On the Making Waves podcast we talk about the Irish coast and how to make a positive difference.
Midway through the 20th century plastic’s versatility jump-started a revolution in convenience.
Clothes, equipment, furniture and everything else you can imagine started to come in plastic versions. These products were less expensive than their previous incarnations and much easier to replace as well. Quickly a disposable culture was born.
Several decades later we live a world where pretty much everything is either made from plastic or at one time or another is covered in it. But there has always been one seriously big problem with our widespread adoption of plastic. We never really gave much thought about its life after we used it and that extremely inconvenient fact is coming back to haunt us on a scale that is difficult to fathom.
Plastic pollution is everywhere – and there’s no ignoring it
You shouldn’t play favourites when it comes to Irish counties, having said that Donegal is pretty special – the landscape, the people and the wild Atlantic all make it a place apart.
But even remotest Donegal is not free from the problems of plastic pollution.
In fact, there is nowhere that has escaped the scourge of plastic pollution. It has been found in the deepest parts of the ocean and on the most isolated islands in the pacific.
‘By 2050 the plastic in the sea could weigh more than all the fish’
Plastic pollution is lethal
Turtles are incredibly long-lived creatures and amongst some of the oldest living animals on earth but nothing prepares them for mistaking a plastic bag for a jellyfish.
A turtle swallowing a plastic bag will die, decompose and the bag will be released back into the sea. A single piece of plastic pollution can be lethal over and over again.
So what can we do to fight this plastic mess?
200 million coffee cups are dumped each year in Ireland and many of these will eventually end up in the sea, just adding to the mountain of floating waste already out there.
If every single person in Ireland got a reusable coffee cup, just think of the difference this single change would make.
Well it’s easy maths really, 200 million less cups a year into the bin!
You can get a reusable coffee cup anywhere these days and lots of shops are really encouraging people to make the change by offering a small discount if you bring your own – so you’re saving money and the environment.