A Plastic Ocean

St Albans Film Festival

I watched a film about plastic for 1.5 hours last night; it was a LOT more interesting than I expected (phew!). Here, for anyone who is curious about what it was about, but can’t see themselves watching a film about plastic for 1.5 hours, are the 5 key points:

1. We are making billions of tons of plastic stuff every year. MOST of it is not recycled. There is plastic waste in ALL of the world’s water – seas, rivers etc.

2. Plastic is broken down a little by the sun, salt and waves and becomes oily, plasticy sludge which floats in the sea. It is in every sea, including surrounding the UK, France, USA, China etc

3. Plastic sludge is now in our food chain. Fish eat it, we then eat the fish. It is in all our waterways. Plastic leaches chemicals that we eat. WE ARE EATING PLASTIC SLUDGE.

4. 90% of seabirds have plastic pieces in their stomachs. Fish, whales, dolphins, seals, turtles, prawns, cod, crabs etc have plastic in their bodies. It kills them as they can’t eat as their stomachs have plastic in them.

5. Rwanda has banned plastic bags. The UK is BEHIND Rwanda on this issue.

SO, what can we do? 5 things:

1. Buy less plastic. Do you really need more containers, water bottles, a plastic bag from the market, stuff from Tiger?

2. Don’t use ‘disposable’ plastic such as water bottles, plastic cups, straws, carrier bags. Campaigns focus on these are they are used for minutes then ‘thrown’ away. I’m thinking about the running races I’ve been too – thousands of plastic cups and bottles used for seconds then landfill. Guilty.

3. Reuse any plastic that you own. Use the water bottle hundreds of times. Use your bags again and again. Take your own water bottle to a race?

4. Ask your shops, cafes etc what they use – choose to buy from places that use vegware, recycled products etc. The cost to the cafe is pennies – they can go back to using glasses, china cups etc. They have dishwashers! Ask for your tap water in a glass. Say ‘I don’t need a straw, thanks’.

5. If you are the owner of a bar, cafe, restaurant, stall etc don’t buy plastic. There are loads of cheap, good alternatives now from suppliers and online. It makes you look good too.

That’s all I am going to write now – there is loads more on this: the health issues about eating and drinking from plastic, the cost of trying to recycle/dispose of endless plastic, the countries that have piles of waste on the streets cos they can’t afford to get rid of it etc etc but that will have to do for today.

If you want to watch The Plastic Ocean it’s a good film, with great presenters including Tanya Streeter, the freediving world champ. Well worth a break from Love Island.


About thelocalfoodie

Food writer for The Herts Advertiser.
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One Response to A Plastic Ocean

  1. gf says:

    Reblogged this on Transition St Albans and commented:
    A brilliant piece from Becky Aexander after watching our screening of A Plastic Ocean

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