At the end of this blog, there are a few short videos on the growing plastic waste problem on Midway Island in the North Pacific Ocean. But this is not just a problem for that small island atoll. Plastic is also causing problems in Australian waters and all around the world.
Nearly all our plastic waste ends up in the water where it kills the birds and fish who eat it and entangled by it. Eventually, as plastic degrades, it becomes a part of the ocean from surface to floor, in the form of a toxic soupy sludge, never bio-degrading and becoming certain death for all the organisms that live in that polluted water, sand or soil. It's effect on the Earth is worse than asbestos is for us and we throw away many billion of tons of it a day.
There are six plastic rubbish vortexs that take up the ocean from top to bottom, three in the Pacific, two in the Atlantic and one huge one in the Indian Ocean. Some say they each are each the size of the USA and they wash thousands of tons of plastic onto the shores of Hawaii, California, Japan, China, Australia and many other shores every day. The plastic on the beach becomes ever smaller until it resembles multi-coloured sand. Many beaches are now made largely of this plastic sand and every beach in the world has a degree of plastic in its sand.....
If it stays in the water it begins to look like coloured gelatine in which nothing can live.
I know. It's depressing.The plastic comes from everything we use. Nearly all our food and drink is stored and bought in plastic containers with lids. There are polystyrene trays with cling wrap and plastic netting for fruit and veg, plastic bags, bubble wrap and cans are now lined in plastic and can no longer be recycled.
Here in Warrnambool some goodly people have formed an 'unpackaged' cooperative. It has been around for about 20 years. Members regularly set up in a church hall with bulk food, selling it to their members who bring their own containers for the food. It's called 'Unpackaged' and if you'd like to find out more the info is at the end of this blog.
But why are we not banning the use of most single use non-biodegradable plastics and un-recycled, unethically sourced paper or any packaging that is unsustainable? There ARE alternatives and we should all be using them. How can we go on allowing the use of substances that are killing the world's creatures including us, for a single, one-off, toss away convenience. We know about this. So why aren't we doing something about it?
Biodegradable plastic takeaway cup.Right now you can make some changes to the way you buy food. You can try to avoid plastic packaging, use cloth shopping bags, never buy plastic bottled water or drinks or takeaway coffee in non-biodegradable takeaway cups or better still use your own re-usable coffee cup but in the end we all know that there are some things we simply can't avoid.
Have you noticed that an ever growing number of people, especially younger people, seem to have given in to takeaway food and drink marketing campaigns. I'm pretty sure that we cannot rely on consumers, who are always thinking of their purse strings, to make sound environmental choices.
That's why I believe the answer is to vote Green and to do our utmost to help the Greens gain greater representation in our parliaments and in governments around the world. It will take people, like you, to be strong and brave and to speak up about this and other problems facing our world. You will have to be the change the earth needs; that we all need. We do, after all, only get the politicians we actually vote for and we only get one chance at life, at saving our beautiful world.There is a saying that ' All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men (people) to do nothing.'? We are those good people. If we work as individuals we make perhaps small inroads but together, WE ARE A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH!
Greens Canberra office: 02 6140 3217 or 1800 017 011If you really want to make a difference to our plastic waste problems and other serious problems... you're going to have to vote the right people into Government. The Greens are the only party who are willing to do what it takes.
Voting for the Greens is a great way to help. Talking to your friends and family about these issues and why you vote Green is another but the Greens also need help for the coming 2016 Federal election. Help the Greens gain greater representation. Ring them and offer to help in any capacity you can manage.It's time to stand up and make a difference before it's too late!NOW IS THE TIME!Lisa Owen
Greens Victoria Office: 03 9912 2992