Nothing fantastic about killer plastic
IT’S an obsession now. Officially. I am driving the members of my household mad with it. I sometimes feel like screaming in the supermarket because of it.
When I unpack my bag once I’m home, my family has to suffer a stream of expletive-ridden “Why, why, whys?” because there’s so much of it.
My food shop trips fuel me up with so much anger, I have to take a pit-stop by the wine section on my way round for fear of blowing a gasket. It’s even taking over this page, for God’s sake.
This is the plastic that gathered in my house after only three days of monitoring this week (I told you I was obsessed!). Part of it is supermarket packaging for fruit, vegetables, loo rolls, bread, pasta etc.
You don’t even want to know what I mutter to myself as I cruise the aisles and spot what must be metres upon metres of the stuff taunting me as I sashay on by.
The rest of the heap is a huge, indestructible swathe of plastic that contained my mattress-in-a-box delivery (VERY comfy, if you’re asking). I’m thinking of sailing from Southampton to the Isle of Wight on it tomorrow – the plastic that is, not the mattress – it’s that tough, sturdy and indestructible.
I’ve also considered dropping it in the Pacific Ocean, which currently has an island the size of France floating around the northern section, composed mainly of plastic waste. There’s a campaign to actually name it as a country – Trash Island – to draw attention to the plastic problem.
As a whole, plastic now makes up 40% of the surface the world’s oceans. Thousands of seabirds, sea turtles, seals and other marine mammals are killed each year after eating plastic or getting caught up in it.
If you have an “I’m alright Jack, stuff the wildlife” frame of mind, here’s the gamechanger: when animals eat plastic pieces, most of which contain harmful, toxic substances, the toxins are absorbed into their bodies and passed up the food chain. To us.
Wetherspoons – my eldest son’s second home – has seen the light and is banning plastic drinking straws. When I was little, they were made of paper.
It IS possible to reduce our mountains, countries even, of plastic waste. It is VITAL that we do. Plastic may be handy. It may be useful. But, it is also a killer.
Plastic. It’s not as fantastic as you might think.
Animals eat toxic plastic which heads up the food chain – to us
PILING UP Plastic packaging in Fiona’s kitchen