LETTERS: by Selwyn JohnstonNews Weekly
New use for sugar cane trash (letter)
, November 1, 2003
Queensland sugar cane farmers have at last been delivered some "good news" via the Local Government Authority of Queensland (LGAQ) annual conference held in Cairns recently.
The unanimous support by LGAQ delegates, representing all 125 City, Town and Shire Councils, for a new manufacturing industry producing biodegradable "sugar-derived" plastic bags, will help the sustainability of the family cane farmer.
Sugar cane "trash", or cane bio-mass, which currently is either burnt or left in the paddock as "blanket cover", will be baled and sold through a cane farmer initiated "Community Cooperative" to a co-operative-owned manufacgradable "sugar-derived" plastic bags and other environmentally friendly products.
Community Cooperatives in sugar cane regions from Mossman to Nambour are currently being formed, or considered, in response to the problems associated with the deregulation of the sugar industry.
The biodegradable sugar-derived plastic bags concept has been enthusiastic supported by all Queensland Local Governments, who are confronted daily with the difficulties associated with non-degradable petroleum-based plastics.
This commonsense solution, initiated by cane farmers, is not only a win for the sugar industry, but offers the State Government a real opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to ensure a sustainable and viable sugar industry by providing the necessary support to achieve its objective.Selwyn Johnston