Save the Last Straw For Me
In truth, l am not entirely sure when l became as hyper-focused on ‘go green, environmental issues and eco-friendly topics’ as l am, not as in the specific date or time, month or even year, l think l sort of slowly ambled into it, probably because of my work with the animal industry. So, perhaps for the last twenty years have l been acutely aware of the serious problems.
I have a lot of passions, but animal cruelty and our planet are two very strong ones. The animal cruelty well that is simpler to highlight, it began in earnest when l saw just how badly many animals were being treated in the UK. You Tube, the news and other social media platforms also highlighted the most heinous of cases by man against animal and so it wasn’t long before my absolute disdain of mankind really began. I should imagine that it was because of this progression – that l started to look at the general shape of our planet and as such the conservation or in many cases lack of it.
Society has a rather convenient way of ostracising and elephantining subject matters it wishes not to confront head on, they are apathetic to most of the issues our planet faces every year. Not all of course, in fact looking back say as little as ten years ago, we now have a greater shift of concern on the wellbeing on and of good ol’ planet earth.
These two designs were created in 2015, and they were to popularise the serious problems our oceans face each and every day from plastic pollution – hence the tag line – “Do NOT let Plastic Sea plasticize our way of life” because sadly, that is exactly what is happening. The excellent news of course is that finally governments have seen the error of their ways, and are now – ONLY – now really becoming quite concerned as to the serious catastrophic damage that is going on beneath the waves … and now more poignantly above as well!
Recently our Prime Minister Theresa May declared “I’ll end the Plastic scourge” by 2042 which is admirable, but l am oft confused because twenty years ago, even as a novice l could see that the way we were treating our planet that no good would ever come of it.
“This truly is one of the great environmental scourges of our time” Theresa May “ we look back in horror at some of the damage done to our environment in the past and wonder how anyone could have thought that, for example, dumping toxic chemicals, untreated, into rivers was ever the right thing to do. In years to come, l think people will be shocked at how today we allow so much plastic to be produced needlessly.”
Well, l have news, l was shocked years ago, how much in the way of rubbish was being dumped into our oceans, never mind just the plastics!
Governments have dumped everything into our seas for years. It is/was considered one of the cheapest and easiest ways of disposing of initially sewage and has simply, [nothing simple about it] escalated into its own terminology ‘Ocean Dumping’.
Following the end of both World Wars, governments dumped thousands of unwanted goods into the oceans, because it would in many cases prove too costly to return them home especially as much of it could not be sold off. But equally, governments thought not twice at simply stopping at that, munitions were dumped in to the seas in their millions, as indeed were chemical wastes so why we are shocked at the levels that our ocean waste has become should serve as no real story.
But sadly it is and worse than that it is fast becoming one of the biggest problems our world faces today.
When l was growing up, l hardly ever remember seeing the vast quantities of plastic we have in circulation today, or for that matter the careless disposal of it. Our nations of society has just become one overly large and uncaring mass that progresses at speed and thinks not twice of what it uses, for how long and where it dumps it afterwards with no thoughts of what the long term damage might be for our environment.
We are now paying the costs of this want not culture on a global scale. Our world is fast becoming moulded and plasticised into an oversized dumpster.
Yesterday my partner came home from shopping and was excited that she had managed to buy fruit and vegetables that were not coated and wrapped in plastics of some sort, but saddened by the fact that she was still only able to purchase some 25% free of this nuisance. And only last week, after conducting a small home survey was l angered again and again by the sheer volume of home waste plastics we were disposing of each and every week that could not even remotely enter the recycling bin, as we as a country do not have the desperately needed facilities to dispose of it or upcycle it efficiently.
In one week, we managed to dispose into our actual ‘recycle bin’, only 35 pieces of plastic, meanwhile our normal bin handled 172 assorted plastic items, and that is with us being or attempting to be extremely frugal on having any kind of plastic waste in the house. If people wish to be shocked, then that is shocking. More so when many are so eager and enthusiastic to do their bit, no matter how large or small that contribution might be …
… but you can, we all can, because every little bit helps, and no one is ever too small to make a difference!
1] Plastic Shopping Bags;
You don’t need them! Always ensure you have a reusable bag when you go not just shopping, but anywhere! Use paper bags if needs be, but avoid plastic bags at all costs!
You know here’s an idea – try drinking without one! There’s even a name for it – it’s called ‘sipping!’ I know, neat huh? Failing my blatant sarcasm, why not carry a reusable glass straw or even ensure you only use paper biodegradables.
3] Plastic Bottles;
Yes, these can be recycled and yet millions never seem to make it into the system. UK households last years used 30 billion! 30 Billion, and yet only 57% were recycled!! This means that nearly three quarters of a million plastic bottles are discarded as litter … each day!!!?
Use glass reusable or try tap and filter it.
4] Plastic Toothbrushes;
Buy an environmental toothbrush such as bamboo.
5] Polystyrene Cups/Yoghurt Cups;
This is one of the most aggressive forms of pollutant there is, due to its lightness and bulkiness.
Try using reusable plastic cups or mugs or ensure you ONLY buy recyclable pots.
6] Disposable Razors;
Try using a lifetime razor or maybe just maybe letting everything grow longer! Hairy legs are fashionable for the colder winter months you know!
7] Plastic Cutlery;
Due to its smallness, similar to that of straws it makes for difficult disposal and recycling, and tends to end up as ocean dumping waste! Learn to use reusable. It has a way better feel to it anyway.
8] Liquid shower Gels and Soaps:
Try using soap bars.
9] Black Meat Trays;
Stop using these purely aesthetically dyed monsters and switch to clear plastic trays which at least CAN be recycled. The dye used by manufacturers prevents the others from being recycled.
One of my biggest banes in life!
In the UK we only have one processing plant that can actually do anything with packaging … 1!!? So make life easier on everyone and buy fruit and vegetables that are not packaged in anything.
Can’t wait to see plastic free aisles!
But this also includes not just food packaging, but Clingfilm as well.
Together – we can beat plastics and shape our future the way we wish to be moulded!
Rory Matier – The Tee Shirt Blogger