Heather Heggie, Naracoorte
PLASTIC Free July is once again focusing our attention globally on plastic pollution.
Drowning in Plastic is a powerful documentary as shown on SBS (June 21, 2020) which highlighted the enormous problems and the beginnings of potential solutions.
It wipes out seabirds, fish, sea animals and can carry toxins and bacteria via small ‘rafts’ over great distances with one bacteria wiping out corals.
Plastic is predicted to increase enormously in coming decades and solutions are urgently needed to combat waste, especially in the ocean.
Sea bins are being used in many marinas now with large versions in busier ports and harbors.
Solar powered ‘spinning wheels’ behind booms in river mouths are also sending choking plastic up a conveyer belt into containers for removal to – at this stage – landfill.
Some countries do not have adequate rubbish collection or processing systems as yet.
Recycling systems continue to be developed and trialled.
The Riddoch Highway seems to be much cleaner these days, perhaps due to no sport or tourists, but gets grubbier after Tantanoola.
On my adopted roads at Naracoorte I found no tomato sauce satchets, plastic cutlery or coffee pods recently and takeaway cups are nearly all biodegradable or compostable.
Plastic takeaway lids are still about.
Australia has not banned micro beads but trusts they will be phased out.
Bulk goods come in plastic wrapped pallets and sometimes huge sheets of clear wrapping plastic gets blown away on windy days unfortunately.
Hopefully more and more citizen scientists will adopt a road and take note of where plastic litter is coming from and encourage solutions.
Many students and citizens attended AUSMAP sessions in the Limestone Coast recently.
Confusion surrounding disposal of compostable and biodegradable plastic and poor identifying marks makes it advisable to recycle all plastics into the yellow bins.
South Australia still has no solution for dealing with our plastic and I understand the facility at Ballarat is oversupplied at present.
Lids go to TAFE in Mount Gambier and the Mary DeGaris Kindergarten at Naracoorte.
Nano particles are detected all over the planet now and I imagine this sort of toxin attracting dust does not help the pandemic situation in dusty cities around the world.
On farm plastic is still a huge problem in Australia and I have not heard of solutions yet, although there are massive fines in some states where such plastic clogs waterways and causes damaging flooding.
Take your own keep cups and steel cutlery everywhere.
Keep Australia beautiful.
HEATHER HEGGIE, NARACOORTE