It's unfortunate to see another story on methamphetamine-contaminated homes where a source in the story is a company which provides meth decontamination services.
It's no surprise that images of tradies wearing hazmat outfits and breathing apparatuses entering homes strikes fear into the hearts of landlords across New Zealand, yet it may come as a surprise that the meth decontamination services industry is described by NZ Drug Foundation president Ross Bell as "the biggest scam this country has ever seen".
Mr Bell says science doesn't back up the need for such an industry and it has played on the fears of New Zealanders in order to make a profit.
A recent Auckland test showed 60 per cent of banknotes had meth residue levels higher than the standard used by decontamination companies. Yet people are demolishing walls in their homes for residue levels far lower than on the banknotes in their wallets.
Dr Nick Kim of Massey University said the lowest dose recorded to have a pharmaceutical effect is more than 3000 times higher than the standard used by decontamination services.
It's incredibly disappointing that last year Housing NZ spent $52 million on meth testing vs only $1 million testing for mould and asbestos, despite the latter being proven to contribute to the (on average) 20 children who die each year from housing-related diseases.
In today's housing crisis, where more people than ever are homeless, it is devastating that houses are sitting empty due to junk science and irrational fears around meth-contaminated homes.
I believe with the push to do away with one-use plastic bags by the supermarkets this issue needs to start gathering some more momentum.
Our Rotorua Lakes Council should relook at the issue of rubbish bags. This city and district had paper rubbish bags for years and they should be reintroduced and let's get away from these horrible red plastic bags (used for lakeside residents).
We should also relook at the bins people have been forced to put out. Rubbish days around the city are a complete shambles with all these bins lining the streets all day. The old-style paper bags and collection system did result in cleaner streets with less clutter once the rubbish truck had passed by.
The experts seem to think that this plastic doesn't really break down and now we are beginning to see animals eating plastic.
Let's try and reduce the use of plastics.