Wish You Were Here?


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I wrote about waste, pollution and plastic almost a year ago. Here is the link.

What A Waste

Nothing has improved since then, in fact if anything the problem has got even worse. The two beaches on Bali that I visit most often are Sanur and Jimbaran. Both of these beaches are visibly filthier than last year. Jimbaran was a sight yesterday. The whole length of the beach was strewn with plastic bottles, bags and rubbish. It was quite heartbreaking. This time a year ago it was one of the cleanest beaches on the island.

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And it's nothing to do with the economy.
And it’s nothing to do with the economy.

Here is a great link from Earth Children Global that sums up Bali’s trash problems. The hows and whys of what is happening not just here but globally.

http://ecg.ironbarkpm.com/plastic.html

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Plastic and humans are the problem.
Plastic and humans are the problem.
Anyone lost a purse?
Anyone lost a purse?

 

The time has come to make radical changes before it’s too late. Our beautiful planet’s oceans are already choked with tons of plastic, our seas are floating garbage tips. If that doesn’t concern you, then this  film with Dianna Cohen most certainly will. Please watch it, it will change the way you think about plastic forever.

26 thoughts on “Wish You Were Here?

    1. I don’t know Sherry. It’s very worrying. I wonder if it’s going to be a case of too little, too late. The film is shocking, especially the part about babies. I hope that people will watch it, we all need to work together on this problem. Just refusing plastic bags is a start – Tidak Plastik! That’s my mantra here 🙂

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  1. Lottie, what a wonderful post this was. Several years ago, I had gotten concerned about the condition of the oceans, but one thing and another distracted me from that. Your post reminded me of the importance of not only doing my own part to reduce, reuse, and recycle, but to raise awareness. It seems like an insurmountable issue, when I consider the amount of plastic in my grocery store, and in my home. Although we recycle, I am going to increase the amount of reducing (haha) we do and the amount of reusing. Thanks for this!

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    1. Hello Susan 🙂

      I’ve just had a hissy fit over here! ironically I left some plastic bags out yesterday to use for putting stuff in and Wayan has chucked them all away in the rubbish! She knows how much this plastic problem bothers me but I can’t seem to get her to understand. The house is full of cloth bags that I take out when I go shopping and we don’t use small water bottles, we just have one huge one that we then decant into glass bottles to minimise the plastic effects.

      Don’t get me started on the grocery stores and the packaging!! I’ll never stop!

      Thanks as always for your comments XX

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  2. Perhaps the onus of cleaning up the plastic should be sheeted home to manufacturers. In Australia we have a similar problem even though in South Australia a deposit on all containers was introduced decades ago, and is working very well. The rest of Australia failed to get a deposit approved and the litter of plastic and smashed glass bottles everywhere. Capitalism wins out often. The cost of re-processing containers doesn’t make economic sense to them. Our world being spoiled doesn’t seem to connect with them
    In Holland, shops are obliged to install machines that read the value of the container through a bar code and then prints a credit ticket to the value of the deposited containers which shoppers use in the shop to lower the cost of the purchases.
    I suppose with the fast growth of Indonesia’s economy, more and more are able to buy food or drinks in plastic and glass containers joining the rest of the world in boom but also in ecological doom.

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    1. I don’t know if you read the second link that I put up there? not the one I wrote ‘What a waste’ but the one beneath it. It’s a well written article about why this has happened on Bali. I think things need to revert quickly back to that time of using natural packaging. I thought it was interesting the point about how Balinese are so used to just chucking stuff out but the problem is of course that this is now, in previous times it just decomposed. Now of course it doesn’t. It’s a huge, ugly problem that is just getting worse and worse.

      Your points are very interesting and valid Gerard and thanks for commenting. I know you get just as pissed off about this as I do.

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  3. Great post, Lottie. I think no plastic as well if there is not a recycling center in place. I admit to use of plastic BUT I RECycle every scrap of plastic, paper, can, aluminum foil, and cardboard. I have a huge recycle bin that is picked up by the city every two weeks. I use as little plastic as possible but for me I use plastic bags to store food in the freeer.

    Recycling is not compulsory in my town. It should be. One would think that the educated and welathy would recycle but not so in my neighborhood. We were in this “hood” long before we became surrounded by the wealthy. I have looked at homes in the hood to see who recycles and about 1/2 of the wealthy recycle. One would think that these people are educated and responsible but apparently that is not the case.

    I am also of the opinion that we are already doomed. I can not see how our planet can posssibly heal in time to be saved from doom. One thing that comes to mind is the huge hole in the ozone layer. It is all very distressing.

