As I approach the end of my time here in Spain! I finally did something I’ve been meaning to do for a very long time, now that the weather has got good at least!
This past week I’ve been suffering from some insane next level insomnia. So instead of just lying in bed struggling, I decided to actually get up and focus my mind on something else.
Armed with bags and some rubber gloves, I headed down to the end part of the beach in my town here in Spain and started working away, Picking up all the rubbish along the way. Zigzagging my way along the beach, from top to bottom picking up all the waste.
The amount of unnecessary plastic waste I found was ridiculous, beyond a joke and really started to turn my mind at just how bad this problem has gotten.
Just to name a few of the things that were found; Plastic bags, plastic bottles, glass bottles, plastic cups, cans, food tins, toys, bottle tops, broken buckets, a dustpan, several lighters, empty sun cream bottles, plastic cutlery, empty food packaging and other plastic packaging (you can imagine), ice-cream tubs, broken little shards of plastic, metres of string and fishing line, cable ties and don’t even get me started on the number of cigarette butts, straws and lolly pop sticks, in fact, the number of the latter was unreal. What is the purpose of having a sweet on a stick? Why is that even a question?
My eyes were well and truly opened as to just how bad our plastic consumption has gotten. If this is the mess of one beach, I can’t even start to imagine what the bottom of the ocean floor looks like.
It took 6 and a half hours to clean one beach and 20 bags full of rubbish. But let’s put this into a bit more of a numeral perspective, This is a town of just over 7.000 people (according to the 2017 census) with some amazing coastline. If those are the numbers from this one beach (There’s a couple in the area). Imagine the damage that’s being done in the cities where there are beaches and where there’s more of a population.
We worked out that in Barcelona there is just over 1.6 million people there (according to the last census) that would mean about 468 bags of rubbish. Los Angeles, a population of 3.9 million which would mean just over 11.000 bags of rubbish. What about taking one of the worlds most popular tourist destination of Bali which has a population of just over 4.2 million people. That’s a hell of a lot for a small island. That’s about 12.000 bags of rubbish. Scary!
These numbers are shocking, we really need to take a step back and just look at what we are doing as a race to this planet. We all need to start doing small things to make a change and maybe if we get enough people shouting out loud about this problem then maybe just maybe the higher beings will stop fighting each other and pointing fingers at others for the own problems and make a change in the areas that need immediate attention.
Do we really need all those things that I found on the beach today? Surely there are alternatives to all these things. Replace plastic straws with bamboo or steel ones, if you really need a straw then carry it with you in your bag, IF you need it that bad then that wouldn’t be a problem logically just maybe a little inconvenient in your eyes. We need to start coming up with some sensible solutions for this problem one person at a time. We need to come together and sort this problem before it is too late. The damage is already there but let’s not make it into a bigger problem.
We need to open our eyes as a society ASAP! As this problem is real and it is ALL our faults.!