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  • ESG PR re Tap Water and Plastics 29/01/18


    ESG Press Release and Tap Water

    29th January 2018

    The ESG regards the news of the nationwide UK campaign of providing free tap water to the public in restaurants and bars as a game changer. This is happening at a time where heightened news coverage globally on the serious effects of plastic waste on the environment is calling for meaningful, widespread measures of this kind. Indeed the UK has only recently been exposed as failing in handling its plastic recycling efficiently choosing instead to export huge volumes to Asia.

    In the last few weeks, the EU has published a detailed paper on the question of plastics (manufacture / consumption / waste treatment) to bring about a change to the present disastrous situation.

    The ESG believes that decisive action to reduce single-use plastic bottles and other items is absolutely essential.

    The idea of providing free drinking water to the public has already been taken up locally by the Hunter Group. This was promoted recently by the Nautilus Project, itself carrying out important awareness campaigns about the harmful effects of plastic waste on marine life.

    AquaGib is also supporting this great idea to help cut back on plastic bottled water and the ESG would like to congratulate the initiative locally and hope this spreads nationwide in Gibraltar too.

    The ESG also welcomes the positive steps taken by HM Govt in partnership with AquaGib to introduce reusable bottles filled with local tap water for the upcoming Island Games.

     

    Link to EU Paper on Plastics:

    http://ec.europa.eu/environment/circular-economy/pdf/plastics-strategy.pdf

     



    Plastics What a dilemma..! 27th January 2018


    Plastic waste in the natural environment has now become a major priority for environmentalists and policy makers.

    At long last we may now start seeing real change from manufacture to the consumer – change is needed at every level and at every stage of handling and consumption.

    An interesting read is a comprehensive document produced and published a week or so ago by the EU paper on how it proposes the problem of plastic waste must be tackled.

    It is successful in including all the relevant factors but it needs to inject more urgency in the process. Public pressure must be maintained and volunteers need to continue to pull  plastic waste out of natural habitats and ecosystems.

     

    Link for paper here:  

    http://ec.europa.eu/environment/circular-economy/pdf/plastics-strategy.pdf



    ESG Radio Newsletter 25/01/18


    Key Words:  DPC/ New Centre / Community Support/ Volunteers / New Cleaning Contract/ Plastics !!

     

    With January fast coming to a close the ESG would like to offer some information on issues it is following very closely.

     

    With planning, for example, yesterday saw the first 2018 DPC meeting, that’s the Development and Planning Commission, lasting close to 5 hours. Many items were on the agenda and a note to those interested that detailed minutes of all such mtgs are eventually posted on the Town Planning Website, clicking on the DPC page. The local media have today focused on the proposed new clay pigeon shooting, schools and apartment projects. You can find out all about those in the press. The ESG also raised concerns about a new marine diesel-fuelling project for the Port and had recommended fume capture technology, which was discussed and conditioned as part of the permit.

     

    We are presently going through a busy and very positive period in developing our small base with a great team of volunteers, and also involved in a series of talks and presentations. This forms a major part of our outreach programme which is brought about via the community wide Clean up the World Campaign we have run for the past 13 years. It helps maintain a focus on our natural environment and need for greater civic pride as well as shine a light on all key environmental issues we face as a community.

     

    Our community has also been generous in assisting us in our work and centre with recent donations very gratefully received from Bassadone Gibraltar and Eroski. We thank them both very sincerely.

     

    Clean up the World has since 2005 tackled specific clean ups in green areas, coastal and underwater sites and cliffs. All these are important wildlife habitats as well part of our homeland and their historic neglect has fuelled our passion to see this change. With persistence and sustained lobbying things are changing and we hope a new cleaning contract, soon to be awarded to take Gibraltar onto another level of care and maintenance will eliminate more of our clean up hotspots.

     

    Plastics: Global awareness of the plastic threat has reached new heights with news emerging daily of the urgency and scale of the problems. The UK has been exposed in its failure to cope with its plastic recycling sending a vast amount of this waste collected to China. The UK Govt is now pledging to do more- clearly a lot more is needed. The EU only last week published a paper on how it proposes this issue must be tackled from production through to consumer and while a critical and impressive document it lacks urgency and immediate action, enforcement etc. It also makes one ask how well is Europe handling its recycling objectives??

     

    You can find links to these reports and more on our website esg-gib.net

     

    We look forward to hearing from you and thanks for listening.



    Radio Newsletter 11th January 2018


    Key words:  Voluntary clean ups continue/ Presentations/ ESG Aims and Objectives/ Cross Border / Community Support /  Fireworks

     

    Hello there- here is our first newsletter for 2018! Good to be back on air after Christmas and New Year. While taking a break ourselves we have still managed to maintain links within the community regarding presentations, receiving reports and even carrying out clean ups. Yes, the festive season brings about an increase in outdoor social littering too and when this affects coastal sites, it becomes a serious problem. So it was rewarding to be able to work with a group of young students in early January where we gathered several bags of mainly plastic waste and filled one ton sacks of assorted large items fly tipped into a green area on the east side of the Rock. What a shame to see such wanton dumping. We live in an enriched environment blessed with wildlife and beauty and we must make greater efforts to instil its value into every citizen. It is also important to have more visible signs urging people to protect and not litter their environment. The ESG will follow up with its recommendations to the authorities as it does after every major clean up, in the hope that more and more of these will be absorbed into day to day practice.

