Save bottles and cans from trash heap

A reader welcomes a machine that buys back used beverage containers. Other letter topics today: saving the euro, taming traffic, running an airline, sharing Cyprus, and safeguarding children.

One advantage of machines which make it easy for people to recycle beverage containers, a reader writes, is that when the empties have money value, they soon stop posing a litter problem. Pawan Singh / The National
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I was shocked to learn, from The vending machines that work in reverse (September 29), that only 36,000 beverage containers are recycled per year in this country, out of one billion used.

In North America, and I believe in Europe too, most supermarkets have a row of machines like this. They accept soda cans, for example, and return vouchers, at a rate equal to about Dh1 per five cans; you bring in your cans, feed the machine, exchange the voucher for cash at a counter and proceed in to do your shopping. Most people do this routinely.

Truly, this country could make recycling progress quickly with machines of this type, and a deposit on all cans, and even plastic bottles. Another advantage is that when these containers have monetary value, they cease to be litter.

Tina Dawlish, Abu Dhabi

Barn door closes but much too late

I laughed out loud when I read Euro nations face swift sanctions for breaking budget rules (September 29).

So the European Parliament is going to get tough now, is it? What a classic case of locking the barn door just as the horse disappears into the distance? Where were these geniuses when Greece was cooking its books and borrowing vast amounts?

Fred Molinari, Dubai

Give Etihad credit for safety focus

Re: Passengers tell of long, hot wait on Etihad plane (September 28).

Evidently something went wrong with that Etihad airplane before take-off, but let's remember that running an airline is not easy.

Better a delay on the ground than a safety problem aloft. Give Etihad credit for putting safety first.

And I see (Etihad flights to offer internet, September 29) that soon we'll be able to go online while in the air on many flights, which will be very welcome.

Martin Daoud, Dubai

Your story says that Etihad apologised for what occurred.

But can the airline explain exactly what happened to cause the passengers to be subjected to such high temperatures. More importantly what are they doing to make sure this doesn't occur again?

As a paying passenger I want to be assured that the airline has made sure the problem won't be repeated. That's not too much to ask surely?

Tony Griggs, Abu Dhabi

UAE Pavilion to live again

Thank you for the fine "infographic" Building the perfect dune in your Oasis feature (September 29) about the rebuilding of the UAE Pavilion, now going up on Saadiyat Island after a first incarnation in China.

This was both thought-provoking and newsy. This kind of illustrated article is always quite rewarding.

Karen Quinn, Abu Dhabi

Set exact speed for each lane

In response to Theyab Awana's grieving father in emotional plea to drivers (September 29) and related stories, I have a suggestion.

We should mandate a speed for each lane and fine anyone doing the incorrect speed, above or below.

Drivers could handle this new requirement through cruise control much of the time, and could stay in the lane which best suits their driving habits or desires.

We would have to fine drivers who follow too closely, because this practice is dangerous. Trevor Bundus, Abu Dhabi

Turks are bullies over Cyprus gas

I refer to your report Turkey turns up the heat in gas feud with Cyprus (September 29).

Turkey and the pseudo-state of occupied Cyprus bully the legal, internationally recognised government of the Republic of Cyprus to use their natural resources.

If Turkey as a guarantor of the Turkish Cypriots wants them to be allowed to take advantage of the possible gas deposits under that part of the Mediterranean, then Turkey should remove its troops, give back the occupied land, and allow the Republic to function as it should.

Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan has no problem threatening a small state and pretending the Mediterranean belongs to him.

Vassilis Theocharides, Dubai

Make buildings safer for children

I refer to your editorial Safety culture begins but does not end at home (September 29).

The building from which the child and mother fell was certified as safety-standard compliant. Obviously we need better standards. New construction could be made safer starting now, but how can we secure existing homes?

VJ Mehta, Dubai