The more I hear the more annoyed I get. New Zealand has a coalition Government with the Greens not part of the actual government but guaranteeing supply. For this they have gained concessions. The greatest pity is their aims are mainly based on prejudice not sound thinking.
One of these was to push for a reduction in plastics waste. A great idea to reduce this form of pollution. Their solution of banning plastic shopping bags is quite dumb. They use the term “single use plastic bags” This makes my teeth grate. I have asked a large number of people and can find nobody who considers them single use. They keep them and use them for additional packaging in their homes. There is no doubt they will eventually end up as waste , and that is an issue. Yes! However, the solution is not to ban but to reuse, recycle and gain the most out of their existence and reduce demand in petrochemicals. Already there is a major roading company who has developed reused plastic bags into a road surfacing product , an excellent productive and positive use of these bags. But what happens if they cannot source these bags because they are banned? Simple, pull more oil out of the ground to make roading material. The same bags have been used to create safe landing surfaces below children’s playground equipment. This is true green conservation in action.
Plastics can be recycled. Plastics can be made into roading materials, but there are other uses. Already the technology exists to make all types of plastics into aggregate for concrete. It is lighter, stronger, requires less cement and reducing quarrying for aggregates. The same type of process can also be developed for creating tank s for trucks shipping fluids. But that is ignored, instead the Green’s want to just ban the lot. The Green’s sole focus in life seems to take us back in time. Real Green is “visionary” on how to use and reuse our resources in economic ways not to ignore this by simply saying NO!!
Then there is the nonsense of the electric car!! For a start the batteries are made in countries that burn coal as an energy source such as China and Germany. These batteries are heavy and highly contaminant products. When put into a car they have already used a huge volume of carbon to make the batteries. Then because of their weight they increase the energy use in the car or truck. Yes, they do reduce carbon dioxide emissions. But only after they have used a lot of carbon dioxide emissions in their manufacture. The next issue they do not financially contribute to transport cost ( not just roading ) . So the so called bulk solutions to moving people are paid for by petrol and diesel users. Hardly fair when these electric cars and trucks need the roads, and bulk transport is a goal. To reduce Carbon dioxide emissions we need to deal with overcrowded roads. Hybrids and electric cars and trucks are still part of the overcrowded road problem but their uses are paying less or nothing to provide solutions to overcome this overcrowding.
These batteries, for electric vehicles, have a life and are a massive future contamination problem. I have been told they will convert them to lower use storage batteries for power systems. Interesting when you consider the number of vehicles , cars , truck , boats that will use these batteries. To me this solution will never work as there will be far too many failing aged batteries.
Then there is the power itself. In New Zealand electric power is only 85% from renewable energy sources. The other 15% comes from burning imported coal from China ( we have closed down most of our own resources thus adding to our balance of payment issues ). Therefore any increase in energy requirement , such as recharging fleets of electric vehicles can only increase the dependence on imported coal and put carbon dioxide directly into our atmosphere. Isn’t that so clever!! Yes it’s all part of the Green’s not making New Zealand greener, only pretending to make it greener with its policies. God Defend New Zealand Indeed !