Plastic crisis

Colleen Wood,
Green Point

Wendy Damerell’s letter refers (“Plastic crisis”, Atlantic Sun, January 10).

I’m overwhelmed with thankfulness that there are other souls that are thinking and acting in unison with our deep concern for the destruction that we are all causing our planet, through the unconscious use of plastic.

I want to endorse everything that Wendy says in her letter. I have felt like a lone activator a lot of the time. I encourage myself by telling myself that one person can make a difference, but it seems like a pointless task sometimes.

I make every effort every time I go out to spread the word and educate anyone I come into contact with, and pick up any plastic anywhere.

In 2015, my husband and I were aghast at the hectares of fields of plastic that seem to be “growing” in the areas next to the settlements along the roads of Eastern Cape with cows nosing them aside as they search for the grass underneath.

There is so much to do, and those of us who make the effort to do our bit are just simply not enough. I’m (happy that some) restaurants are now making use of biodegradable straws and even paper packages for take-a-ways rather than plastic.

Family members carry around their own stainless steel straws.

Innovative thinking like this is a start. But we have a long way to go still, and it frightens me that it may be too late with the rate of the world’s population expanding every second.

Statistics tell of America, for example, throwing away 500 million tons of plastic straws alone, every day.

One supermarket manager that I approached about two years ago, told me “we will never stop supplying plastic bags”. I was dismayed, to say the least. On the other hand, it is uplifting to see that certain supermarkets are making the effort to encourage people to bring in plastic bags in exchange for a free environmentally friendly cloth bag.

In certain African countries, it has been made illegal to even enter the country with a plastic bag. If they can do it why can’t we?

I’ve written letters to many organisations – one being an airline that I was horrified by the amount of superfluous plastic on each tray given to millions of passengers a day that just gets thrown away according to what I was told.

I read a marvellous article in the Big Issue about plastic’s devastation of the earth, and have made some copies of the article and intend to stand outside supermarkets handing them out and speaking to people – and believe if we can get a band of conscious people together to do this.

Please everyone who reads these articles, do your bit for your children’s sakes and for the animals who are the innocent victims. We need to have a paradigm shift in the way we think. And this is the age of communication and technology Let’s spur it on in the right direction.