Walking along an almost deserted and seemingly pristine
beach, on the north-east coast of Queensland, Australia, we found, mingled in amongst shells, sea-weed and sand on the high tide mark, all this ‘stuff’; enough to kill a few sea turtles or choke a dolphin or two.
After picking up this ugly flotsam over about 300 metres, we filled two large bags of plastic bits and pieces, plus a few drink cans, lengths of fishing line, bait bags (some bearing foreign writing – how far had that travelled?) and all manner of packaging. On one pack we could still read the ‘use by’ date of 2009, so it had been in the sea for at least five years!
What are we doing to this ocean, to this earth?
Sadly our small ‘haul’ probably wouldn’t have much effect on the lives of turtles, dolphins or dugongs, but it made us feel as if we had done something; not enough, but something, by stopping it being swept back out to sea on the incoming tide.
We all need to think hard about where and how we use plastic bags; where and how we dispose of them - and other plastic stuff - and try to reduce the use of such horrible nature-harming junk.