Monday, 24 September 2012

Recyclable

Three of us spent an hour yesterday picking up rubbish from the beach (inspired by National Beachwatch Day). Above is what we found. Not bad - in terms of not very much. What catches the eye (in the photo and on the salt marsh) are the bigger canisters, trays, plastic drink bottles and bits of aggregate sacks.

But the real danger lies in the small pieces of Polystyrene. It masquerades as food for birds (Oh the irony since much of it comes from take-away containers). Estimates are that it takes 500 years to decompose. Although since it's only been around since 1839, that's an unknown. Also, it's unstable. Especially in salt water, where it releases potentially toxic substances. So not just the birds get it - the whole chemical make up of the ocean is contaminated.

Today we have strong winds which will bring more crap to the beach. And we don't plan to spend a hour cleaning it up today. If we did, there'd be more tomorrow. Although, nothing to the extent of what collects in the vortexes in each ocean... in the North and South Pacific, North and South Atlantic, The Indian Ocean... 100 million tons of plastic overall, apparently. And growing. Bon appetit.




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