Mountains of plastic

 

The pandemic has had a  lot of unpleasant side effects, one of which is the amount of plastic that is being discarded on a daily basis.

Over the last few years, supermarkets and many other shops abolished plastic bags, and people have started using bamboo straws and other recyclable objects.

Sadly this trend has suffered a reversal: at the moment one can hardly go for a walk without spotting a mask or two embedded in the bushes, or lying in the gutter.

 

Hospitals also are consuming veritable mountains of protective equipment: a friend who works as a doctor in a covid ward tells me she has to wear no less than three pairs of disposable gloves daily (as well as the mask, whole body suit etc.) When I visited the dentist, both she and her assistant looked like astronauts, covered from head to foot, including plastic bootees. I too was asked to don a pair, which went in the trash when I left.

We have also gone back to disposable cups, plates and cutlery, not all of which are recyclable. I find all this very depressing, because big efforts were being made to get people and companies to reduce plastic use, efforts which now seem to be partly wasted.

Beaches, and even the ocean floor to a great depth, are littered with plastic; and we are already consuming micro particles which have been found in the flesh of fish, so the future looks grim.

 

Scary, isn’t it?                                   Photo:Google

What could be a solution to this problem?

Scientists have discovered a kind of bacteria which eats plastic (anyone interested can read about it here), but I think the results are still quite modest. It’s a sad fact that humans litter wherever they go: the pristine beauty of Everest is nowadays marred by discarded oxygen bottles and other rubbish (even abandoned corpses) and even space is now getting to be full of trash.

 

Let us hope that human ingenuity can find some answers before the natural environment is destroyed for ever.

21 thoughts on “Mountains of plastic”

  1. I recently posted about increased littering because of hot weather locally, and outsiders coming to the river. As well as masks discared everywhere, (Including many in supermarket car parks) my personal pet hate is disposable nappies. Rarely put in bins, they are flung into grass verges in the countryside, and left where parked vehicles have been in so many car parks. They dreadful things are not recyclable, and end up in landfill, taking centuries to degrade.
    One of mankind’s worst inventions, IMO.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. There are particles of plastic even in the salt we eat. People eating “organic” make me laugh – the whole planet is dirty. If there is a surface large as a handkerchief that is not polluted to the eaves, it’s because no one wants to go or live there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My partner had to go to the podiatrist yesterday. The podiatrist was covered in plastic gear, and used two to three pairs of gloves. I am sure it was all necessary, but like you I worry about the waste it is generating. And masks! Another waste and litter problems.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Marina, just as people seemed to be making some effort with at least some marginal results to lower the plastics use the pandemic hit and it’s as if the issue no longer exists in many minds! Scary indeed. I’d read about the bacteria eating plastic but for the immediate future it looks gloomy. Then to think of space filled with so much junk … is nowhere safe from humankind! Btw I just read about you in the superb article in ‘My Portfolio Career’ of Mslexia — it’s fascinating to learn more about you and good luck with your writing, book(s) and art work! 😀

    Like

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