Before we all get too excited about replacing so-called "one-use" plastic shopping bags, let's take a reality check.

It seems the manufacture of plastic releases much less carbon dioxide than some of the products that replace it.

A British study has found that a "cotton" shopping bag must be used 131 times before the greenhouse gas emissions from making and transporting it improve on disposable plastic bags. The figure is 173 times if only 40 per cent of the plastic bags are used as bin liners or for a second time.

In our family, we use most plastic bags at least twice.

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I wondered about paper bags, but it seems that, to make matters even worse, the carbon footprint of a paper bag if it is not recycled is four times that of a plastic bag. When all this was first raised at a Whanganui District Council meeting, I questioned if all this furore over eliminating plastic bags might be subject to the law of unintended consequences?

I'm not an advocate for plastic waste, but it seems timely to think about consequences and real options.

DAVID BENNETT
Whanganui


Leading way

Just a quick response to Nelson Lebo's letter to the editor, June 8.

Bunnings has never used plastic bags for customers' purchases in the three years I have been working there so have been "leading the way" for some time. It's fabulous to see more stores following suit. However, the amount of plastic packaging — especially of fruit and vegetables in supermarkets — makes a bit of a mockery of the attempts to cut down on plastic bags.

Would be great to just ban non-recyclables full stop!

TRACY THACKERAY
Aramoho


Caring exceptional

For five weeks my sisters Sheryll, Carol and I sat beside my mum at Summerset care centre in Whanganui. We spent between five and seven hours a day with mum, watching her slowly fade away.

During this time we had the privilege of being involved with the management, nurses, nursing assistants, cleaners and kitchen staff at Summerset. To say they were supportive, helpful, empathetic, sympathetic, caring would be an understatement.

In what was an emotional time for us, we thought for the Summerset team this would be just "another day at the office" — but no.

Their caring for mum and support to us was exceptional.
Mum passed away on June 3, 2018.

We would like to express, on behalf of the family, our sincere thanks. To name just a few that we can remember: Maryke, Owen, Libbin, Sherin, Sue, Beena, Raylene, Jacinta, Buba ... and to the others, a big thank you. You were all amazing and your kindness and care will not be forgotten.

ALAN PUCKEY
Perth, Australia


Speech police

Just saying, while it is still legal, Steve Baron gave offence and has been challenged because of it. His piece, "Passion and perils of putting views into print" (Chronicle, June 5), shows he has learned little.

The terms he uses for his opponents are derived from the "politically correct claptrap" he purportedly despises. His PC inclusiveness arises out of the same humanist/feminist dogma the Human Rights Commission is using to introduce "disharmonious speech" controls.

Protections are to be extended to Islamics and ethnic minorities but not, unsurprisingly, to Christians.

The Human Rights Act, s61, prohibits speech that is threatening, abusive or insulting, and likely to incite hostility or bring into contempt, most of which Christians wear daily across the media. Problem is their absolute morality clashes with the "absolute truth" status the feminist/feminised elite have assigned to their own dictates.

Free speech and independent thought are inconsistent with that and pose a threat to the inclusive utopia and feminist hegemony they have built to secure it. Totalitarianism is here, every part of life has been politicised and prescribed from birth. Hello, Lenin's iron grip! Control speech, enforce the party line, dehumanise and disenfranchise dissidents.

The media must be "free" to serve the cause, marshal the minds of the masses, shout down dissenters.

JOHN HAAKMA
Whanganui


Send your letters to: The Editor, Wanganui Chronicle, 100 Guyton St, PO Box 433, Wanganui 4500; or email editor@wanganuichronicle.co.nz