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Archive for January 23rd, 2021

Let me start off by saying “I hate plastic!”. Strong words, but I do, especially soft, non-reusable, single-use plastic. Personally I think the manufacturers of the stuff should now be sued for negligence (of the planet), wilful destruction (of the environment) and ‘man’slaughter of our animals and sea creatures. There have been so many innovative ideas and new materials created to replace plastic, that the manufacturers no long have an excuse. But of course, that’s not taking into account the oil industry, and the hedge-fund industry. They stand to lose billions of dollars if we stop making plastic.

The issue of soft, disposable, non-reusable plastic and the pollution and destruction they cause/d has been common knowledge and widely spoken about, written about, advertised and poor David Attenborough has been banging his head against the proverbial brick wall for years now. I understand that plastic has it’s uses and certainly the medical industry benefits hugely from soft pliable plastic, but that like other such industries should be the exception.

Think about all those MEGA TONS of plastic rubbish that gets exported from China to the west each year…all those plastic toys that break within a few weeks and even days…all the novelty toys, the junk that comes out of christmas crackers…that stuff all ends up in landfill or rivers or the ocean. We are quite literally choking the life out of our planet with junk. There is NO ‘away’. Just because we bin it or toss it, doesn’t mean it’s gone…it’s there for centuries.

Cheap plastic products from China

If you live in a Western country, or any other country for that matter where you have a TV or access to a smart phone – YOU KNOW THAT PLASTIC KILLS. Think about the high incidence of child cancer in recent decades, and getting worse. About breast cancer, and bone cancer and any other cancer you can think of. I remember in the 70s maybe 1 in 10 people got cancer, now it’s 1 in 2!! Read that again ONE in TWO people now get cancer. Every year we donate millions to fund cancer research, to find a cure. This too has been going on for decades…they haven’t found ‘a cure’, they manage to cure a lot of people, but there is no cure for cancer per se. If they spent those millions on finding a solution, an alternative to plastic or the hundreds of deadly chemicals sprayed on our food each year…then we may get somewhere.

#5 🥺🥺🥺

And that’s not taking into account the effect on our oceans…vital to our continued wellbeing. We’ve seen the footage of the whale trying to swallow the plastic bin, we’ve seen the endless number of whales and dolphins and seabirds and fish washed up dead or dying on our shores with kilograms of plastic in their gut. The sheer agony those creatures must have suffered is beyond comprehension.

And then there’s the fishing industry – destroying the very place they depend upon for their livelihoods.🤬🤬🤬🤬

And yet…..

Death by plastic

I subscribe to the UK Rivers & Canal Trust newsletters and when I can, I contribute financially to support their work.  I recently received this newsletter:

Every year an estimated 14 million pieces of plastic rubbish end up in and around our canals and rivers. Sadly we can’t clear all of this plastic up, so 500,000 of those pieces are washed out into the ocean, becoming part of a much bigger global problem.

If everyone who visited one of our waterways picked up just one piece of plastic, the water and towpaths would be clear within a year.

Pledge to fight plastic in your area

We’re (the Canal trust) asking if you and your family can make a pledge to do a litter pick along a towpath near you. We understand it might not be possible for you to meet up, or to get out and about right now. So please do wait until it’s safe and make sure you follow national and local government guidance. You can also read through our safety tips to get yourselves prepared.

This is plastic collected off a UK beach – 1 beach!!

It seems extraordinary to me that even after all these years, so much plastic pollution is still ending up in our waterways. Much as I despise how the manufacturers like to shove the responsibility for the pollution onto our shoulders (if there wasn’t any plastic…), we too have a responsibility to avoid buying the stuff. That said, its easier said than done. Its virtually impossible to buy anything without some form of plastic either attached to (clothing, shoes etc), wrapped in (food, magazines, products etc.) or transported in (think Amazon plastic wrapping). There are an uncountable number of ways plastic is used in our daily lives.

It’s a big fight, it’s a good fight, it’s a depressing fight because no matter what, no matter how much we ‘pick up’ today, tomorrow there will be more.

Death by human pleasure

But it is a fight we need to continue.  I remember in 2018 when my daughter was pregnant with her son, my 1st grandchild, I used to spend hours on the beach every day I was home between bookings, picking up 1,000 pieces of plastic. I never left, no matter the weather or my physical discomfort until I’d picked up 1000 pieces. And yet, 2 years later….

The above images were all taken during some of my walks along the Thanet (Kent) coastline in November year, the last 3 images from Pegwell Bay. This area is home to spectacular bird life and designated as a protected area under UK and EU legislation and is also considered a world class wetland.

If that is what is littering the tide line, I shudder to think what is entangled in the wild grasses and mud flats that get covered each day by the tide. The area where the birds that inhabit this area nest.

The Nature Reserve is a Ramsar Site of International Importance and yet its inundated with humans plastic pollution. On the day I was there, besides all the plastic in the above images, on the side of the pathway there was a pile of dog poo bags. 🤬🤬🤬 What is it with dog owners? Why don’t they dispose of the bags in the bins provided or take them home? And let’s not even think about cigarette smokers who throw their disgusting butts into the streets, on the beaches or out their car windows wherever they are. It’s ALL pollution

Will there ever be an end to this horrendous situation we humans have caused?

It is actually just disgusting and we are all responsible.

I just wish there was a solution, but so long as money and profit is more important than people, and people continue to buy convenience products in plastic, there is no hope.

It’s extraordinary…we supposedly put a man on the moon and yet we can’t solve the problem of pollution.

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