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    1. I do hope this post didn’t distress you too much Yvonne. It’s just a gentle reminder to us ALL to start to do something NOW. You sound very efficient in your green ways and good for you. It’s shocking how many educated people who have no excuse at all, don’t give two figs for what is happening outside of their cotton-wooled world and yet ironically they are the very ones who go on fabulously expensive beach holidays and want to lie on pristine white sands.

      What they don’t realise is that every morning as the sun rises, a team of cleaners come to their hotel beach and pick up all the shit that has landed on the beach over night. The beach cleaners leave behind them a manicured and perfectly combed beach. I wish that they wouldn’t. I wish they’d leave the filth and garbage and then these silly, ignorant people might actually wake up to what is really happening and start to give some serious thought to what is a massive global problem.

      Thanks for your comment Yvonne and your thoughts. I always love to hear what you have to say. XX

      P.s As far as I’m aware there is no re-cycling on Bali. I may be wrong and I to be corrected if I am but I’ve certainly never seen a re-cycling bin in the 2 years that I’ve been visiting here.

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      1. No, Lottie this is not distressing. I see the likes of what you have written about as I drive the streets and the highways. Paper and plastic crap on the sides of the road. It is so distressing. I taught my children when they were quite young to respect animals, other people and, the environment.
        There really is no excuse to throw garbage. If one resorts to that kind of behavior I think that person is trashy as well.

        Yes, the rich have no clue or simply do not care. Probably never have given littering a second thought.

        Some parts of the US are quite strict and have recycle programs in place. But as you have written about the trash in Indonesia the problem is perverse and wide spread all over the globe.

        I don’t have an answer to get people to wake up. I think though that it boils down to federal, state and, local government enacting strict laws. Maybe this would help but I don’t see that happening.

        .

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  4. I watched this whole film but I still don’t understand how the plastic gets into the ocean. Do people just throw it in there? It is a tourist thing? Don’t they have tips and recycling plants like we do here? I recycle everything that I can, and re-use plastic shopping bags as bin liners etc but they would still end up in landfill. I have resolved to go back to taking my own fabric bags to the supermarket to reduce the plastic that our family outputs. The BPA in babies’ bottles has long been a concern of mine, and why I breastfed my last two for as long as I could. No plastic in my boobies. 😉

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    1. I love you Mrs Foxy! You always manage to make me laugh even when I’m trying to make an important point!

      Did you read this link? http://ecg.ironbarkpm.com/plastic.html

      It answers quite a few of your questions. As to the garbage in the seas and oceans. So much rubbish is physically dumped into the seas (out of sight, out of mind or so they thought) but rivers are what carry most of it out into the coastal waters and then further. Rivers become rubbish dumps and then when the heavy rains start it all gets washed downstream and out into the sea.

      Years ago, way before plastic was invented, people used natural products to wrap things in and for carrying. Indonesia has a wonderful source of natural products think banana leaves and palm leaves for example and bamboo too. Before refuse collection, villagers would just sling there rubbish out and it would decompose naturally as there was nothing artificial in and amongst it. Rubbish now is still thrown out the same as before but it’s full of plastic bottles, plastic bags, polystyrene and the other myriad bits of crap that find themselves into our homes.

      As I mentioned in my reply to Yvonne, I’ve not seen any re-cycling going on here. I hate to think what happens to our rubbish. I try to be as eco as possible but I fear that I’m still not doing enough.

      Glad to hear about your boobies!! 🙂

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  5. A sad and necessary reminder of the damage we cause. HK has no mandatory recycling and totally inadequate facilities for it. If we want to recycle we have to package the stuff up and drive to a recycling place. We did this at one point but I confess we stopped when we saw the lorry come along and simply tip the individual bins in with all the rest of the garbage. Our efforts were all in vain. We use cloth bags for shopping and refuse plastic bags as much as we can. However the original packing is both excessive and not optional. It is all about branding and I suspect safety. I am equally concerned about chemicals on foodstuffs. You can buy organic here but a) it is outrageously expensive and b) there is no way of knowing that it is actually organic. We don’t believe anything here and if it says it is from China our reaction, I’m afraid, is don’t buy it. The world is slowly being poisoned around and about us. Only when we stand on the brink staring into the abyss will the politicians wake up. The trouble is it may be too late by then.

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    1. This is it Andrew. Even with the best will in the world when it comes to re-cycling you still don’t know where it’s going to end up. Some British trash gets shipped out to China! What a terrible thought. People can’t keep pushing their shit away and expect it to just vanish – the proof is what’s happening right now on our planet. The evidence is all around us, it won’t just disappear. It’s so sad what has happened. That in our greed for a ‘better world’ we’ve destroyed so much and at what cost? It was so much ‘better’ before the advent of plastic and the ‘throw-away, disposable culture that came with it.
      I fear that what you wrote at the end of your comment may well be the truth. ‘Only when we stand on the brink staring into the abyss will the politicians wake up. The trouble is it may be too late by then’
      I really appreciate your input here Andrew and the telling of your experience of what is happening on your own doorstep in HK. Thank you, Lottie.

