A recent visit to one of my favourite cove beaches
A recent visit to one of my favourite Cumbrian beaches, I will not specify exactly where, on what was a lovely sunny & calm day left me quite both upset & ashamed. As a fervent coastal walker, swimmer & environmentalist I was just shocked to see the amount of litter & waste not only covering the beach but the surrounding shoreline & paths leading to the beach.
Whilst swimming, more human-promulgated detritus was clearly visible on the seabed which quickly brought home the points made by Sir David Attenborough at Glastonbury.
Just why do humans have to be so irresponsible &, actually, deadly, not only to the environment & wildlife but eventually to mankind?
We have to realize that we do not own the planet, we have to learn to share it.
Most of the visible waste comprised various forms of plastic, ranging from drinks bottles to children’s toys, but it is not plastic’s fault - it is our fault for allowing same to be disposed of so readily & improperly. One can only assume that the beach also contained millions of particles of microplastics, obviously invisible to us but which could prove to be as equally deadly in the long term. We do not yet know how dangerous these are to marine life, & ultimately to us, but we do know that they absorb other industrial pollutants & these toxins compound as they move up the food chain, the effects of which can only be assumed.
When plastic detritus enters the sea it causes havoc for marine wildlife, entangling, choking or causing starvation – many forms of a horrible death, are we really that cruel? Plastic lasts for hundreds of years & thus the problem is compounding daily.
Plastic pollution is a relatively recent phenomenon, fifty years ago you would not have encountered plastic waste every time that you visited a natural place. The current generation are growing up seeing plastic in the natural world as normal.
We have to change our way of thinking - & rapidly, if we are going to have any chance of saving the beautiful natural places still left, for the sake of our survival as well as our enjoyment, we have got to stem the flow of plastic pollution & that rests with us all to become less irresponsible & more pro-active.
There is rightly a purge on single-use plastics but that has to be balanced with the benefits that they offer to the overall shelf-life of foodstuffs & facilitation of transporting perishables over long distances. We have all become used to enjoying the variety of relatively fresh fruit & vegetables, in any season, from global sources.
This can be achieved by education & tackling the problem at source by the eradication of unnecessary single-use plastics & recycling the prudently used ones, there is always another way, which may be more expensive in the short term but may ultimately prove to be less costly for the ecosystems of our planet.
For our part we, at Just Paper Tubes, as an ISO14001:2015 Company, are always looking for ways to reduce the impact that our operations have on the environment. Single use plastics are at the forefront of our attentions & Just Paper Tubes are, for example, currently developing a range of natural fibre-based end closures, exclusive to Just Paper Tubes, for our range of cardboard cores & paper tubes to replace the current ubiquitous LDPE plastic versions. Customer trials thus far are most promising!
We've been using 100% recycled paper for over two decades but we promise not to stop there.
Watch this space &, incidentally, always keep a few plastic bin liner bags & protective gloves in your car, my Family & I managed to collect 3 bags of plastic waste from the beach & took it to a recycling point!