Letters: Returning bottle can aid green footprint

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Maybe it’s just me, but since we started refuse recycling we seem to have bin motors in the street day and night.

What’s that doing to our green footprint? Once they collect all this material they then have to sort it, clean it, pack it and deliver it to where it has to go, again at what must be high cost to the green footprint, not counting the cost to our pocket, as I don’t believe there is any money to be made in it.

So let’s turn the clock back a bit to the day of the bottle, when kids would take juice bottles back to the store and get a few pence for them, the driver delivering the juice would pick up the empties and take them back to the factory where they would be cleaned and reused – this was done for juice/beer/milk/water/etc, a win-win for the green footprint.

My point is let’s get rid of cartons/plastic bottles altogether and bring back glass. How many times can you use a glass bottle? Even if the council had to collect them, they could make a small charge to the companies for getting clean, reusable bottles back.

So let’s support the bottle and do less damage to the environment.

Raymond Ross, Hutchison Avenue, Edinburgh

UK needs quarantine laws to stop Ebola

We in the UK are extremely fortunate in living on an island. It has helped keep us reasonably safe and powerful throughout many battles, wars and proposed invasions.

Now that we have the Ebola disease rampant in West Africa, one might have hoped that, being an island, we would be safe. However, we have repeatedly been informed that the UK is expected to have casualties, yet precautions to protect our island have been slow in coming and will be mostly ineffective.

There has been in excess of 4000 deaths that we know of. Do we really want this disease taking over the UK, when we could easily stop it or at least reduce the number of carriers from entering our island by enforcing at least three months quarantine for those from West Africa, or forbidding entry or travel to or from those countries like, Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria?

One might have hoped our government would have taken a lesson from history. For example, the Black Death/Bubonic Plague was brought to our shores in 1348 by a seaman from Gascony, it claimed the lives of a third of the population.

Elaine Pomeransky, Restalrig Gardens, Edinburgh

Politicians should lead way on oaths

Nothing could more eloquently encapsulate the gap between our distantly elite political class and the public it claims to serve than Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt’s idea that teachers should take a form of Hippocratic Oath to “elevate the profession” and emphasise its “moral calling and noble profession”.

That would surely include setting a personal and professional example to those for whom they are responsible; for any MP to make such a proposal suggests observance of some sort of “Hypocritic Oath”.

Consider the redefinition of democracy illustrated in Ed Miliband’s insistence that Labour MPs support the motion to recognise Palestine as an independent state.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander announced a three-line whip (democracy?) to ensure total compliance. Three of his MPs tabled an amendment to delay such recognition until successful peace negotiations have been concluded.

To solve this embarrassing situation, MPs who disagree with the party line have been ‘encouraged’ to be absent when the vote is taken. Democracy?

They should all be obliged to participate - and vote - in the debate; that’s what we pay them for. How else are they to put forward the views of their constituents; they will, after all, have sought out their opinions, won’t they?

Robert Dow, Ormiston Road, Tranent

Safety a key issue on automated gates

Automated gates are an increasingly familiar sight at work, home and school. An estimated 500,000 automated gates are in daily use in this country. Yet nine out of ten of these are potentially unsafe to use because they have been poorly installed or not correctly maintained. In recent years, six people have been killed in accidents involving electric gates, three of them children.

This week (October 13 - 19) is Gate Safety Week. It is designed to focus public attention on the dangers posed by inadequately installed gates. It provides a means for anyone – parents, schoolteachers, employees, homeowners – to report a gate that could be unsafe and arrange for a safety check to be carried out. We urge anyone concerned about automated gate safety to visit www.gatesafetyweek.org.uk.

Bob Perry, executive chairman, Door & Hardware Federation

Cameron needs to say what he stands for

David Cameron warns that a vote for the UKIP in the coming general election will ensure the election of a Labour government.

Instead of issuing warnings he should be announcing clear policies to be followed by the Conservative Party and show the voters what he truly believes in. Lack of clarity and no sign of any true principles lost him a majority in the last election and could do the same in May.

He does not seem to realise that the UKIP vote is far removed from being just a temporary protest.

William W Scott, St Baldred’s Road, North Berwick, East Lothian