Fine house parties

Although I am aware that the UK has not covered itself in glory in its battle against COVID-19, it may be of interest to note its announcement of fines of £800 for attending a ‘house party’, which will go up to £6,400 for repeat offences, while organisers of parties of more than 30 people will face a £10,000 fine.

There is still time for Malta to introduce simi­lar laws – and promise to enforce them – before this year’s non-event carnival weekend.

There is, of course, also plenty of time to ban all non-essential travel across the channel from, say, February 1, in the hope of making Gozo COVID-free again. Such a ban need not include an end-date.

Otherwise, this island, with its frequently mentioned “ageing population”, has little hope of recovery.

Simply offering to “monitor” the situation is totally unhelpful. The government will merely be monitoring death.

Revel Barker – Għajnsielem

Bad and good plastics

Big plastic items are not likely to be dumped in the sea. Photo: Shutterstock.comBig plastic items are not likely to be dumped in the sea. Photo: Shutterstock.com

When talking about plastics we should make some distinctions. I distinguish big plastic products from small plastic products, essential plastic articles from non-essential ones.

To my knowledge, big plastic articles, such as furniture, building parts, boats, ships, plane parts and so on, are unlikely to be dumped in the sea or fed to animals on land.

Small articles, like single-use bottles, cling wrap, coffee cups and so forth, are the big issue. I would like to see these being wiped out of existence together with the moulds that make them.

But what about a lot of medical articles that are essential for modern therapy? You cannot just eliminate them. So we use, store and dump them… carefully.

You cannot do without carefulness, a sense of responsibility and discipline in the use of many small but essential dangerous articles in modern life. Neither can one leave out these factors in solving the plastic problem.

Big plastics could be a big part of the solution of the problem of fossil fuels and their polluting emissions.

You cannot expect to see the big fossil miners give up their very lucrative business without a fight. But they could, perhaps, be persuaded to divert their fossil pro­ducts to petrochemicals rather than fuel for combustion and pollution. In fact, some of them, like the Saudis and Iran, are already diverting huge amounts of oil to petrochemicals, including plastics.

When we condemn all plastics indiscriminately we will be up in arms against them, instead of seeing a ray of hope that the fossil fuel industry would be converted to a green petrochemical one and save our planet.

Indeed, we should not provide them with markets for small, non-essential articles but we would be wise to encourage them to divert their oil to big plastic by buying it from them and making good use of it. For instance, let us gradually learn to make big and even huge products of plastic instead of wood. This will save whole forests; an extra plus for saving the planet.

Albert Said – Naxxar

The correct way to go

Walking our dogs in Xagħra, a few days ago, I was amazed to see a LESA warden fining a local for driving while using his mobile.

Way to go, girl. Usually only ‘foreigners’ and tourists get nabbed.

Kevin Hodkin – Xagħra

Human rights

No human being and no human organisation has the right to confer on another human being the right to eliminate an innocent, vulnerable human life.

Why is this so hard to understand?

Carmel Sciberras – Naxxar

Letters to the editor should be sent to editor@timesofmalta.com. Please include your full name, address and ID card number. The editor may disclose personal information to any person or entity seeking legal action on the basis of a published letter. 

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us