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EDITORIAL: Let’s follow BICO’s lead


EDITORIAL: Let’s follow BICO’s lead

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THE NATIONAL EFFORT at cleaning the environment received a boost last week with the announcement that Bico Limited had introduced fully compostable food and beverage containers to food service businesses.

Given the now ubiquitous styrofoam containers in use, this introduction will go a long way in helping to minimise, if not eliminate the unsightly collection of styrofoam containers discarded all over the landscape after they have served whatever purposes for which they were acquired.

This local company must be commended for what is clearly an act of corporate social responsibility. The containers currently in use create an environmental hazard in that they are not biodegradable and, once used and wantonly discarded, they add to the tons of waste which eventually inhabit the landfills.

But the introduction of these containers reminds us of the value of recycling, and Mr Kammie Holder, director of the Future Centre Trust, commented on this issue when addressing the media launch of the new containers.

His view is that recycling must be placed on the statute books. Pointing out that we cannot continue to dump thousands of waste in our landfills since the island could not sustain it, he called for recycling legislation and urged other companies to get on board with such initiatives.

There can be little doubt that recycling initiatives promoted by the corporate investors is part of the answer, but at the personal level, each of us must become more interested in preserving the environment.

Cleanliness is said to be next to godliness and the cultural habits and urgings of past times that we should keep our surroundings tidy could be a good starting point.

There are still too many plastic bags on our pastures and streets blowing merrily along in the wind until they are caught in a tree or some other arresting object. With the vast majority of supermarket products prewrapped, we could easily discard the use of plastic bags as carriers and return to the old habit of carrying our purchases in our own durable bags brought from home.

We must also stop littering our homes, schools and streets and should regard even every sweet wrapper dropped on the streets as a potential hazard since every rubbish dump starts with the first piece of litter. Tiny acorns can indeed become mighty oaks.

If we are to clean up our environment we must not stop at the proper disposal of our garbage. The very air we breathe must also benefit from improved and enhanced environmental practices. There is still too much burning of rubbish, generating noxious fumes and making life difficult for people, but especially those who suffer from respiratory problems. 

This habit, now practised mainly on weekends, has been the subject of many complaints on call-in programmes and the occasional letter in the newspapers. It can easily become a major threat to the integrity of our environment as will the spewing of thick black smoke from the ill maintained engines of motor vehicles on our streets.

Taking care of the environment is a complete exercise. Properly disposing of our garbage and cleaning the air we breathe are just two aspects of that exercise but the water we drink, the energy we use and the care we take of our beaches and associated marine life are also very vital aspects to which we must pay careful attention.

Compostable food containers is but another key step in our effort and deserves national support.