Every day my daily walk takes me to the lake, usually with the resident Schnauzer in tow.
It is a beautiful walk and the developer and Council maintain the street and pathways to a high standard. They want to sell the remaining blocks of vacant land, I guess.
What is very disappointing is that, each and every day, I find some plastic washed up by the shore of the lake.
Each day, I hope to find a clean and clear shoreline. Predominantly, I find plastic wrap for packs of single use plastic water bottles and plastic packets for food floating on the water or washed up on the rocks.
Each day, I remove this plastic and dispose of it in the rubbish bin; it’s just a few steps away.
In this small corner of the world, on just one corner of the lake’s shoreline, I am removing 2 – 10 pieces of plastic rubbish each and every day. So, let’s put that in a global context:
“Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans from coastal nations. That’s the equivalent of setting five garbage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline around the world.” (EACH YEAR!)https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/habitats/plastic-pollution/
Single-use plastics account for 40 percent of the plastic produced every year. Many of these products, such as plastic bags and food wrappers, have a lifespan of mere minutes to hours, yet they may persist in the environment for hundreds of years.
Some plastic contain additives to make them stronger and in doing so, extends their life meaning they will take up to 400 years to break down. At the rate plastic is being produced, we will be drowning in plastic, in 400 years.
Plastics – Key Facts
- Half of all plastics ever manufactured have been made in the last 15 years.
- Production increased exponentially, from 2.3 million tons in 1950 to 448 million tons by 2015. Production is expected to double by 2050.
- Trash is also carried to sea by major rivers, which act as conveyor belts, picking up more and more trash as they move downstream. Once at sea, much of the plastic trash remains in coastal waters. But once caught up in ocean currents, it can be transported around the world.
We urgently need to reduce or eliminate our use of plastic.
Long-term effects of Plastic Pollution
- It upsets the Food Chain
- Marine animals mistakenly ingest plastics (Turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish)
- Creates Pollution of waterways from chemicals entering ground water
- Land Pollution from Landfill
- Expels air pollitspollutathe manufacturing process
- It Kills Animals – seabirds and fish get caught inside or around it
- It is Poisonous – to humans and animals
- It is Expensive – it costs more to produce than a reusable natural bag
I will be keeping a count of the days without plastic.
How You Can Help
- Responsibly dispose of plastic pollution when you find it in your local area
- Say No to Plastic bags from shops
- Use re-useable cloth or string bags
- Refuse products with excess packaging
- Ask if the packaging is reuseable PRIOR to purchase- especially with take away food, smoothies, coffees and drinks, so that business owners try to be more selective in their product choice
- Carry a refillable drink or coffee flask and reusable straws
- Don’t buy bottled water – or drinks in plastic bottles – preference glass containers where possible
- Be responsible with your own rubbish when out and about
In Japan, I never saw a single item of rubbish in the streets. The Japanese are very conscious of taking their own rubbish away with them.
If the Japanese can do it with their mega population, we can do it too.
Let’s change the culture of plastic reliance everywhere!