I was in a fantastic mood yesterday. Listening to Christmas songs, driving to my favourite beaches in Cyprus. The mood faded fast. I arrived at the beaches we call Esentepe 1 and 2. Plastic. Smalls and pleasure beach. Plastic. Tatlısu and Tal Bel… plastic.. you get the idea.
On the first beach, I drew a 2 by 2 meter square and picked up every water bottle lid I could see. There were thirty. THIRTY!! I picked up a handful of sand and wasn’t presented with flecks of golden shells and drift wood remnants, it was plastic. Worn down, tiny bits of plastic. Boulders seemed to be like magnets to the stuff, around the bottom of each huge lump was a wash of plastic. Bottles, lighters, toothbrushes…
Even writing this now it makes me want to scream. What on Earth are we all doing to this beautiful planet?!
I think about the sea turtles, fish, sharks, dolphins and all the other beautiful creatures in the sea. They are surrounded. They’re bloody helpless if you ask me. We’re all members of the Blue Planet, but we’re intoxicating it. In a few years, if you go for a paddle, you won’t come out with sea grass trailing around your ankle, it will be ripped up cement bag strands or plastic bags. Instead of making the painstaking walk down to the shore over pebbles and rocks, it will be plastic bottle lids and chunks of now unidentifiable rubbish. Golden beaches will be a thing of the past. Crystal blue waters too…
I remember the first turtle nest I ever excavated. The first hatchling I pulled from it was stuck in a plastic cup, unable to move. Nice way to start your life eh? Panicked and trapped. I’ve seen balloons in turtle stomachs, fishing wire in their throats. But who cares right? If you can’t see it, it’s not your problem…
I’m ranting, I know. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect, I know I could use less plastic. But I try to cut down where possible.
– I use a metal water bottle. Why on Earth people have to use one use bottles is beyond me….
– I have a canvas bag for my everyday bag, they fit loads in and so they’re great if you do last minute food shops!
– I never use the small plastic bags when picking fresh fruit and veg, just put them in loose!
– I recycle.
– I reuse glass jars and containers (great for food storage and spices).
– And to the women, I have invested in a mooncup, you should take a look…https://www.mooncup.co.uk
I know I could improve my ways. And I will. I am going to buy myself a bamboo toothbrush. That’s my first step.
I think I will stop there.
But I just want to say. Anyone that reads this, please, please, try and think of one thing you could do to reduce your use of plastic. Just one. Let’s make 2018 clean. Let’s keep the planet healthy.