Maybe we should ban bikes?

We were all told that we had to stop using plastic bags because they get into the waterways and poison marine life. We on Whaleoil know that it will make very little difference, as most of what kills marine life comes from Asia. But never mind silly things like facts. The Politburo has spoken, and now plastic bags will soon be a thing of the past.

But you know the famous saying – ‘A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle‘? Well, someone must have taken it literally. quote:

In a clean up  of Melbourne’s Yarra River, oBikes were the catch of the day.

Andrew Kelly, from Yarra River-keepers Association, said his organisation, in partnership with the Cleanwater Group and Ocean Crusaders, had run a blitz of the Yarra. “Along the way, we managed to pull out about 80 bikes, some 76 of them were oBikes. They were both below the tide line and in the river, and half in the river,” he said.
“Some from the lower river were encrusted with worms, mussels, and other marine creatures. One even had a large oyster ­attached to the seat,’’ Mr Kelly said. “It tells me that there are an enormous number of oBikes going in the river. The ones we collected are the tip of the iceberg.
“They are poisonous for the river, the paint is toxic and the rubber and metal is toxic when it breaks down. When we collect 76 oBikes bikes in one week, there is a sizeable problem.” end quote.
Not just plastic bags then. Should we be banning bikes as well?
Apparently, oBikes are part of a bike-sharing scheme, where the bike has a Bluetooth locking system, meaning that the bike does not have to be returned to a station. They obviously need a GPS device of some sort as well, and one that can be traced underwater.
Do you think we should have a similar scheme here in New Zealand?
We all know that this government is NEVER going to ban bikes. Bikes are good. Even if they end up in the river and poison the fish.
But then, things are not much better here. quote:
More shopping trolleys  have been pulled from Auckland’s Puhinui Stream over the years than you’d find in a Countdown car park.

The 12km-long waterway snakes from Totara Park in Manurewa to the Manukau Harbour near Auckland Airport in Māngere.

Seven years ago it was considered the most polluted of the region’s 31 monitored waterways.

Trust community manager Barbara Carney says rubbish dumping in and near the stream and other local waterways is a “constant problem”. end quote.

So maybe we should ban shopping trolleys as well?

You can see how all of this is starting to get silly, don’t you?

Even the beautiful Wairau River has been turned into a rubbish dump. quote:

Broken bottles, dog poo and discarded bones were littered along the bank of the Wairau River, in Renwick, last week “as far as the eye can see”.

Marlborough woman Lucy Campbell was driving her two children to the river on Wednesday and was “disgusted” to find the bank underneath the State Highway 6 bridge “a rubbish dump”.

Spray cans, pots, bones with meat still attached and fast food wrappers had been dumped along the bank, she said.

“As soon as we pulled off State Highway 6, there was just honestly three or four large bags of household rubbish and as we kind of got further into the river, just literally under the bridge, there was just rubbish,” she said.

Campbell said she was “embarrassed” by the state of the river bank when she noticed tourists having to walk through it to get from their vehicle to the river. end quote.

Clean green New Zealand, huh?

The problem isn’t plastic bags. We already know that. The problem is behaviour. And banning something useful and convenient such as plastic bags is not going to solve these problems. Because, as you can see in the photos, plastic bags hardly feature as part of the problems here.

Wairau River rubbish

Should we be banning glass, black rubbish bags and cardboard boxes as well?

Where does it end?

Credit: Lushington Brady for the article on the Yarra River.


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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