Dear Dirty America


Plastic and Politics

Plastic and Politics
January 26
10:44 2020

Perthshire, Scotland

Who dumps the plastic in the oceans?

Here in the UK we have understood the need to use less plastic and either find alternatives or just not use packaging when its only use is decorative.

We all try to recycle plastics because we know the damage caused to our oceans by the careless dumping by people too lazy to use bins or recycling facilities.

Unfortunately, our efforts in the UK are completely negated by other countries which appear to use any body of water as a dumping site. No matter how much we recycle, nothing will change until the time plastic is completely phased out.

There is a real difference between climate change and plastic misuse but they are promoted and taught as being linked, when cynical ocean pollution by companies and countries who are blinded by greed, ignorance and stupidity and corrupt politicians are the root of the problem.

Climate change is an arguable subject, but plastic pollution is exactly what it is. No ambivalence. No buts. It is real.

Plastic is killing many tens of thousands of marine creatures and obviously could easily make some species extinct in quite a short time. We can’t sit back and not speak out.

The Pacific Ocean is probably more polluted than any other, but this will change because some rivers in less developed countries are almost completely choked by hundreds of tons of plastic. Why anyone would think that this is acceptable, is beyond my comprehension.

Proper plastic recycling must now be taught in all countries of the world, as a matter of urgency.

It is unacceptable that we as citizens of the UK are vilified by environmental groups for our recycling efforts, but little is said about the rest of the planet.

David Attenborough should be lecturing the Indian and Chinese governments, instead of trying to heap guilt upon people who are doing their best.

Of course, we could all do better, but we need the proper facilities to stay ahead of the game.

As a small example of how not to recycle is where I live. Twenty flats and twenty rubbish bins. But no separate bins for plastic or cardboard. So everything is stuffed into these bins in plastic bags.

Why have vast amounts of recycling advertising if the average person doesn’t have any way of getting their plastics etc to a recycling centre?

Here in Scotland, local councils are starved of essential funds by the SNP administration, who despite underspending by hundreds of millions of pounds, keep claiming they have no more to give. If more funds were made available, we might see better recycling facilities for private homes.

Of course some people just don’t care about mess and rubbish because they are simply lazy bastards who pile everything and anything into the bins closest to them until they overflow. Walking ten yards to use an empty bin is obviously beyond their intelligence.

As usual, other people have to clean up the mess.

Education is the key and a lot of young people today are taking on board the need to stop the unnecessary use of plastic, but they are also being used by those who teach, to promote climate change. This is merely causing confusion as to what is most important.

The main focus should be on finding alternatives to the use of plastic in everyday life.

The climate change issue isn’t something we can do much about, especially in the short term. Hearing claims like, “we have X years to save the planet” are only making the subject the butt of many jokes.

Being realistic is the only way to get the public onside and involved in making a difference. Plastic pollution is, in my opinion, the greatest threat to the survival of the planet and should be treated as such.

The rest of the world has to stop throwing their plastic waste into waterways and find ways of using it for other purposes. Otherwise we are wasting our time.

Politicians will never do anything without public opinion pushing them. They have too many links to big businesses in order to keep political donations flowing, so lip service is paid in most cases. There has to be a way of making plastic littering and littering in general as unpopular as drunk driving and smoking have become.

This has to be turned into a worldwide campaign if we are to win the battle against the pollution by plastic.

Michael J Blair contributes political analysis to DDA, and he can be reached at: His Twitter handle is: @mmjblair

[header photo courtesy of Pexels and Artem Beliaikin]

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