I am trying to do my bit, but will it make a scintilla of difference? I hope so, but I think not.
Every afternoon when I take my dog for a stroll through the nearby park (it’s a big one…the park, that is, not the dog!), I collect items of rubbish that people have thrown away, willy-nilly, on the paths, beside the skate ramps, in the bushes and on the edge of a small creek.
The rubbish includes bottles, plastic bags and (always!) those take-away drink containers, often with plastic dome-like tops and usually still with a straw.
It beats me how people can simply drop or throw trash just anywhere as they go along. But they do!
If the rubbish item is too gross to touch, I use one of my doggie poo bags as a sort of disposable glove to pick it up. (Yes, I use those plastic bags, but I dispose of them very carefully).
So, picking up others’ rubbish is something I do every day.
Trying not to sound too much like a goody-goody, I think I do my bit – little though it is.
I have not accepted supermarket single use plastic bags for years.
I even made my own cotton bags to hold fruit that I buy.
But…is this enough?
Is my tiny contribution helping to alleviate the horrendous problem of plastic pollution?
The problem is HUGE!
Shoppers worldwide are using approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year.
To see what we’re up against, please watch the video showing waves of plastic pollution in the Caribbean Sea:
And here’s a scary fact: 5 Asian countries contribute more plastic into the oceans than the rest of the world combined. (That is, China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand & Vietnam).
Shocking report reveals that 95% of plastic polluting the world's oceans comes from just TEN rivers - including the Ganges and Niger. (Daily Mail, 2017)
(According to Forbes media, April 2018) Indonesia’s Citarum River, blackened by debris beyond recognition, has been dubbed the most polluted river in the world.
The situation has gotten so bad that the army was recently called in to remove the plastic waste -- and prevent further dumping in the waterway.
The army had to be called in!
Last year, a third of the 1.67 million tons of domestic waste disposed in Singapore consisted of packaging waste, primarily plastic bags and food packaging.
But, the situation is slowly changing: Taiwan is moving to ban all one-time use plastic, including bags, beverage cups and cutlery issued by restaurants and businesses by 2030. (but ‘by 2030’ ? too late?)
But, don’t be complacent Australia. Australia is a serious polluter!
There’s so much more we can do. But this is a start:
In Australia, (from July 1), Queensland and Western Australia have now banned single-use, lightweight plastic bags from major retailers, bringing the states into line with the ACT, South Australia and Tasmania.
Victoria is set to follow, having announced plans in October 2017 to phase out most lightweight plastic bags this year, leaving only New South Wales without a proposed ban.
Come on, Victoria and (especially) NSW!
We’re still seeing those bags as they are thrown away - or blown away. Off they go, into gutters, then drains, then waterways, then the sea.
And the damage they and other plastics wreak on sea life is indescribably awful.
Check out this video of a poor green turtle battling piles of plastic rubbish as she tries to build her nest…and later the poor baby turtles.
https://www.facebook.com/bbcearth/videos/our-blue-planet-turtles-battle-with-plastic/1824694994230715/ (watch the whole video)
It is estimated that one in three ocean swimming turtles have plastic in their stomach. It’s killing them.
I could go on…and on…and on…
But, while we on this frightening topic, can anyone tell me the reason behind drinking bottled water??
Who conned us into thinking that water from a plastic bottle was preferable to water from a kitchen tap? Who conned us into paying exorbitant prices for water that we could have for free? Water in bottles that contribute towards ruining our environment!
And WHY do we think we have to constantly drink water – no matter where we are? (Several times I’ve seen people sipping from water bottles at funerals! FFS!)
So, anyway, I am doing my (tiny) bit, and still hoping the situation isn’t hopeless!
DO YOUR BIT!