     

    We have more presentations planned in the coming weeks that will also involve outreach components to engage those interested in volunteering and helping out in our projects.

     

    As many already know our focus is not only in cleaning up our environment, important though that is – we also monitor and lobby for cleaner air and improvements in our traffic and transport system which impacts so heavily on our health and on our quality of life. We have engaged in many meetings with the authorities during 2017 pressing for best practice in every sphere of industrial activity and we shall persist in these aims.

     

    Gibraltar is also too small to allow unlimited vehicle numbers and movement and we shall make efforts this year to ensure the powers that be take on this complex issue to deliver real results for the benefit of all. Businesses must also get on board and consider the impact their activity is having and set targets to limit their pollution too.

     

    At cross border level we shall embark with a fresh impetus to re-examine the status of the chemical industries and Oil Refinery across the border and explore all mechanisms to see these better regulated.

     

    As a non-governmental organisation we rely very much on contact and support from the community and look forward to working together in the coming months for a better environment. The ESG would also like to give tribute to other local NGOs who passionately follow their interests year round – they do invaluable work.

     

    On a less positive note we wanted to mention that we share concerns voiced by many about the overwhelming impacts from fireworks during the New Year period. It is not about stopping the fun, or not appreciating how much people enjoy it. It is also about the very real and negative impacts noisy and sudden bangs have on the frail and the vulnerable. We are a caring community as well as fun loving and it is very important to be inclusive for everyone to enjoy this special night. Silent fireworks yes please – bring them on!!

     

    For those who follow development issues in Gibraltar the next DPC mtg is set for the 24th January.Visit our website: esg-gib.net or email us at esg@gibtelecom.net for more information.

     



    Radio Broadcast 14th December 2017


    ESG Radio Newsletter 141217

     

    Looking ahead to 2018 the ESG will continue pursuing its aims for a safer and healthier Gibraltar by focusing on all its core objectives set out and available for anyone interested to access on our website, that’s esg-gib.net. Our target areas include: climate change and local actions to address this, pollution from all sources, energy generation, particularly renewable energy, traffic and transport issues, cross border impacts, sewage treatment and infrastructure, development and sustainable planning, port impacts, waste treatment-recycling and litter, tourism and beaches, conservation and the updating of the Environmental Action and Management Plan.

     

    Yes, it’s a lot of issues but then, the environment includes everything and we are all affected by these too. We believe that our promotion of these issues over the years has raised a lot of awareness among the community as can be increasingly seen during our many recent talks and presentations and by the quality of debates and discussions generally out there.

     

    Our new home at Wellington Front is starting to take shape and we are confident of developing some exciting ideas in the first quarter of 2018 to engage interested parties in a number of environmental projects. We have faced quite a lot of costs in the move and appeal now for donations, big or small, all welcomed – please get in touch if you would like to help us out with this – email esg@gibtelecom.net. Thanks to those of you who have already stepped forward to help with this.

     

    The ESG met with the Minister for Transport very recently to raise concerns which are mostly contained within the Sustainable Traffic and Transport Plan. This is a key issue for many people and we invite you to go to our news section on our website for more details on that meeting.

     

    A lengthy meeting also took place with the Minister for the Environment to review key issues on sewage, shipping pollution, development, progress on the new power station and a lot more. The ESG will continue to table these issues to ensure they remain high on the agenda for change. It was very positive to hear about legislative changes to allow individuals to feed back excess energy from renewable sources to the grid. This, along with a move to wider use nationally of renewable energy, has been an important objective for us and we must congratulate the Minister for getting this done. We now want to see protocols, information, guidelines and recommendations provided so the public can take the next step. We also hope that financial assistance packages and incentives will be expanded to incentivise people further.

     

    There have been a number of positive announcements recently that will help our environment. We hope to see many more including the publication of the new Town and Heritage Acts particularly when planning and development is scheduled to come under immense pressure from the multiple construction projects announced. The ESG has its own views about the rate and pace of development and the need to complete so many projects at the same time. We shall continue to express and communicate these going forward into the new year hoping that necessary regard will be given to important vistas, open spaces, light and need for greenery between so much concrete development.

     

    On that note, the last 2017 DPC meeting take place tomorrow morning at the John Mackintosh Hall and it promises to be interesting one if you have the chance to attend. Mtg starts at 9.30am.

     

    So Happy Christmas ! Be mindful of the environment during the coming weeks and also spare a thought for those less fortunate.

     

    Congratulations also to GBC for another successful Open Day event too.

    See you in 2018!



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