Time to clean up our act
It’s climate change folks.
We were warned years ago that continued fossil fuel use would tip the planet’s temperatures and that extreme weather events would become more regular.
The comments from those on the front line of devastating floods are that they’ve never seen anything like it. The Arctic is melting — where do they think all this water is coming from? We know it’s not Mars.
And that brings me to plastic. Kudos to the supermarkets and Mitre 10 to step up to the plate and ditch the plastic. Countdown has bags for $1 that can be reused and when the bag breaks or is no longer useable, the supermarket offer is to return it and they’ll give you another.
Better late than never I suppose. But it’s the ominous and deadly phenomenon that’s happening in our oceans. It’s plastic, 12 million tonnes, of it entering our oceans every year.
Fossil-fuel plastic. Greenpeace reports that new research shows we’ve produced plastic as heavy as one billion elephants since the 1950s.
Now, I can get glassy-eyed about the ‘good old days” when milk was delivered in glass bottles and fruit was dispatched in brown paper bags.
But that does nothing to solve the staggering amount of plastic now floating in the world’s oceans.
Do slothful lazy people think their dumped plastic is going to be whisked up to some plastic heaven?
No, I pick it up when I see it lying in the gutter because I know the next stop for that plastic is into our awa Whanganui, and out into the Tasman Sea, to be carried by ocean currents.
A walk along the beach for me is to pick up plastic and everything foreign to the marine environment.
Microbeads in face washes, shower gels and toothpaste are a menace. Straws, cotton buds, sanitary products, nappies, cigarette butts thrown from cars on to the road, dropped anywhere, will eventually end up in the ocean.
We need business and corporates to reduce the plastic they produce, and consumers — that’s us — to reject all that packaging.
The marine environment can’t stomach our trash. A pilot whale died off the coast of Thailand after swallowing 80 plastic bags weighing nearly 8kg.
The vet who carried out the autopsy said it was one of the worst cases she had ever seen.
Most telling is that the bags came from several countries, which points to the ocean currents that swept those bags into the path of the whale. And if those 80 plastic bags weren’t enough, there were many more undigested throughout the whale’s body. It’s unacceptable and we should be outraged that we’ve allowed this to happen on our watch.
We can be the change we want to see happen. We share this planet and it’s time we cleaned up our act and cleaned up our oceans.
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