Wednesday, June 29, 2022 |
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We need industrial composting
I think many Big Island residents don’t realize how badly we need industrial composting.
I’ll start by saying that I am absolutely in favor of compostable cups and containers. When composted, these containers can be turned into a valuable resource for agriculture and landscaping, and save space in our limited landfill. Many local businesses have made the switch in recent years, which shows that people here care about these things, and I love that about our culture.
But compostable cups and to-go containers are not actually better for the environment if they are not properly composted.
Most are made out of plant-based plastic, which can be only composted in certain industrial facilities. There is currently no composting facility in the state that accepts these. They don’t qualify as “green waste” that you can take to the dump. And they won’t break down in a home compost pile. So we have no choice. We throw them in the regular rubbish.
Many people think that because these containers say “compostable,” they’ll break down in the landfill, so they’re better. But organic materials need oxygen to break down, and landfills are sealed, airtight. When organic materials do break down without oxygen, they produce methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas that’s about 30 times more harmful than carbon dioxide.
So, in the best case scenario, these containers are not breaking down, and they’re the same as other plastic in the landfill. But some studies have found that they’re worse – breaking down and producing methane.
Worse still, that’s exactly what’s happening to all the green waste, food waste, and other compostable things we put into the trash. Ultimately, we need to produce less waste as a society, but meanwhile, industrial composting needs to be made accessible for Big Island residents.
Fetuses are not citizens
I suggest Kevin Roberts actually read the Constitution. Nowhere does the word “unborn” appear as stated in his May 16 opinion piece. Indeed, the 14th Amendment to the constitution starts, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States.” Fetuses are not citizens and thus there is no constitutional protection written or implied for them.
Put moral posturing
in its place
The article that appeared in the May 16 WHT from The Heritage Foundation, promoting an anti-abortion position, overlooks a few things.
The article says that the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that established a right to abortion was a “rupture with our past.” The true rupture would be for the Supreme Court to rescind that right after it has stood for some 50 years.
The article also says that “life begins at conception.” That life begins when sperm fertilizes an egg, which is “conception,” is a crazy idea. Such fertilization is usually in the fallopian tube, whereupon the egg is termed a zygote. It is not attached to the womb yet. Is this the “life” being talked about?
The article also mentions that state legislatures will become crucial in efforts to prevent abortion. Some state legislatures have favored laws that deny abortion to save a mother’s life or to end a pregnancy that results from rape or incest. In spite of the rather self-righteous tone of the Heritage article, it is morally outrageous to deny abortion in such cases.
Given the self-righteousness of the article, I remember the quote from Oscar Wilde: “I don’t want to go to heaven. None of my friends are there.” Let’s put moral posturing in its place.
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