Letters to the editor 03.10.19

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More specific details requested regarding recycling

I was pleased to read that Councillor Kieron Green has said to The Oban Times (September 19) that ‘everything recyclable was recycled apart from a small percentage of items contaminated because they had not been washed out’.

I think it would be very useful for us to have a few specifics. In order to recycle plastics, the operator needs to separate the stream into plastics of the same composition. This can be done using spectroscopic techniques, but does this work with brown or black plastic? What about white or coloured plastic ?

We would all be grateful if Councillor Green could tell us exactly which plastics are ‘recyclable’ and which plastics are not.

Also, I read that 12 million tons of the UK’s washed plastic were sent abroad last year, presumably for recycling. Does any of Argyll and Bute’s plastic go abroad in this way? If so, did we have to pay for this, or did the receiving body pay us for the scrap? If we pay them, how can we be sure it is actually recycled and not just dumped or burned?

Julian Overnell, Kilmore.

Time to abandon airy fairy thinking about tunnel vision

Here we go again with proposition of the future tunnel visions. What is it that Angus MacNeil and other think of in their dreams?

What we islanders really need are leaders who ‘stick with it’ and the essence of the day job, and to that end get the dual track roads from Port of Ness to Vatersay completed especially as it is getting close on 40 years since that scheme was started. This airy fairy talking is not what’s needed.

This kind of half-baked thinking goes on all the time. Now is the time to finish projects that were never completed because who of us is going to be around if a tunnel ever gets built?

Those ideas are fine to be dreaming of, but we are nowhere in that vicinity right now or for a long time.

The only thing I find useful is to be prepared for my demise and eternity. It is a certainty for everyone, so I don’t have vain dreams and tunnels are not in my plans.

Aonghas Eoghainn Mhoir , Uibhist a Deas.

Huge costs to take back control of our fisheries policy

The United Kingdoms fishing industry is worth only 0.5 per cent of our GDP and yet the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is central to the Brexit debate.

Many who voted to leave the European Union despise their policy in setting quotas within member states EEZ waters (Exclusive Economic Zone; an area up to 200 nautical miles from a nation’s coast). Yet the irony is the the UK, not  the EU, has done more to internationalise our territorial waters.

Unlike other member states of the EU, the UK has permitted our fisherman to either sell or lease their share of fish quotas to foreigners. One example being that a single Dutch vessel now takes 23 per cent of the English catch.

Currently, the European Union Council of Ministers ‎sets the tonnage of specific fish, the Total Allowable Catch (TAC), which can be caught in EU waters and then divides this between each member state.

What could be considered, upon exit of the EU, would be to allocate a far larger share to our small boats fleet (10m and under in length). They make up 77 per cent of the UK’s fishing fleet, employ almost all of our 12,000 fishermen and yet the small boats fleet presently only get four per cent of the UK quota share.

So proposals and petitions from within the United Kingdom have been made. The government is presently considering other methods of dividing fish stocks but the House of Commons Library, when asked about a new domestic fisheries bill, has said ‘the system is unlikely to change’.

It reads, we cannot simply ‘take back control’ as some of our politicians would have us believe, without first paying vast sums in compensation.

Tommy Macpherson, Saddell‎, Kintyre.

General election is two-horse race in Argyll and Bute

The Lib Dems do not want to listen to the result of referendums.

They are playing a dangerous game, saying we don’t have to listen to the result of referendums but can simply ignore them altogether.

Whether you voted remain or leave, this simply plays into Nicola Sturgeon’s hands.

Only the Scottish Conservatives want to get us all back to the things that matter including schools, police and quality jobs.

Here in Argyll and Bute it is a clear two-horse race between the Scottish Conservatives and the SNP. Only the Scottish Conservatives can beat the SNP in Argyll and Bute.

Councillor Alastair Redman, Kintyre and Islands ward.

Why it is safer to buy British food products

Listeria is a nasty bacteria that can cause serious illnesses and can thrive in contaminated frozen foods and salads. It causes a handful of fatalities in the UK each year but is predicted to rise.

As these products containing the listeria bacteria have been known to be sourced from foreign countries, it is much better and safer to pick a home – sourced Scottish or British food, as generally welfare is of a higher standard and frozen transportation times are much less for any nasty bugs to breed.

With unprecedented fluctuations in our weather and temperatures expected, this is another area of concerns for the future.

Good advice is to always wash salad products stick to the sell by or use by dates and it is safer and better.

Stephen Jones, Burnside Place, Oban.