Noth­ing fan­tas­tic about killer plas­tic

Daily Mirror - - NEWS -

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

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