While those behind the current road safety campaign, the RG and Piece of the Rock, are to be congratulated there is another insidious problem that is not really been talked about, let alone addressed.
The figures in this story should shock any right-thinking man, woman or child – unfortunately they won’t. Bermuda’s overall mentality is not geared towards the environment. It is a throw-away society where the first thought is to get rid rather than mend, get new plastic containers rather than re-using, dump and don’t care about others.
But the figures are shocking, and they show what was collected in ONE day:
Table showing number of most common materials collected during the September 16th, 2017 island wide coastal clean up
Materials – Number collected
• Cigarette butts 5,759
• Glass bottles 4,335
• Plastic bottle caps 2,159
• Plastic bottles 1,576
• Candy wrappers 1,312
• straws 638
• Plastic lids 454
• Plastic grocery bags 281
Around the world there have been Government calls for plastic free shopping isles in supermarkets (http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/plastic-free-aisles-pm-must-act-fast-to-make-a-real_uk_5a65a456e4b0778013de4d37) and media have launched really hard-hitting campaigns highlighting the over-use of plastics. It has become mainstream, it is no longer just the so-called tree huggers.
I am by no means perfect when it comes to the use and re-use of plastics. I try, but I find I am hampered by a lack of choice – for instance, shelves in takeaways are often stocked only with plastic bottles, I am not given an option if I want a knife and fork: they are plastic (often coming wrapped in plastic.)
The consumer is king. We stop demanding things and they will go away; we ask for options and they will arrive, or we will stop using those places.
We created plastics, we have the ability to stop using them – we did it before when we only had brown paper bags.