Plastic waste remains an ongoing concern. We found ourselves reminiscing around the coffee urn about glass soft drink bottles in the ‘pre-plastic’ age. John spoke of an early job delivering ‘Loy’s’ soft drinks; we all remembered returning glass bottles as children to get pocket money, pre ‘Coca cola’ brand names such as ‘Slades’, ‘Marchants’and favourite drinks such as ‘Passiona’. We noted with interest a recent ABC Science report on a bacterium which produces a plastic eating enzyme and could hold the key to safely degrading millions of tonnes of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) (code ‘1’ ) plastics which end up in waterways or landfill each year.
The political will to act on climate change by conservative parties in Australia and the United States is another ongoing concern. John introduced an on-line journal article from ‘The Conversation’ which provided an ‘interesting little history lesson’, describing inconsistent political positions over time in conservative climate policies and citing occasions when John Howard, John Gorton, and Malcolm Fraser pursued more enlightened environmental policies; when Joe Hockey, Greg Hunt and of course Malcolm Turnbull accepted the scientific consensus on climate change; and when the UK’s Margaret Thatcher and US Republicans Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon also pursued more enlightened environmental policies. With elections in the offing our group will be continuing to monitor the ‘political will’ towards a sustainable future by all parties!