Saturday, 4 August 2012

Plastic Bags

From The Guardian 1/8/12
A levy on single-use plastic bags should be introduced in England, environmental groups urged on Wednesday.
According to figures from the waste reduction body Wrap, supermarket customers used almost 8bn carrier bags in 2011, a 5.4% rise on the 7.6bn in 2010, with each person using an average of almost 11 a month.
But in Wales, where a 5p charge was introduced last October, the amount of single-use bags being taken home has fallen significantly.
England is the only part of the UK which has no plans for a plastic bag charge, and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Keep Britain Tidy, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and Surfers Against Sewage are calling for one to be brought in.
The organisations say plastic bags end up littering England's streets, countryside and beaches, while in the sea they can entangle or be swallowed by wildlife.
Most plastic takes an estimated 450 to 1,000 years to degrade at sea, but plastic may never fully degrade but simply break down into smaller and smaller pieces – eventually forming plastic dust, the environmental groups said.
And research is looking at whether small particles of plastic may be able to absorb toxins from the sea and then be eaten, with the toxins passed up the food chain to people.
Samantha Harding, CPRE "stop the drop" campaign manager, said bag levies had been shown to work in Wales and in Ireland, where plastic bag use fell by 90% following the introduction of a charge.
"A levy is coming to Northern Ireland and Scotland is already consulting on one. Why must the English countryside be the last to benefit from good environmental policies?" she asked.
Sue Kinsey, litter policy officer for MCS, said: "Single-use bags and plastic bags in particular are a menace to the amazing marine wildlife found in English waters.
"Animals get entangled in them and mistake them for food. This can lead to infections, strangulation, starvation and even death. A levy is a simple, effective way to stop such a pervasive and ubiquitous form of pollution."
Some retailers have introduced charges for their single-use plastic bags, but the groups are urging the government to follow the lead of Wales and bring in a small levy on carrier bags across England.
A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: "We want to work with retailers to help them lift their game to cut the number of bags they hand out.
"We are monitoring the results of the charging scheme in Wales and the outcome of the Scottish consultation on a charge."

Friday, 3 August 2012

Shell stuck in a bog.

Shell and Gardaí mobilise to rescue TBM

Friday 3rd August 2012

This morning at about 4am hundreds of Gardaí and Shell private security (IRMS) mobilised to Glenamoy crossroads where sections of Shell's tunnel boring machine has been stuck on a jack-knifed lorry for the last number of days. Since then convoys of lorrys have been hauling stone from a stock pile inside the refinery to the site, dumping it into the field below the cab of the jack- knifed lorry. It is thought that they need better foundations than the bog road and fields in order to use a crane big enough to lift the weight of the lorry and the TBM.

Since this morning the area is under police occupation on a scale similar to that during the Solitaire pipelaying operation in 2008 and 2009. With no warning or notices the  North coast road between Glenamoy and Ballinaboy has been closed, there are Gardaí posted every 50 metres along this new haulage route and freedom of movement has been seriously curtailed.  Anyone who wishes to come down to document the occupation and harassment of the community would be most welcome.

Glenamoy locals have noticed the road subsiding under all the weight - this will become worse if they get a crane in there. The desperation of behalf of Shell and the Gardaí mirrors what is at stake - the Corrib project is literally at a crossroads and could be slipping into the bog that Shell have been fighting against for all these years.

The camp is open and if you ever thought about coming up here then now is the time. The resistance over the last few days has been inspiring - starting with the protest presence Dublin port, the tracking across country and the protests and blockades in Mayo. Would the convoy drivers have decided to head down a bog road to turn for a better angle on the last corner if there had been no pressure?

Besides protest actions to stop the delivery of the TBM to the tunnelling site (if they manage to move it at all) there is all the other work needed to keep the show on the road (and the TBM stuck on it)  - housekeeping, reporting, media work, tea, food, transport and lots more.

If you can't come please spread the word, and we'll try keep you up to date as things happen.

All the best
Everyone at the Rossport Solidarity Camp