SOUTH AFRICA AND THE PLASTIC ISSUE
A Global Issue
Be it from town to town or just outside the cities. On water or on land, we all see it. Some choose to do something about it while others try to ignore it. When you move about and travel that is when you will see it the most. Consumerism is our downfall and the entitlement around having everything be convenient and accessible is a virus to which there is no vaccine. Human consumer waste on piles of rubble, in landfills, in dump sites, in our rivers, in our ocean, on the highway and even in places that are suppose to be pristine and clean for wildlife.
It is easy to blame others and not so easy to take responsibility. In affluent areas and places where services are provided it's somewhat easier to reduce, reuse and recycle however that still does not wash our hands clean from the issue. Then there are the poorer areas and locations where everything is simply disposed off on the side of the house, fence, road or field. One would think that lodges and reserves would have something in place yet I have been to a few only to discover they do not.
It's convenient for us to go to retailers and get what we want and even more convenient to dispose of it in black bags and not think about it once it leaves our homes and our property. What happens after that? Where does it go to and where does it end up?
I have been on the road now for four months and I have seen so many animals on top of heaps of garbage. Walking in and among plastic waste and rubble. Cows, pigs, goats, sheep and dogs all scavenging for food. These animals consume plastic thinking that it is food because it smells like meat, vegetables or fruit to them due to us who put organic compostable leftovers in plastic non compostable and often times not even bio degradable plastic bags before we dispose of it in bins and bigger plastic bags for garbage collection. I have seen dogs licking diapers and have been told of animals who defecate plastic bags.
If you have never been to a sorting and recycling plant to see what goes on and what some of these plastic filled bags look like. Do yourself a favour and go. From baby nappies, to meat, to plant based compostable food, to bloody rags and just about anything we can put in a bag and throw away. This is what you will see.
We have one Earth. One Planet we call home. One Ocean. The human population is said to be at an estimate of 7.9 Billion people and increasing. We have to change our ways and clean up our act and the Earth.