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Plastic not fantastic

I am writing this letter about the recent news about bans on use of single plastics (“Single-use plastic bags banned at cash counters in Abu Dhabi stores from June 1”, Gulf News, June 1). There are many reasons why this is a step in the right direction. First of all, plastic carry bags are disposable rather than reusable. Surveys have shown that a plastic bag is used for approximately 12 minutes and then discarded.

If not banned, plastic bags may get thrown into the environment, causing pollution. Also, a lot of energy is used in producing plastic bags. According to many studies, the total energy needed to drive a car for 1 kilometre is equivalent to producing nine plastic bags. Because of this, it is not a rationale that renewable resources are used to make plastic bags when each plastic bag is used for just 12 minutes. Finally, plastic bags are harmful to wildlife and marine life. For instance, birds, animals, and marine life such as sea turtles and fish often mistake plastics bags for food and consume them. It is a wise decision that the UAE government is prioritising banning and minimising the usage of plastic in every way possible.

From Mr Hamdan Ismail


Ban single-use plastics

The disposal of plastic has become a crisis. Plastic production, use, and disposal are terrible for human health and the environment, as plastic is rarely recycled or even recyclable (“Abu Dhabi’s single-use plastic bag ban aims to protect the environment”, Gulf News, June 1). Plastic is always the wrong option. It pollutes and is toxic throughout its production and use. Moreover, it poses a deadly threat to marine and land-based life and must always be burned or buried, even after being recycled a few times. The decision to ban single-use plastic bags by the UAE government is commendable. I hope these measures will lead to a better environment.

From Mr Hari Shankar

Dubai, UAE

Bitcoin: Keeping it simple

If you could change one thing about cryptocurrencies, wouldn’t you change how information about them is communicated to the public by experts, journalists, and influencers? You’re not alone. Quite a few in the industry sometimes express frustration at how cryptocurrency gets relayed to the public. What is even more distressing is the fact that so many laypeople hold on to a crude view of how investing with cryptocurrencies works.

If you were to ask financial analysts what they would fix about cryptocurrencies or the blockchain, many would talk about the asset or the processes in the network itself. But, what matters to crypto investors — many new to the finance world, are simple explanations.

Cryptocurrencies sit at the heart of modern-day digital finance, philosophy, and to some extent, a spattering of internet memes and acronyms. Explaining trends and blockchain developments to a non-crypto audience is essential for cryptocurrencies to take root in the masses. In contrast, experts should spend more time learning how to communicate with the public — like social media, which is commonly the go-to place for experts to engage with the public. That said, improving crypto literacy is another way to approach the challenge.

Many of us admit that our education systems give very little training for careers outside academia. If we don’t choose finance and investing, we’re left to fend for our investment needs on our own. Add it up, and it’s not surprising that we are increasingly becoming more anxious and depressed about managing our wealth. Cryptocurrencies were made by people, for people. Sadly, the ones who understand it are doing very little to explain how it works to the rest of us. Can we agree to keep it simple?

From Ms Alisha Roy


Test cricket: England’s victory over New Zealand

Hat off to the England cricket team for their thrilling Test win in Nottingham against New Zealand, chasing a total of 299 runs in 50 overs (“England captain Stokes’ blown away’ by Test win at Trent Bridge”, Gulf News, June 15). Thanks to the blistering century of Jonny Bairstow, who scored 136 runs in just 92 balls and the stroking knock of Captain Ben Stokes, which enabled the team to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the third match Test Series. The win was a payback for the positive approach taken by skipper Stokes and new coach Brendon McCullum, known for aggressive attacking cricket. Appreciations to the T20 games that have made the Test matches more interesting. Chasing five to six runs per over has become a norm, and I could presently see a higher percentage of victories in Test matches than in the past. I’m happy that Test cricket still maintains the gentleman game tag.

From Mr Narayanan Mahadevan


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