On my mind

Llanelli Star - - LETTERS - With Gra­ham Davies

PLAS­TIC surgery was once a taboo sub­ject, but now no-one raises an eye­brow, es­pe­cially af­ter they have had it done.

They say that in the fol­low-up ses­sions you meet lots of new faces. One sur­geon was puz­zled why so few peo­ple were com­ing to him when he re­alised that he had a Pi­casso print in his wait­ing room.

When it comes to plas­tics there are so many dif­fer­ent types with so many dif­fer­ent as­pects of flexibilit­y, ver­sa­til­ity and re­silience.

It’s amaz­ing that plas­tic is the com­mon fea­ture in, for ex­am­ple, soft drink bottles, pack­ag­ing trays, first aid blan­kets, soap con­tain­ers, shopping bags, wa­ter and sewage pipes, in­su­la­tion, cloth­ing, ma­chine parts, bin bags, straws, etc.

It’s no won­der that peo­ple crowd into shops sell­ing ar­ti­cles made of wood, stone, leather, metal, glass, and ce­ram­ics – and then come out of the shop with it wrapped in a plas­tic bag.

Plas­tic, the won­der ma­te­rial, is now a prob­lem. We know the risk to wildlife and that ex­cess of plas­tic is killing dol­phins and tur­tles, but ever since my plas­tic duck had a beak job there has been no es­cape from the con­sump­tion of mi­croplas­tics and plas­tic mi­crofi­bres.

Friends have no­ticed changes in my colour, mal­leabil­ity and dura­bil­ity.

Of course in this part of the world when you are talk­ing to your green (i.e. ac­tivism and not colour) friends don’t men­tion Alexan­der Parkes too loudly.

A bril­liant chemist and in­ven­tor who worked in Elk­ing­ton and Ma­son’s Cop­per Works in Burry Port, he de­vel­oped “Parke­sine”, re­garded as the first man-made plas­tic.

Patented by Parkes in Birm­ing­ham in 1856, it was un­veiled at the 1862 Great In­ter­na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion in Lon­don.

It’s the last straw for some, but we need to break free from plas­tic. I just hope I don’t snap in the process.

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