26 May 2018

Seahorse

This picture was taken in Indonesia by Justin Hofman. It appears in the June issue of "The National Geographic Magazine" in a feature that looks at the impact of waste plastics upon various natural environments. Hofman said that it is "a photo I wish didn't exist" but in my view it speaks loudly about the horror of plastic pollution. The past few months have seen the western world waking up to our plastic carelessness. Perhaps a shocking picture like this will help to turn that growing awareness  into positive remedial action. The mad plastic thing has gone on for far too long. It's time for change.

23 comments:

  1. It's bad enough walking around in town with plastic.If people saw what was on the ocean they may wake up to what we've been doing to our earth.

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    1. Big business and the manufacturers have much to answer for.

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  2. That picture sure tugs at the heart strings, doesn't it? I'm glad the awareness of plastic in our oceans is becoming so widespread. I think not many (including me) realized how bad it was until recently.

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    1. The seahorse should be clinging to a seaweed frond - not a plastic cotton bud.

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  3. Here in Germany, we have a very elaborate (and rather expensive) system of waste handling - everything has to go in separate bins for paper, glass, plastic, organic waste and so on, plus there are regular collections of metal, electronic devices and others. It keeps us all busy in our daily lives, and we like to think that by doing this, most of our waste is recycled, plastic including. How much of it still ends up in the oceans (and how?! I have never personally thrown any waste into a river or elsewhere so that it could find its way to the sea), I don't know.
    Some companies here offer dairy products like yoghurt and milk in glass jars and bottles, to be returned to the shop. I think that is good way to keep plastic down, but it costs water and electricity to clean the returned items as well as higher CO2 footprint because each item weighs so much more.

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    1. Germany is a pacesetter when it comes to recycling. However, if the plastics issue is to be properly tackled then it must involve Asia, South America and Africa. It's a whole world issue. It makes one wonder what meaningful action is being taken by The United Nations.

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  4. We are like zombies marching towards the abyss. I was shocked when I saw my toddler granddaughters birthday gifts recently. All plastic stuff, all destined for landfill.
    It's not just plastic though. It's the chemicals we use in the home and the garden and so many other things too.
    I try not to use any plastic but it really is difficult.
    Why does a cucumber need shrink wrap plastic? It's ridiculous!
    Most people I speak to don't want everything wrapped in plastic but apparently it's" the consumer" that wishes it.......

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    1. The first time I visited a McDonalds restaurant in America in 1975 I was shocked about the amount of material I would have to throw away after chomping on my BigMac, eating my chips and drinking my coke.

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  5. I've been trying to minimise my plastic use for over twenty years, I'm not sure where everyone thought it was going.

    It's another case of too little, too late. I am afraid I have no real hope for the planet and therefore, humanity

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    1. For meaningful plastic reduction to happen the whole world needs to be on board - not just individual people like you and me.

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  6. I've made a tiny start by ditching tea-bags.

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    1. I must get round to contacting Tetley's to ask them what they are planning to do about plastic mesh in their teabags.

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  7. Some mad humans have gone on for too long, too. It's time many of them changed, as well.

    Unfortunately...don't hold your breath waiting for that to occur...because many of them won't change.

    Bring back the string bags, I reckon. We should all take up macramé again. We could make our own macrame shopping bags..back to the Swinging Sixties.

    Not back to paper bags, though, because that will ruin our forests. Anyway, paper bags aren't strong enough.

    Bring back incinerators, too. A return to burning our garbage in backyard incinerators. No longer will we place our waste in the plastic shopping bags, and then into our garbage bins, we'll burn everything in the incinerator like the good old days.

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    1. You are right to suggest that some of the old ways were the best. In my East Yorkshire village we always took our own baskets and bags to the three village shops. Packaging was minimal.

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    2. Furthermore, here in Australia, like in Germany as Meike describes, we, too, have two separate garbage bins - one is dedicated to recycling.

      I will never understand those who litter. There is much about humans I will never understand. The actions - the ill-considered behaviour of humans -is more the problem than plastic! Some people never learn...will never learn.

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    3. Fabric shopping bags will be the norm here very shortly as most, if not all, supermarkets intend not using plastic shopping bags anymore. Of course, one has to purchase the fabric bags.

      There's no such thing as a free lunch...nor will there be such a thing as a free grocery bag!

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    4. In England folk now have to pay for plastic shopping bags and this has massively reduced their use. More and more people are now visiting shops with their own bags. It should have happened long ago.

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    5. just as an aside, Lee. Macrame IS making a comeback!

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    6. Was MacRame Scottish?

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  8. It all boils down to the old chestnut, money.
    Let's face it, it's cheap for all of the manufacturers to use plastic. They are the people the government should be targeting, the source of things.
    But will they upset the big giants, I think not.
    Telling us minions that they are doing this and that is just pulling the wool over our eyes. Some of us can see this but most cannot, blindly thinking that the governments intend to put this plastic thing right.
    I despair.
    Briony
    x

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    1. Your cynicism is well-founded Briony. It's not ordinary people who are the main culprits - it is the profit-greedy businesses that should be examining their practices and making big changes.

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  9. I'm glad people are paying more attention to this problem. It will be interesting to see what happens. To my (rather extreme) way of thinking, a lot of plastic items should simply be outlawed. There is no reason, for example, for people to buy bath gel in plastic bottles when a bar of soap (no plastic!) works equally well (and lasts longer, much to the chagrin of Colgate-Palmolive). Or those crazy Keurig coffee "pods" that make one cup of coffee and then lie around on Planet Earth for the next thousand years? Why don't we go back to water fountains, rather than plastic-bottled water? Why do my limes from Waitrose come in a plastic-wrapped tray, when limes GROW in their own natural packaging? At least people (in some parts of the world) are trying to reduce their plastic bag consumption. But seriously, we should own up to how hazardous and dangerous plastics are, render much of it illegal, and move on from there.

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    1. I am behind you all the way with your "rather extreme" views on how to start tackling the plastics problem. Manufacturers and supermarkets need to be pressurised, persuaded and penalised in order to bring about a real sea change. Enough is enough.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.