Aluminium cans

The Business and Minerals Committee (Inuussutissarsiornermut Atsitassanullu Ataatsimiititaliaq) at The Government of Greenland (Inatsisartut) is supporting a proposal to make the import of alcohol-free beer in aluminium cans legal.

Alcohol-free beer has several health benefits compared to beer with alcohol. So making alcohol-free beer available is a good idea.

Unfortunately, the deposit scheme on beverage containers in Greenland only cover glass and plastic bottles (as seen in our previous post from the Nuuk Culture Night). It doesn’t cover aluminium cans. This means there is no incentive for people to dispose of the cans in a environment-friendly way.

The committee addresses this by saying there are already energy drinks in aluminium cans available in greenlandic stores, and “The number of visible aluminum cans in the city seems to be quite limited” (Quote from a May 2019 KNR article).

Unfortunately, this is not true. Maybe the members of the committee doesn’t walk or bicycle around Nuuk - maybe they only drive around in cars so they don’t see how polluted by trash the town of Nuuk actually is.

A quick walk from the town center to the Nuussuaq neighborhood and around the airport gave a total of 42 discarded energy drinks in aluminium cans - as seen in these pictures that we took:

In Denmark - where the alcohol-free beer will be imported from - there already is a deposit on every type of beverage aluminium can. The Danish deposit scheme will be even further expanded this year by including juice and other non-carbonated drinks regardless of the container.

Greenland’s deposit scheme needs to also be expanded.

Helping victims of abuse

This week Danish Broadcasting (DR) showed a documentary from the greenlandic town of Tasiilaq. Tasiilaq has a high suicide rate, many of the town’s citizens are victims of sexual abuse. This include children.

In the documentary “Byen hvor børn forsvinder” (The town where children disappear), a schoolteacher tells examples of what her pupils have experienced in their family life. The teacher tells DR that she has reported every abuse about every child to the municipality - and that she has heard nothing back.

DR and the teacher have arranged a meeting with the Sermersooq Municipality mayor Asii Chemnitz Narup - who at the last minute cancels the meeting with no explanation whatsoever.

The municipality then grants DR and the teacher an interview with the head of the social department - Martha Lund Olsen.

Martha Lund Olsen comes across as being defensive and rather hostile towards the teacher. The teacher starts by asking why Martha hasn’t answered an e-mail the teacher personally sent some time ago. Martha doesn’t answer - so the teacher asks again. Once again Martha doesn’t answer.

The teacher then moves on to a new question, except she doesnt get to the end of her sentence about there being several reports about the problems in Tasiilaq before Martha Lund Olsen interrupts the teacher which in and of itself is aggressive, but Martha keeps on being aggressive by changing her tone of voice and saying “You know what? I already know this” thereby not letting the teacher actually ask a question.

Martha Lund Olsen has to the newspaper Sermitsiaq “apologized” for her behavior in the DR documentary, by saying she was irritated that she was being accused of not doing anything about the problems in Tasiilaq.

In the interview Martha Lund Olsen was not being accused of not doing anything. She was asked - twice - why she hasn’t answered a specific e-mail sent by the teacher. Martha didn’t answer. The teacher tried to ask a new question but Martha interrupted.

So Martha wasn’t being accused of anything. Martha was merely being a jerk.

Danish politicians have offered to help with the expertise and money that Denmark has - Greenlandic politicians have refused to receive help from Denmark.

The people in power have failed its citizens. They should be held responsible. Ordinary citizens should always have the right to criticize the people in power - otherwise we cease to be a democracy.