Earth Day 2018 | Drowning in Plastic

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22. Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. This year is focused on ending plastic pollution.

Minuscule plastic beads on a north Cornish beach

These tiny beads of plastic were found on a Cornish beach, so tiny if it wasn’t for the brightly coloured pieces they would have gone unnoticed. Easily swallowed by fish and other sea creatures. In other parts of the world the problem is enormous with whole rivers choked with discarded plastic. It is not only their problem to solve, but ours too as we only have the one planet.

Debris washed up on a Canadian beach in B.C

We cannot change the world in a day, but together, each of us can change it for the better. This year pledge to reduce your use of plastic.

Daily Post Photo Challenge | Prolific

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Heyjude

I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

44 thoughts on “Earth Day 2018 | Drowning in Plastic”

  1. I think we are almost past the point of no return. Just a week ago councils in this area are stopping saving recyclables as China is being more selective about taking our rubbish. So as of last week all our yellow top recycle bins go straight to the land fill sites. From June 1 supermarkets in Queensland are not using plastic bags (I always take my reusable bags when shopping) some of the other states and territories have been doing that for years. But there is so much plastic rubbish already out there I doubt it can ever be cleaned up. And then where do they put it??? A truly horrific scenario. We must all keep trying though, lots of small steps, buy a refillable stainless steel water bottle, take your own cup for coffee, compost scraps etc etc. you’ve touched a very raw nerve Jude

    1. I have to wonder where our plastics go to. It shouldn’t be too difficult for a country like Australia to set up its own recycling and processing plants surely? Being one of the richest countries in the world you’d think they could do this. It’s amazing what plastic can be turned into.

        1. Such a shame. And so wrong in many ways to expect another country to deal with our own rubbish. It annoys me to see rubbish shipped elsewhere for other people to pick over and deal with. we still ship stuff to India, China and south-east Asia. And still some people do not recycle anything!!

        2. China is getting fussy about the quality of rubbish it takes. It must be “clean”, non contaminated, before they will take it. So, for example, if a tin is not rinsed or a pizza box has crumbs it is rejected

        3. We have to do that here or it won’t be picked up. In fact takeaway food cartons are not collected. But I don’t buy takeaway food except for fish ‘n’ chips and Cornish pasties.

        4. Toughening up here now. But how can they tell what you put in the bin at collection point… it is up to individuals to do the right thing

  2. That last comment seems very sensible, Jude. Many of us are aware and horrified by the problems but it still feels like an unstoppable tide. What Pauline said about China refusing their rubbish… well, why on earth should they take someone else’s rubbish when they can generate more than enough of their own? I expect it comes down to money. We try to beachcomb plastics and rubbish whenever we can.

  3. On a mission to reduce our plastic. Clingfilm and packaging are the ones I’m working on at moment, already found alternative ear buds and plastic bags have been a no go in house for years. But boy the shops and manufacturers don’t make it easy.

    1. You’re right. Some things just don’t come in an alternative packaging. I rarely use cling film these days, I reuse ice-cream tubs a lot for storing leftovers, freezing double amounts of food and even growing seeds in! And I try to avoid black plastic as much as possible because we can’t recycle that. Manufacturers need to be more responsible: biodegradable plastic, glass and cardboard. We might need to pay more, but if that’s what it takes then so be.

  4. Well said Jude! I do try, I use soap not shower gel. I don’t like squash and sweet fizzy stuff and try to remember my water bottle when i go out. As you say, every little helps 🙂

  5. Snorkeling in Vietnam last year was bittersweet for me because of the plastic pollution off Nha Trang. I was literally grabbing handfuls as I swam. It’s really telling that a photograph of a seahorse holding onto a discarded cotton bud – while also a finalist in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition – has become “the poster child for today’s marine trash crisis.” See https://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/proof/2017/09/seahorse-ocean-pollution/.

    Those plastic pellets have also recently washed up on beaches around Fish Hoek so I suspect it’s a worldwide problem.

    We’ve been recycling our household waste for some time now and 90% of mine is packaging. That’s scary.

    1. Soooo much packaging. We really need to return to a more sustainable way of life eating what grows in season. It would be beneficial for our health too.

      1. You are absolutely right. We don’t need exotic fruit all year round. When we buy our weekly groceries we try to avoid plastic as much as possible, but when we unpack, we always end up with an enormous pile of plastic. Wicked, isn’t it? It’s frightening to see how plastic ends up in nature, even each time the washing machine has done its work. Who knew that semi-synthetics were such a polluter some years ago??

      2. Absolutely. Beauty products are the worst – normally boxes triple the size of the actual product. Barbara Kingsolver wrote a great book called “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life” which changed my way of thinking completely.

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