I was surprised at how medical waste, like syringes, are sometimes just put into landfills. In the Story of Stuff, Annie Leonard quotes Glenn McRae, “Very little is actually hazardous, are depending on the type of hospital, no more than 5-10 percent is potentially infectious if it is carefully segregated.”(pg 87). That’s still scary because of a case like when a medical waste landfill was flooded and syringes infested a local beach. There should be a better way to dispose of waste, especially medical waste.
Given the examples from the book, I’m sure there are some cases of ‘environmental racism’ all over the world, including Hawaii. Not in the same way Leonard describes it though. I don’t believe that companies are looking to place their factories in poorer areas solely because they consist of more darker-skinned people. Companies are just trying to find the cheapest/least regulated areas where they can away with more stuff. I don’t think it has anything to do with actual racism like I don’t think companies are thinking “Let’s put all our factories in India because I hate Indian people.”, that’s just crazy. I do notice that factories in Hawaii are kept away from places like Honolulu and Waikiki where there are a lot of white people. A more appropriate name would be ‘environmental class discrimination’ since companies are hunting for lands that are poorer/less educated and probably not because they want to give their toxins to darker-skinned people.
The consumers are really to blame because it really boils down to supply and demand. These toxic products being made/sold are only being produced because the consumers want them. Maybe they’re not willing to pay the extra price for organic and easily recyclable food and products. It’s not the companies job to go out of their way to pay the extra costs to change the materials they use to help consumers when the consumer isn’t showing any effort in even wanting to change. If they don’t want toxins in their products they can stop buying products with toxins.
Waihole has plenty of water plus has much more rainfall to replenish their water sources. Ewa needs the water drastically not just their crops but for their wildlife and for the abundant amounts of people the come to live on Hawaii through tourism. Sugar cane plantations in Ewa are shut down due to lack of irrigation. Waiahole in my opinion just needs to obtain some better water management and to stop being so selfish by only thinking about themselves. They need to help Hawaii as a whole and share the water.