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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 February 2019

A viable solution to the problem of plastic waste

Our readers weigh in on Gandhi, Taliban talks, pregnancy and waste

A man collects rubbish from the shores of the Arabian Sea in India. Rafiq Maqbool / AP
A man collects rubbish from the shores of the Arabian Sea in India. Rafiq Maqbool / AP

I write in reference to your article New Abu Dhabi hotel bans single-use plastic (December 2, 2018). As a researcher in material science and supply chains, and a business executive in the US, I have a different perspective on this problem and its solution to many others.

I believe the problem with plastic today is actually fully curable if there is a paradigm shift in thinking, approach and supply chain. I wrote about this in a book called Peak Plastic: The Rise or Fall of our Synthetic World to chronicle to how this should be handled and I am beginning to turn this into action.

The solutions are a combination of business, science and socioeconomics that can lead to real progress in less than 10 years, and in the meantime, mitigate the current crisis in our oceans and communities.

Jack Buffington, US

Discord between Taliban and government could derail talks

I refer to your article Afghans worried about being left out of US Taliban peace talks (January 30). Unfortunately, in my view, talks would not have progressed if Afghans had been included, as discord between the Taliban and the Afghan government would have derailed them.

Ultimately, Afghans will have to wait and join the peace process after an agreement has been negotiated.

Name withheld by request

Honour Gandhi’s legacy by supporting India’s dalits

I write in reference to Rashmee Roshan Lall’s opinion piece Forced to fight their own fight: how Dalit women are caught in the crossfire between misogyny and casteism in India (January 30). On the 71st year of the late Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, India’s dalits still face discrimination in a casteist society. Political parties use this issue as a tool to win votes but successive governments have failed to eradicate the inequality. Someone must fulfil the dream of Mahatma Gandhi.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

Pregnancy can be deadly in the developing world

I refer to your article More women in aid would help sector in ‘urgent need of change’ (March 8, 2018). Pregnancy is 200 to 300 times deadlier in developing and underdeveloped countries, if little time is taken between pregnancies and there is malnutrition and poor antenatal facilities. At the same time, in developing countries, neonatal mortality is 14 times higher than in the developed world. According to research from the University of British Columbia, when mothers wait at least 12 to 18 months between pregnancies, both they and their babies have a lower risk of encountering health problems.

Dr Faisal Khan, Saudi Arabia

Updated: January 30, 2019 05:55 PM

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