I arrived in Melbourne a month ago. As the days pass by I can say that I like this city more and more. It’s got such style, true character, like any great city does!
I find it really hard adapting to the weather since it’s mostly cloudy, rainy and cold! It’s the middle of winter. I am not used to this climate at all. I come from the tropics where it’s always hot. I am looking forward to spring!
On my walks around the city I keep finding endless amounts of plastic litter, straws, plastic lids, coffee cups, bottle caps. There are a couple of evident reasons why I see so much litter. Firstly I have an eye for it, most people can’t even see it! Secondly this is a big city of more than 4 million people! Thirdly it’s been raining and these elements float with the water, into our lakes and oceans and here are some shocking picture to prove it!
These picture are taken in the famous Albert Park where the Melbourne Grand Prix is held every year. Only 3 km from the CBD, this park has a huge lake where many come to run and stroll in it’s beautiful scenery. Ducks and swans leisurely play in its waters. Albert park is an important sanctuary for wildlife and vegetation in the heart of Melbourne.
I was surprised to see how much plastic litter was in the water, but when I saw this it really hit me. It was a painful reminder of how humans are contaminating the natural environments of so many other species. Can you see the turtle right in the middle of all the plastic trash?
I was so disturbed with the sight of this turtle that I immediately phoned Victoria Parks and spoke to and employee there by the name of Charlie. Not only did I complain about all the litter but I asked him to send a ranger down to see if the turtle was trapped. He told me that the lake was usually well maintained from the litter, but because of the rain of the past few days there was more than usual. My answer was that if they were going to have animals they needed to clean everyday or built better litter traps!
The other day I also had a stroll in Sandringham Beach. Once again the amount of Plastic debris that I found there was disturbing. There were the usual bottle caps, straws, lids, PET bottles but I was particularly shocked to see how lazy some people are when they are going to throw out their cigarettes butts.
When I saw all the cigarettes butts I immediately remember Danielle Richardt, who write the amazing blog It Starts With Me. Danielle for the past year has dedicated 20 minutes of her life to our oceans. She goes down to her local beach, with her beautiful family, and they pick up cigarets butts. So far they have collected 26,995 cigarette butts in 88 days. She is one of my Eco Heroes, her message is so simple: “everything we do (or don’t do) has an impact on the world we live in. It starts with me and ripples to you…” You can watch her inspiring story in this short Film. It’s so funny to hear her kids tell it how they see it too! Let her story be a reminder that one person can make a difference!
It seem obvious to me that a huge part of the problem is that these particular plastics are not being recycled. That is why they are all over! Imagine if this is just what you can see, so much more must float undetected into the ocean. There is more and more information now on the internet on plastic contamination in the oceans. Just do a search with the words “ocean plastic soup”.
I could sit here and write hours about this problem but my intention apart from creating awareness is to come up with some useful way of recycling these single use plastics, to give then a second life, hopefully keeping them out of our waters.
I have been experimenting with jewelery and I wanted to share some the designs that are evolving. This one is made with different color straws that I found on the beach after sanitizing them…
This Bangle is made with coffee cup lids, plastic food packaging. The net fruits are sometime wrapped in and there are also popped balloons!
I will post more pictures of the work in progress in following posts. For now I hope that I have made you think about how we dispose of straws, bottle caps, lids and take away coffees! Why not save them and make a present for someone you love!
We need to be responsible for the trash we are pouring into the environment! We need to make laws that make producers responsible for the plastic they give to consumers. If something is not recycled than It should not be used! There is such a need for innovation, real alternatives. What if the straw and the lid were made from cardboard like the cups? How else can we seal out bottles? It should be mandatory that every city recycles the bottle caps! How about making a straw that disintegrates into the drink?
Turtles have existed on Earth longer than any other vertebrate animal — they were here when dinosaurs evolved and became extinct, will they survive the PLASTIC AGE? Will We?