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  6. As you know, I take personal exception to plastic of any type (especially bits that get lodged in places they most definitely should not be) and I avoid using it at all. Perhaps if others could become as intimately aware of what a real baddie it is, they would mind their trash better.

    Seriously, anything you can do to spread the word about this global issue, I’m all for it. I distinctly remember your post from a year ago (yikes a whole year has gone by??), and you impressed me with your passion. You continue to impress and your choice of video is excellent. Thank you, dear Lottie. xoxo

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    1. Thank you dear Sis. As you know, I don’t often get on my soap box but this is a subject that I feel really strongly about and always have. I’ve been as much to blame as anyone and I’m not pointing fingers (except at politicians, governments, manufacturers and supermarkets for starters!) that’s not what this is about.

      I got quite a shock yesterday and it prompted me to write this post. I can’t let what I see or feel strongly about go by unsaid. It’s one of the reasons that I started to blog and if it can be used as a vehicle for spreading the plastic word (aside from the telling of my lavatory habits and other high jinks that I get up to) then all the better!

      I can’t understand why there hasn’t been a bigger reaction to this from governments around the world? why has no one said stop the production of all plastic bags for example? I would but then that’s me! All they seem concerned about is wars and money.

      The girls are getting ansty and want to go out so I must stop my rantings and head out. Thanks again Sis xoxo

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  7. This is it Andrew. Even with the best will in the world when it comes to re-cycling you still don’t know where it’s going to end up. Some British trash gets shipped out to China! What a terrible thought. People can’t keep pushing their shit away and expect it to just vanish – the proof is what’s happening right now on our planet. The evidence is all around us, it won’t just disappear. It’s so sad what has happened. That in our greed for a ‘better world’ we’ve destroyed so much and at what cost? It was so much ‘better’ before the advent of plastic and the ‘throw-away, disposable culture that came with it.

    I fear that what you wrote at the end of your comment may well be the truth. ‘Only when we stand on the brink staring into the abyss will the politicians wake up. The trouble is it may be too late by then’

    I really appreciate your input here Andrew and the telling of your experience of what is happening on your own doorstep in HK. Thank you, Lottie.

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  8. I remember that post and agree that things are even worse. It seems that whenever we take a step forward with any problem the vested interests find a way to take us two steps back…or even further. I find almost every endeavor to improve things in the world suffers from this equation. 😦 The politicians will not wake up, even at the brink, as staring into the abyss just creates more stupid arguments to deny there is a problem. One must actually be in the abyss I think. I fight my pessimism every day. It is a losing battle.

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  9. This plastic pollution is global, but it is disheartening to see previously uncontaminated areas succumb to the stupidity of humanity. There will come a time when the plastic carpet we are producing will cover every environment and habit making it impossible for wildlife and domestic animals to survive. It is hard to fathom man’s stupidity, we are really shitting in our own nest, and it’s not going to stop, nobody wants the money-driven paradigm to change, there’s no profit in it.

    The result is that we will carry on until we are starving… and then it will be too late.

    AV

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    1. Have you seen this film AV? It’s extraordinarily moving. Definitely worth watching if you have a moment. There is no need to preach to the converted but I thought you might like it and could use it on your blog perhaps?

      http://www.upworthy.com/some-strange-things-are-happening-to-astronauts-returning-to-earth?g=3

      I fervently hope that it never gets to the stage that you describe. I like your comment ‘we are really shitting in our own nest’ very eloquently put! that’s exactly what is happening.

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  10. My memory of Indonesia was everything you bought being put in a plastic bag. If you got one item in the supermarket they wrap it in more plastic, even if you say ‘no plastic’ the concept is so alien to them that they ignore you and put it in another bag.

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    1. Plastic is everywhere Sarah. It’s not just a problem in Indonesia, it’s clogging up rivers and seas, landfills and oceans everywhere. The problem here is how it’s dealt with. Many Indonesia’s share these concerns and many are trying to do something about it but overall there is still a great lack of understanding amongst the majority of people. Remember how even when we were growing up in the UK how people just routinely chucked stuff out of their car windows for example?

      In the west we now know how devastating this problem is, but here in S.E Asia there is a lack of that understanding about waste which we in the west now take for granted. Don’t forget recycling is a relatively new concept in the UK and even now many people have an ambivalent attitude towards it.

      The real issue that faces everybody is the lack of political will to address these problems. Until governments, local and national make a concerted effort to implement change the situation will only get worse.

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