Clean up after the Ruins

Is someone going to clean up after the Ruins –  stop plastic pollution

One certainly hopes that someone cleans up after the Ruins. There is hazard tape, plastic packets and cladding still hanging from fences and in the windy weather it won’t take much to dislodge it. If a westerly blows it could end up adding to the already dire ocean pollution.

Shortly after driving past the eyesore that the Ruins have left behind than I came across something to really give one hope that there are people who care. At the stop sign just before Lyme Road South joins the R330 a gentleman in a grey hatchback, obviously on his way out if St Francis, stopped at the stop street, got out of his car, walked to where a discarded 2-litre plastic bottle was lying, picked it up, put it in his car, then drove off. I gave him the thumbs up so if that gent reads this post, thank you for caring. If we all made that extra little effort we could maybe beat this plastic scourge. If that gent reads this, thank you!

This small act was even more appropriate considering British PM Theresa May’s announcement, and indeed her speech yesterday morning where she has committed her government to taking action against use of plastic. Possibly it is time we South Africans could start an anti-plastic revolution.

Stop buying in plasticAs a start we could stop buying product in plastic containers that is readily available in glass. An example, Black Cat Peanut Butter is sold in glass jars. Both Spar and Yum Yum peanut butter come in plastic so support Black Cat until Spar and YUM YUM go back to using glass. All Gold Tomato Sauce comes in glass and plastic, only by the glass product. There are so many. Mrs Ball’s Chutney was sold in bottles until recently now it is supplied in plastic bottles.

If enough people boycott plastic packaged products it won’t take long for manufacturers to revert to glass. Of course not all plastic packaging can be boycotted but by making a start we can make a difference. The ocean plastic pollution Is real and we cannot afford not to do nothing.

Maybe readers who are concerned with plastic pollution can leave comment on other products that come in glass  as well as any other ideas on reducing our use of and reliance on plastic.

Plastic Pollution


Plastic Pollution

We all need to play our part in arresting the scourge of plastic pollution.

Plastic pollution

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Sometimes suffering insomnia has a positive side effect in that it gives one time to catch up on either watching television shows that one has recorded or surfing the net for interesting news stories / videos one has not had time to read or watch. One such documentary that is regularly broadcast on SKYNEWS and is also available on the internet is SKY OCEAN RESCUE that highlights the threat the world is facing with plastic pollution in our oceans.  On today’s newsletter we have published an article how turtles are being threatened by plastic pollution and earlier in the week the programme covered how fishermen off the Spanish coast are trying to deal with this scourge.

With the onset of the summer holidays when thousands of ‘Brits’ migrate to Spain’s sunny climes for their annual holidays a huge increase in the amount of plastic in being washed into the sea will increase substantially.  Last week the documentary covered how since the 1950’s, when plastic first started entering our lives, over 8 billion tonnes of plastic have been produced. To quote the SKY Ocean Rescue article ”putting this into context the amount of plastic created in 65 years is as heavy as 60 million blue wales or 138 million army tanks”. Do we suffer a similar problem when our holiday visitors descend on St Francis during our summer holidays?

So the question we all need to ask ourselves is what are we doing, if not to stop this scourge, or at least reduce the amount of plastic filling not only our oceans but also our landfills?

Recycling has to become a way of life and each and every one of us has to create a habit of not simply throwing our plastic into our garbage but of separating it and disposing of it so that it can be recycled. Our children and their children must be encouraged and taught to create this habit and possibly it should become a part of every school’s curriculum if it is not already part of what they are being taught.

We simply have to make an effort and it really is easy to create it as a habit for they say habits are either formed or broken but religiously paying attention to creating, or breaking a habit, for two weeks. So why don’t we all, for the next two weeks’ pay attention to every piece of plastic wrap, bottle or container that we would normally throw into the garbage by setting it aside, washing it and then placing it into a separate bin or bag? You will be astounded by just how much more plastic you will accumulate in a two week period and it will fill more garbage bags than your degradable waste.

We can already hear the cries that there is no recycling available in St Francis. Well the good news there is a facility behind the Second Hand shop in Assisi Drive, it just takes a little effort to put it into you boot and deliver it there on your way to doing your shopping. And once you have created the habit with plastic, start the habit with glass, tin and paper and electronics such as old batteries, cell phones and computer components. Sure it will take a little effort but once it becomes a habit maybe we can make a difference.

And from the lyrics of Cosby, Stills & Nash of way back – “Teach your children well” for they must inherit this planet that we have tried so hard to destroy!

Why not share your suggestions how you are “saving our planet” in the comments below.


PLASTIC WATCH: Sky News drawing attention to plastic pollution

Watching Sky News yesterday was a real eye opener as to just how serious the plastic pollution of our oceans has become. The shocking statement that by the year 2050 the weight of plastic in the oceans will exceed the total weight of all the fish in the sea may sound impossible but even if this figure were to be only half of that prediction; it is time for us all to start taking the threat seriously.

At the bottom of this post we have included some Sky News Ocean Rescue links to various articles, all certainly make interesting reading as to the serious threat not only to the fish and other seafood we consume but also to our health and something even more important, something we cannot live without, Oxygen.

And we have to start now! Today!

Possibly a good place to start is to stop supporting the government’s plastic bag fund which after all is probably lining a few cadre’s pockets instead of being used for what it is intended. This could spawn an whole new industry with the local production of cloth  / cotton shopping bags. How many sewing machines are lying idle in people’s cupboards that could be donated or loaned to a group of Sea Vista ladies to produce these bags? Spar and other outlets could purchase these and sell them on to customers and in the long run there is little doubt that saving the 50c one pays for each plastic bag would soon pay for the linen bags.

Take-away food containers should be next on the list. All pizza’s are sold in cardboard boxes but virtually all other take-away produce is supplied in polystyrene containers. Balobi’s Seafood Market and Deli, whether by design or accident are already setting a good example by supplying all their take-aways in cardboard containers and others should follow their lead.

And so we come to St Francis Today’s hobby horse – RECYCLING!

We simply have to motivate the municipality to create a drop off zone, or better still, strategically located zones, even if only for plastic waste initially. Glass and paper do in a relatively short period, certainly if compared with plastic, recycle themselves although in the longer term disposal of all recyclable waste products should also be addressed. But at least let us start with plastic.

We must start today. A simple exercise of putting all your plastic waste in a separate bag to your normal garbage will soon illustrate just how much more plastic waste you generate in a week compared to ‘’wet’ garbage. If you don’t already set you plastic waste aside try it for a week or two. It will shock you how much plastic you dispose of every month.

Start today and in two weeks you will have formed a habit that will significantly reduce the the tons of plastic waste that is generated in St Francis alone.

You can take your plastic waste to the Rotary sponsored recycling depot at God’s Acre on Tarragona Road, Sea Vista on the first Thursday of each month.

Sky Ocean Rescue

Sir Richard Branson backs Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign

The ocean plastic problem: 10 key statistics