re­ally an amaz­ing coun­try, with such beau­ti­ful places, very friendly peo­ple ev­ery­where and just a real nice at­mos­phere. I al­ways heard that New Zealand was a very clean, green coun­try that cared for the en­vi­ron­ment.

I was sur­prised to see that the su­per­mar­kets still give out plas­tic bags. They not only of­fer it, they ac­tu­ally just put your things in the plas­tic bags with­out even giv­ing you an op­tion.

I was very sur­prised be­cause even in Brazil, a third world coun­try, this prac­tice has been abol­ished.

The so­lu­tion is so sim­ple; you charge a small amount for each plas­tic bag. This mo­ti­vates peo­ple to bring their own bags from home. Easy, sim­ple, no costs, and such a ben­e­fi­cial ac­tion for the en­vi­ron­ment. the sea flood­ing the road, as it was in parts of the city. Rather it was closed due to waves com­ing onto the road. Had a ro­bust es­planade been in place around there, it could have stopped the waves com­ing onto the road; it wouldn’t have had to be closed.

Rocks Rd is ac­tu­ally higher than the North­ern end of the South­ern Link route which is marked on plan­ning maps as an in­un­da­tion zone. And the Link route was blocked in four places in De­cem­ber 2011, when Rocks Rd was closed due to slips. What­ever else the Link may be, a re­silient al­ter­na­tive it is not.

Eric, we agree sea level rise will pose a lot of hard ques­tions, but as a pre­vi­ous head traf­fic engi­neer­ing at NCC ad­mit­ted, by the time Rocks Rd is in­un­dated, so will parts of Atawhai and Whakatu Drive. Are we to aban­don all these routes or are we go­ing to raise them as the seas rise? warm­ing cli­mate re­sult­ing from cli­mate change which will lead to storms of greater in­ten­sity oc­cur­ring at ever shorter in­ter­vals; and a trans­port sys­tem hav­ing dif­fi­cul­ties cop­ing with ever in­creas­ing traf­fic vol­umes. Cen­tral to both is the lack of a price on car­bon. This would pro­vide a real in­cen­tive for us to re­duce our green­house gas emis­sions at the same time as en­cour­ag­ing us to find al­ter­na­tives to the pri­vate mo­tor ve­hi­cle. in­ves­ti­gated as to its fea­si­bil­ity. It seems they have ig­nored ad­vise from en­gi­neers who have spo­ken out against the dam. Nor have they ac­cu­rately por­trayed to the pub­lic its cost, but they ex­pect us to foot the bill, and the over­run on costs. This is not good lo­cal gov­ern­ing.

The grow­ers on the plains say they need the dam. Our friend is a small grower. He had to build a dam on the flats and line it with plas­tic. He fills it in the rainy sea­son so that he has wa­ter when it’s dry.

How about these grow­ers be re­spon­si­ble for their own prof­its, as well? Build their own dams. We don’t need cor­po­rate wel­fare.

TDC also pro­poses a new pu­ri­fy­ing sys­tem for the Dovedale Scheme. Ex­pected cost is $3.2 mil­lion. It ser­vices only 450 peo­ple. As­sum­ing an av­er­age house­hold of three peo­ple, the TDC could buy 150 wa­ter tanks and pu­ri­fiers and in­stall them for $750,000, a much cheaper op­tion.

Dis­trict wide, all new hous­ing should be re­quired to have aux­il­iary rain wa­ter sys­tems. A 25,000 litre tank and a pu­ri­fy­ing sys­tem can be in­stalled for less than $5000. Why not catch what na­ture gives freely, and re­lieve the strain on the pub­lic sys­tem?

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