Problems with Plastic

July 1, 2008

Earlier this year, China banned the free distribution of plastic bags in grocery stores et. al. I bet they are still producing and exporting them en masse though.

From the anecdotal information offered in a newsarticle some months back, we could certainly do with a little bit of public education on this front. Frankly, I don’t see why its important whether Jamaican people *want* to use biodegradable bags or not. The answer is simple: ban de scandal bag dem or make it very expensive for people to get and use. Eventually people will get the point, but this idea that people must want something before government etc. must make it available is really ass backward. Memba seh we neva dis ask fi di scandal bags dem fi come strangle we inna di the first place. It was introduced through the greedy money-grubbing private sector. I remember when we used to have to pay for the plastic bag when we go to buy things, especially at the market. Either that, or bring your own container. There was a lot less of the bags lying around and hanging from the trees because people were recycling more. Once it became cheap and profitable for the importers to get these bags they promptly flooded the island, and nobody, not even our esteem environmental protection body, cared or said a word about what damage was being done. It’s rather funny, in a sick, sad way, to see how little vision we have for ourselves and the future of this country, and to watch how some of us get giddy with excitement when we point out that we’re doing what other countries are doing. Of course, what is rarely disclosed is that those other countries to which we insist on comparing ourselves, are dealing with these environmental issues with far more thought, clarity and decisiveness on the part of the national leadership, not just to falla fashan in the heat of the moment. There has been some leadership from the private sector on this issue – some of our very own polluters turned conservationists, but certainly not from our politicians. Apparently, our elected peeps will only get on board when they are sure there is money to skim off the surface and put in dem pocket. And right now, according to Mr. Mahfood, there’s no money to be made in environmental protection – be it recycling, or whatever. Obviously a lie im a tell, but dem n’ah go know dat cau’ seh dem nuh read newspaper. That lack of vision problem raises its ugly head again.

To hear Gordon-Webley of the NWSMA, you would think these issues of pollution were just discovered yesterday. You would also not figure out that the very agency that she is in charge of has been actively polluting the ground water and large areas of land with its dumping practices for years! Small details these.

Now, gallon jugs have been remodeled to make them more compact. I still prefer getting milk in the bottle; plus, you can keep the bottles forever. Let’s see how long it take for Jamaica and the sweet drinks industry to figure this one out.

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