To tackle the scourge of litter, the island should introduce a simple recycling scheme like the one in Adelaide, Australia, said Port St Mary resident John Pinckard.
Mr Pinckard first visited the South Australian city last spring and said: ‘I was quite gob smacked at how clean it was, there was no dog muck. You will not even find any sweet papers.’
Adelaide’s secret to success is there are cash incentives to recycle. Government issues stickers stating the amount added to the item for recycling (such as 5p for tin cans, 10p for bottles) which are put on the item in store; the same amount is repaid to the householder when they take items to be recycled.
The aluminium or plastics are crushed and baled in to blocks which are then sold to recycling companies; the proceeds go to the government.
‘Everyone adheres to this system and there is no litter to be seen throughout Adelaide and its surroundings,’ he said.
After he read an Isle of Man Newspapers report about litter in Castletown square, he contacted the town’s commissioners, who supported the idea and wrote to town MHK Richard Ronan.
Mr Pinckard also contacted Rushen MHKs Laurence Skelly and Phil Gawne. He wrote: ‘We have everything already in place on the island to kick this off – supermarkets such as Tesco, Shoprite, Co-op and Spars will all have to adhere to this scheme otherwise face a fine. This is in the interest of all of us and will reduce greatly the waste pick up from bins throughout the island. The aluminium and plastic collected will more than fund this project and (there will be) jobs created too with this scheme.’
He added: ‘As people get used to this new way of recycling, more and more items can be added. This is only a win win situation for the Manx government and the people as well as keeping our island beautiful and marketable as a tourist destination and a pleasant place to live. This will also change the attitude of our throwaway society.’
In addition to this, he said we must ‘immediately’ stop giving out free plastic bags. ‘There could be a mandatory charge also on bags or totally ban them so that people have to bring their own bags or boxes as is also done in Australia and in most of France. We could be a plastic bag free island.’
He said the idea ‘must be given very serious onsideration by all concerned and implemented urgently’.
Infrastructure Minister Mr Gawne said he and relevant officers will meet Mr Pinckard shortly to discuss the idea.