27.06.22 30 Days Wild #27 Is plastic our greatest invention?

I’ve been thinking about neanderthal drinking / eating bowls or vessels today. I guess this is what I had in my head.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stone_bowl,_Bronze_Age,_AM_Fira_0503286.jpg

Every single item would be hand crafted after multiple hours and consequently preserved and really cherished. Family heirlooms.

And then I imagine a time traveller telling those wise humans that in the future, there will be this thing called ‘plasteak’ and they would never have to grind stone or carve wood ever again.

In fact, this ‘plastike’ will never, ever rot. It would be so plentiful that you could buy hundreds of bottles in a day and then just throw them away. You can buy as many, and throw as many as you can afford.

And then I imagine Neanderthal human looking the time traveller in the eye and saying, ‘In the future, you will have this incredible invention. An unbelievable invention. But you will then turn it from a wonderful thing into a pollutant? Using them once? Throwing them away? My dear boy (this Neanderthal went to Eton; most of them do), have you lost your mind?’

And the reason I thought of that is because I have a strimmer.

A strimmer is wonderful invention, but why do we have to abuse this gift?

There’s a bank I strim twice a year, but I always cut it a couple of inches above the surface because of slow worms. Today, this slow worm was glad that I did:

And the connection with plastic is that I’m always aware of how much micro-cuttings of plastic I throw into the earth when I’m strimming – and that’s apart from the big sections that I’m constantly ‘plogging’ when I’m out and about.

So this year, I’ve managed to buy some biodegradable nylon – and, guess what, it works.

I’ve had to find an import from America as I couldn’t find any European manufacturer – but, it works.

Why isn’t it mandatory for all strimmer nylon to be biodegradable?

Why is there plastic in ‘flushable’ toilet wipes?

Who thought it would be a good idea to put plastic into tea bags?

Why don’t we charge the multinational distribution companies a levy to recycle all their packaging at the point of source?

Who thought that picking up dog excrement, sealing it in ‘plashit’ and throwing it into the hedgerows would be a good idea?

Why are we screwing everything up for the next generation? To the point of no return.

Why isn’t there a system of governance that has the intelligence to appreciate the significance of these decisions and then act accordingly? Oh, I forgot. Eton.

So basically, today, I’ve been strimming, sweating, saving slow worms and thinking about what a great invention plastic was. And what a horrible misuse and diabolical mess we’ve made of it.

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