Half-baked effort

I have to say the under-publicised one "Green Day" only moratorium on the use of plastic shopping bags was very much a damp squib, save for a few irritated customers (Editorial, Dec 3).

While this might have been done out of good intentions, would it not have been better to make a big song and dance about it and even suggest it would likely become a permanent arrangement every Tuesday if not every day in future?

There is no need for legislation -- cooperation should be enough given the importance of plastic pollution, and all shops involved today could implement it with "company policy".

But here we are again with a half-baked effort. Maybe the headline should have read: "Plastic on six-day week?"

Fireman Sam

Jumbo fences

If relevant authorities and related NGOs really want the well-being of wild elephants and safety of human lives and their properties, they should spend their funds to build rigid barriers to prevent wild elephants straying away from their habitats.

Build roadside fences well back into the bush from the edge of roads to preserve natural views by passing motorists.

Also build fences on the boundaries of farmers' dwellings and farmland to replace makeshift electric wiring which sometimes kills elephants.

RH Suga

Paper cuts

Re: "Cops shred prints as dabs go digital", (BP, Dec 5).

Seeing the photo and story of police shredding accumulated fingerprint papers, I couldn't help but think of the mountains of other needless documents and paperwork that must be gathering dust in massive warehouses -- all stored at taxpayers' expense, of course. The article highlighted the 500 square metres of storage space required for the 1.7 million pages of superfluous fingerprints amassed over the past 16 years.

My mind immediately went to the more than 30 million pieces of TM6 immigration arrival cards (and equal number of corresponding departure cards) that are dutifully scrutinised, stamped, piled, sorted and stored by Immigration Bureau staff each year. Allowing that the immigration forms are smaller in size than fingerprint cards, it still seems that storage space of nearly 2 rai of land (roughly half the size of a regulation football pitch) would be required to house just one year's worth of TM6 immigration cards. Who knows how many years' worth of immigration cards are mouldering in government repositories?

Officials and taxpayers should be asking what is gained from this accumulation of paper that virtually everyone acknowledges is unnecessary in today's digital age.

Samanea Saman

Do the right thing

A few days ago I drove a motorbike down the highway to town and the number plate broke off and got lost. I drove slowly over much of the 15km route the next morning but never found it. What I did find was a huge amount of discarded household waste. I came to the conclusion that Thais have little or no idea of what it means to be decent, responsible and committed citizens in a society where people need to act and behave on each other's behalf.

The attitude of the general public is based around "I". What I want, what I need to dispose of, where I need to get quickly, how I deserve it more than you. This what enables them to throw anything anywhere and regard it as dealt with. This is what allows them to overtake anywhere, at any speed, drive like they own the road and park like they own the curb.

Countries where citizens fully understand what it means to be a small but decent part of a complete and caring society can't do that. They look after each other. They pay tax because it's the right thing to do, they care about the whole of the school class and its proper education, the rich share more equally with the poor. These are the countries with little or no litter and also the places with very low vehicle death numbers. They obey because it's the right thing to do.


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