Letters to the editor: Friday, August 11, 2017

Trish Haeusler, of Plastic Free Launceston, says 10 million new plastic bags are being used each day in Australia.
Trish Haeusler, of Plastic Free Launceston, says 10 million new plastic bags are being used each day in Australia.

Plastic waste

TEN MILLION new plastic bags are being used each day in Australia. Add to this an overwhelming number of single-use plastics such as takeaway food containers, straws, bottled water, coffee cups and the smaller plastic produce bags used in deli’s and green grocers. It therefore comes as no surprise that this wonder material of the 1950s, characterised by being lightweight, cheap to produce and easily disposable, has become the ubiquitous material in most items we use today.

It is the durability and long lasting feature of plastics (plastics do not bio-degrade but break down into smaller plastic pieces) that are now contributing to the global crisis of plastic contamination. A recent report, based on the first global analysis of all mass produced plastics, found that apart from being the dominant material now being made, plastics have reached a near permanent contamination of the natural environment. This finding becomes more relevant and worrying with recent media reports on the high concentrations of microplastics in marine sediments off the East Coast of Tasmania.

With the increased awareness of plastic waste provided through recent articles in The Examiner, promotion from the Launceston City Council and Harvest Market during Plastic Free July and the many businesses taking on the plastic free challenge, our community is responding by displaying a ground swell of support to move away from single-use plastics. 

Trish Haeusler, Plastic Free Launceston.

Needs Industry

IDENTIFYING needs industries seems unstoppable and definitely unaffordable with universities leading the charge. The need to employ more climate scientists is the latest. Trouble is they all require paying for and that ability left us some time ago.  

Our backs are against the wall economically so all we can do is be more ruthless in eliminating waste and in prioritising allocation of available funds while never forgetting we are and have been in debt for many years, and lastly and most importantly strenuously encourage the growing of the economic pie.

And don't blame the older generation for this predicament, at least they lived within their means. I shudder to think of the lack of respect our present children will have for those in control? 

Gordon Thurlow, Launceston.

The Lord’s Prayer

I FULLY concur with the Greens’ call to ban the Lord’s Prayer from being recited in the state parliament. Not because I am opposed to Christ, but because I have too much respect for Him, to have His words meaninglessly parroted by a group of people who in mock reverence pray, “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”, and then do their utmost to make sure that no such thing happens.

Greg Mansell, West Ulverstone.

Referendum

THERE are a  number of issues that all political parties would like to pursue but are frustrated by the constraints imposed by the Australian Federal Constitution. This document was put together by a group of privileged, conservative, white, Anglo-centric, Protestant males nearly 120 years ago.

The Australian Constitution is out of date. Attempts to change it in the overwhelming cases fail - no matter how much bipartisan support a motion receives or how demonstrably 'right' it may be. In fact, reticence is shown on such issues as giving recognition to the first Australians, because a possible negative vote would do more harm than a non-vote.

I would suggest that a referendum that addressed the existing unrealistic strictures for constitutional change would be the first step to many enlightened and long overdue changes to bring our rule book of government up to date and into the 21st Century where we all live.

Rod Fenner, Launceston.