If Only It Was Just A Lost Sandal Eh?
If only it was just THAT simple, if only we were looking at a solitary sandal washed up on a beach – it could be easily mistaken for a lost shoe, something that had been misplaced or forgotten, a joke or a prank, that someone had swiped the sandal from the owner and hidden it elsewhere along the beach – for a bit of fun and frolics … if only eh?
You could make a fun tipped fiction story about this lost item – what happened to the rest of the owner – it could be a game – ‘fetch the sandal’ .. you could see a playful dog bouncing joyfully in the surf be it a game between owner and companion, or the owner yelling out to Rover – “Come on boy, bring it back! We are to set off for home now and l need that shoe!”
If only .. eh?
The same could be said for this one as well, although this one is a little bit darker and has a slightly devious apprehension to it doesn’t it? Not sure why, but with the inclusion of the driftwood and the flotsam it doesn’t have the same romance to it as the first image, it looks a bit more sinister, don’t you think?
Where am l going with this? Okay well l will give you a clue – how about the next image, another sandal ..
Doesn’t look so lost now does it? Now it looks like it has been discarded, just one of who knows how many lost sandals in an ocean of waste?
I am no longer astonished at just how much plasticwaste we have in our oceans, but that sentiment doesn’t make me any less angry, disappointed or just thoroughly disillusioned with the human race.
Reading an article this morning about plastic waste in the North Atlantic and how it has tripled since the 60’s, from how it travelled from the later 50’s from being fishing trawler twine to the mid 60’s and it became plastic bags. Plastic waste was first noticed by scientists carrying out ‘plankton studies’ in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Some people today might be mortified to learn that plastic waste has been discovered in some of the hardest to get to areas in the world [apparently not], like Mount Everest and the Mariana Trench!
For the sake of convenience and efficiency, society is starting to mould its way of life with plastics, we have in essence plasticized who we are! Back in the 80’s, scientists, researchers and anti-plastic protesters alike were scoffed at and heckled because they warned of the perils of plastic and that we would drown in our own plastic! Well we are, right now, we are drowning in plastic waste.
Of course counting or quantifying the sheer volume of plastics that enter the ocean every year is an almost impossible task, but in numbers that people comprehend – we have an estimated 8 – 12 million plus pieces of plastic entering the oceans yearly!
Now for more figures, try these out for size … in the 1950’s our global waste was roughly 1.7 million tons per annum … l know right, a drop in the ocean, but our waste had expotentially increased to a staggering 313+ million tons in 2010 and if that is not mindblowing as a figure for roughly 60 years, by 2015 our figures per annum global waste wise had risen again to 420 million tons!
At this rate of growth, we will not need to worry about building fancy architecture like bridges and tunnels, we will be able to walk across the oceans of our world to get to places, at this rate, by 2050, we will have more plastic waste than fish in our seas. Already there are estimates of the plastic waste by 2030 being double what plastic waste is today in our oceans!
We will not have to worry about marine life dying, as there will be none left anyway, because greed, profit, society expectations and consumerism will have killed everything!
The fact is that the ocean is usually the end receiver of much of the plastic waste generated on land, mostly because it has not been disposed of properly in the first place. In 2014 an oceangraphic study was published on the sheer volume of near surface oceanic plastic waste, it estimated that roughly 269,000 tons of plastic waste was floating on or just under the surface of our seas – that is over 5 trillion plastic particles!
Now this amount of plastic is not just harmful to the marine life directly as in entanglement but equally by consumption and ingestion with further studies revealing that already the likes of sea birds, marine turtles , planktons and Cetaceans such as the likes of dolphins, whales and porpoises are already ingesting these smaller items. Furthermore both the sun and the sea cause these plastics to become brittle and break down further into what is commonly known as microplastics and microbeads which is then further taken in as food by much smaller marine life.
My post is just literally a drop in the ocean, this story is never ending and continually increasing – so what are we doing? If we want to avoid sinking in our own man made disaster? What can we do?
Well as l have said before, no one is ever too small to make a difference .. but one of the biggest and most profound differences we can make – is to greatly reduce our own uses of plastic waste, we can start by making changes in our lives.
Suze and l recently stopped using clingfilm and tin foils, we only use glassware and recycled plastic wear in the kitchen, we use bamboo products more in the bathroom. I haven’t used a disposable razor now in ten years, preferring to use those razors with replaceable blades only. We ourselves don’t use plastic bottles anymore, although we recycle them for garden use from Suze’s office, and there is a host of other things as well, not huge changes, but small changes that make a big difference.
You might surprise yourself with the changes you can make today that might seem like nothing, but turn out to be huge.
I found this both funny in a great way and great for the recycled value …
If Only It Was Just A Lost Sandal Eh?