I WRITE to comment on the article on banning single use plastics in The National where it says Scotland is looking to become the first UK nation to ban some single-use plastic (Nov 12).

Legislation has been laid out that will see Scotland ban some the most environmentally damaging plastic items. It is due to come in on June 1 next year. From reading the article, it looks as if the Scottish Government wants praise for this. Well, sorry, it doesn’t deserve praise because the damage to the ecosystems on Earth by plastic has been known about for at least 40 years, so the Scottish ban is 40 years TOO LATE.

In the early part of the 21st century the Daily Mail had a campaign against plastic when it discovered the vast floating islands of plastic in oceans. If readers collected tokens from the Mail, they could send away for a cotton shopping bag. The Daily Record did the same.

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In 2007 a documentary-maker called Rebecca Hosking went to the Pacific Islands to make a film on the effects on marine life by plastic. She stepped onto an island and couldn’t understand what the stench was; she discovered that it was rotting flesh. The parent birds were bringing food to their babies, thinking it was jellyfish, but in actual fact it was plastic bags. The plastic blocked the fledglings’ digestive system and killed them, and once the bodies had decomposed the plastic was released into the marine environment to do the same to another creature.

Rebecca returned to her home town in Devon with her film, and when she showed it to the traders they all vowed NEVER AGAIN TO GIVE OUT PLASTIC BAGS. Modbury was the first town in Britain to go plastic bag- free. Notice it wasn’t a Scottish town.

So don’t bother looking for kudos, you are TOO LATE. I stopped using plastic bags 40 years ago when I joined Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace. The information was out there, and you were too lazy to look for it. You didn’t have to look far, it was in the Daily Mail, the Daily Record, the Reader’s Digest, among others. Incidentally, balloons cause exactly the same damage, so its about time they were banned as well.

Margaret Forbes

HAVING looked at the figures provided from the Met Office there appear to be some interesting correlations. Broadly speaking the temperature stayed within plus or minus half a degree of the 1961-1990 average from 1850 to the late 1980s. This included both World Wars. The late 80s coincided with the end of the Cold War and since then the Northern Hemisphere average has risen, particularly from 2000 onwards. This also coincides with the war on terror, and a considerable increase in the use of aircraft for both warfare and leisure.

The end of the Cold War also saw a marked transference of and a significant increase in manufacturing in the Far East, with a corresponding reduction in fossil fuel energy use in those newly importing countries that relied on foreign manufacturing. This manufacturing obviously produces a lot of pollution from their dependence on coal, notably China and India.

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The increase in use of consumer goods with conspicuous consumption and – for a relative few – significant wealth accumulation is now a global phenomenon compounded by a dramatic rise in global population also striving to industrialise from previous pastoral bases assisted by improvements in health care. This is of course rampant capitalism, so perhaps as well as limiting fossil fuel usage we should also address the economic systems and personal greed that drives it?

Nick Cole
Meigle, Perthshire

A HEALTHY, functioning democracy depends on voters having access to information and news from more than one source. Television is one, if not the major provider of such information and especially of news.

Sadly, those of us who live in the south of Scotland are very limited in the TV news we can access about our own country, having only a choice between Border TV (based in England) and BBC Scotland (London-dominated and not the most impartial of broadcasters when it comes to Scotland).

I have little interest in news from Carlisle or Cumbria in general, yet my so-called “local” news is dominated by items from these areas. I am much more interested in what happens in the rest of Scotland – where I was born and live, and where most of my family and friends reside. I know some lucky people can view STV (SCOTTISH Television) via the internet or satellite, but surely it is time this channel – again, SCOTTISH TV – was available on terrestrial signals for the whole of Scotland.

Fiona Lessels

THE otherwise excellent piece by David Pratt in this weekend’s Seven Days regarding the problems on the Polish border with Belarus mistakenly implies that Kalle Laanet is the defence minister of Lithuania. Kalle Laanet is defence minister of Estonia! Arvydas Anusauskas is the minister for national defence in Lithuania. I am sure you will wish to correct this error.

And please let us not forget that Lithuania, like Poland, has a long border with Belarus and is dealing with many of the same problems that Poland is.

Andrew Parrott