Finally, the world is talking about plastic pollutionPosted on February 4, 2018 by DrRossH in Plastic Waste News
For years, this issue has been under the radar, but now it’s the hottest environmental topic out there.
Sir David Attenborough’s latest TV series, Blue Planet II, horrified much of the general population in the UK with its up-close look at plastic’s devastating effects, and likely played a role in influencing Prime Minister Theresa May’s recent promise to tackle plastic, which she called “one of the great environmental scourges of our time.” The European Union has pledged to make recycling a top priority over the next decade and supermarkets are starting to take action, with the UK’s Iceland saying it will switch from plastic packaging to paper within five years, and Canada’s Bulk Barn allowing reusable and refillable containers in all its stores.
At the same time many artists are taking advantage of the public discourse to make statements of their own. Photographer Mandy Barker takes pictures of plastic debris “as if they were rare and precious sea creatures,” a disturbing notion. Toronto nurse Tilda Shilof has created a vast and impressive mural using plastic medical waste. Jeremy Carroll has photographed people entangled in marine plastic garbage, much like fish and marine mammals would be. Sculptors such as Jana Cruder and Matthew LaPenta have recreated enormous Starbucks cups and bottle to remind people of their long-lasting waste.
Change is in the air, without a doubt. If the conversation has come this far in just a couple of years, imagine where we’ll be in two more years’ time. I hope that every grocery store will have a plastic-free aisle, that refillable and reusable containers will be allowed, that all ‘convenience’ packaging is made of paper, that my grandchildren will grow up not knowing what a straw or Styrofoam cup looks like.
But we, as individuals, need to drive that change. We must make the changes to our daily life that add momentum to the moment. We need to be the people we’re waiting for to solve this problem.