Tag Archives: throwaway living

Plastic not so fantastic…

2 Aug

I am on a personal mission to END THE ERA OF PLASTIC BAG PRODUCTION!
I have a plastic bag beast in my kitchen and I’m betting you do too. This monstrous bag of bags was multiplying like an evil and indestructible entity, silently and ominously lurking in the cupboard, waiting patiently to be released into the wild and to end its days floating peacefully in the Pacific Ocean, for the next 500 years! This multiplying continued, uninterrupted until I stumbled upon some rather startling facts about our oceans. Upon reading this disturbing information I turned to face my bag beast with thoughts of furious vengeance and made a personal vow to myself; never accept a new plastic bag again and hassle the shit out of my friends and neighbours until they stop too!

So here are some truth nuggets to get you motivated and on the righteous path of anti bagging; Plastic is one of the hardest things to re-cycle because of the sorting process it must go through and eight percent of world oil production goes to manufacturing it. Plastic production worldwide now exceeds 80 million tones a year, with Australia contributing almost 1.3 million tones to that total, that’s a bloody shit load! Here are a few more for you to ponder: There are about 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in each square mile of our oceans and in some parts of the Pacific Ocean there is sadly more plastic than plankton.  Discarded plastic has even been found on uninhabited South Pacific islands. Every piece of plastic EVER made still exists today! In addition to this, production of plastics is a major user of fossil fuels. True facts.

Out in the Pacific Ocean between America and Japan lies a huge garbage patch; an island of plastic estimated to be around the size of Queensland and made up of 3.5 million tones of plastic bottles, shopping bags, lids and various other throwaway items.

As it grows, marine life and birds are mistaking it for food and feeding it to their young who are ingesting it and dying from poisoning. Scientists researching the effects of this found shards of plastic in 9% of the fish in this area. If you are a fan of the traditional fish supper, be warned – in years to come ocean fish may be deemed unsuitable for human consumption. This is a very real threat.

This horrific scar upon the ocean is evidence of the last 50 years of ‘throwaway living’. No single country could afford to finance the clean up of the ocean. The damage is done. What we can do is clean up our act to prevent it from getting worse.

People! Now is the time to make a stand and use the voice of your actions to make a difference, we need to take personal responsibility as individuals.
Some simple steps we could each take to alleviate the problem would be; Re-use your plastic bags to give them a long life, Avoid buying plastic products whenever possible. Reduce the amount of plastic used by buying refill packs and rejecting products with excess packaging. Recycle any surplus plastic items. Right now you could; lose your coffee cup lids, ask your friendly barrister to fill it 3/4 or maybe just take a sip before you leave the cafe! Its that easy, no catch. Simple of simples and what could be a better result than reducing the production of plastic and at zero cost.

We live in a distorted world where consumerism and convenience are paramount and the welfare of our planet is merely an afterthought. We desperately need to force a change in our habits which is something that will take incredible discipline and a strong desire to make a difference.

I think about the future and wonder if our grandchildren will ask us why we did nothing to stop the damage. I wonder what will be left for them of the magnificent biodiversity on this planet. Will they see a humpback whale and her calf migrate across Bondi? Will they be lucky enough to see the majestic Manta Rays and ancient turtles at Coral Bay? Will they experience the underwater wonderland that is the Great Barrier Reef?

We are so extraordinarily lucky right here and right now and we should not for a second longer take it for granted. We live on the edge of the ocean, we surf, swim, love, paint and sing about it. I myself am continually in awe of its raging and unbridled power. We should all feel a certain affinity with it, after all it was the beginning of life on earth, from whence we came.

“Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something”

End Rant.