Re­us­able shop­ping bags cheap and should last for years

Hawke's Bay Today - - Opinion -

"The is­sue with re­us­able shop­ping bags is to change the con­sumer habit and have the shop­ping bags al­ways with you." Wal­ter Breust­edt

I to­tally dis­agree with the ar­ti­cle “Plas­tic bag ban could hit NZ’s poor­est” (HBTo­day Jan­uary 8).

The Min­is­ter for the En­vi­ron­ment pub­lished in the im­pact as­sess­ment of the ban: “Con­sumers to pay up­front for new multi-use shop­ping bags could dis­pro­por­tion­ately af­fect low in­come con­sumers.”

What a non­sense! If we con­tinue pro­duc­ing waste which will end up in land­fills, the coun­cils have to find new ar­eas for ex­tend­ing land­fills and main­te­nance costs will in­crease too. The con­se­quence will end in higher an­nual rates. These costs will be an im­pact on the “poor” the hard­est, be­cause they are an­nual costs.

We have in our house­hold sev­eral cot­ton shop­ping bags, which we used for sev­eral years. They are sold for $1 each (e.g. at The Ware­house). How hard is this for a low in­come house­hold to spend $3 for three shop­ping bags us­able for at least three years?

Many shop at Pak’nSave, which was sell­ing un­til De­cem­ber the plas­tic bags for 10 cents each. If cus­tomers had to buy three yel­low plas­tic bags per week, they spend $15.60 per year — most of this amount will now be saved.

The is­sue with re­us­able shop­ping bags is to change the con­sumer habit and have the shop­ping bags al­ways with you.

It will take some time. The su­per­mar­kets al­ready re­mind their con­sumers in the carparks “bring your bag”. The Min­istry for the En­vi­ron­ment should spend more money on con­sumer in­for­ma­tion about waste re­duc­tion in­stead of re­ports with such mis­lead­ing state­ments. Wal­ter Breust­edt

Have­lock North

Liv­ing with autism

I’m writ­ing this let­ter in re­gards to the lovely lady and her autis­tic son. Hang in there you are do­ing well — from a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence my­self my heart goes out to you. I have an autis­tic son who is 32 years old now and will al­ways live with me, his level is of a lit­tle child.

Life can be very try­ing but we love them any­way. Some peo­ple out there have been fan­tas­tic over the years and oth­ers not so much.

I find the older gen­er­a­tion to be ruder at the best of times. Let the neigh­bour call the po­lice as they are re­ally good and quite un­der­stand­ing in my very few mo­ments with them any­way.

Loud noises like fire­crack­ers, cars, mo­tor­bikes even noises you wouldn’t be­lieve can ef­fect an autis­tic child. I bought my son ear muffs to help block out some of the noises, and that set­tles him quite well and he has games to keep him happy.

I was in the su­per­mar­ket a year ago with my son and an older man came up to me and said, “They should put peo­ple down like that there’s no place for them here”, and shook his head.

I po­litely told him he was com­ment­ing on my son who I loved very much and I got our gro­ceries and left. We have to put up with a lot of rude peo­ple that don’t care or try to un­der­stand.

The younger gen­er­a­tion are a lot more un­der­stand­ing and usu­ally they just smile.

Good luck and hang in there, and I hope that you get all the help you need. Maybe your neigh­bour should pitch in and buy you a lit­tle farm, or maybe the Lotto out­fit should as a ges­ture of kind­ness.

S. Keil Hast­ings

Te Mata Peak track

I am from the UK, re­vis­it­ing Hawke’s Bay. About this time last year I en­joyed walk­ing on your beau­ti­fully con­structed track up Te Mata Peak, us­ing this valu­able pub­lic amenity along with thou­sands of other peo­ple.

This year I vis­ited the sum­mit by car. I ob­served, with­out binoc­u­lars, some rather ugly dam­age to the lower part of the walk­ing track. My­self and other vis­i­tors as­sumed this to be from van­dal­ism, which we have al­ways thought rare in New Zealand.

I hope this dam­age can be re­paired soon and that the cul­prits will be brought to court.

Whilst I sym­pa­thise with the res­i­dents of Hawke’s Bay (we have our share of this kind of thing at home) I did not no­tice any dam­age to the tracks lead­ing from the carpark on the other side, so can only hope this is an iso­lated in­ci­dent.

Martin Cow­ley


Wa­ter ca­pac­ity

Sim­ply telling res­i­dents to “con­serve wa­ter” won’t do — it is last cen­tury’s think­ing. (HBT, Jan­uary 5 )

Clearly we don’t have enough ca­pac­ity and Napier City Coun­cil needs to start drilling new bores.

With the rapid growth in sum­mer tourism cou­pled with re­cent pop­u­la­tion growth in Napier it’s no won­der the city’s wa­ter sup­plies can’t cope.

How are we to con­serve wa­ter at the same time as clear­ing the pipes?

Chlo­rine is a pow­er­ful ox­i­dis­ing agent. Since NCC started chlo­ri­nat­ing our wa­ter sup­plies two years ago many house­holds have on­go­ing prob­lems of dis­coloured wa­ter with ex­ces­sive man­ganese stripped out of the pipes.

The coun­cil’s ad­vice has been to run the tap for 20 min­utes un­til the wa­ter clears.

Napier City Coun­cil could solve the prob­lem by sim­ply re­mov­ing the chlo­rine dis­in­fec­tant from the pipe net­work. We don’t need per­ma­nent chlo­ri­na­tion. In the last five years tests for E.coli have demon­strated no need for chlo­ri­na­tion, es­pe­cially as E. coli re­sults “were on the edge of de­tec­tion” ac­cord­ing to Napier City Coun­cil staff — in other words no proof of any con­tam­i­na­tion.

Napier nearly ran out of wa­ter when two cruise ships vis­ited on De­cem­ber 6, 2017, fill­ing up with fresh wa­ter dur­ing a drought while the new reser­voir in Taradale was out of op­er­a­tion be­cause the roof leaked.

This should have been a warn­ing to NCC to stop pro­cras­ti­nat­ing and get its house in or­der. Start drilling.

Pauline Doyle Spokes­woman, Guardians of the Aquifer

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