The change in the climate crisis is real for everyone. The fires are visible but across the other side of the word are tsunamis, floods, death, destruction in Germany and devastation in the north of England. We cannot ignore it just because it has not yet touched this corner of East Sussex. The climate crisis is closing in everywhere and it concerns us all if nothing is done.
Greenpeace is warning that if the government does not keep to its promise of taking this seriously and doing everything they can (which are so far has only been words but no actions and talking about electric cars and points is not going to do it as many won’t be able to afford them) time will be running out.
“The Paris climate change agreement obliged countries to submit their adaptation plans but only 13 countries have done so. One of those is the UK, but government plans were judged by its own independent advisers to have ‘failed to keep pace with the worsening reality of the climate risk’. The Glasgow COP 26 climate talks in November will need to put the spotlight on adaptation planning and funding for vulnerable countries.” (Guardian, July 3, Opinion)
The other problem Greenpeace wants to highlight is the plastic overload, which needs government legislation, manufacturers to stop wrapping everything in plastic, shops like Tesco, Sainsbury, and Waitrose to start a plastic bottle return plan and most of all people to be aware of using plastic as little as possible, to pick it up after themselves and recycle at home.
Greenpeace dumped 625K of plastic waste earlier this week outside Downing street, “the same amount that the UK sends overseas every 30 seconds”
Greenpeace investigators in Turkey found British plastic waste dumped and burned on the side of the roads and near waterways, which was toxic and harmful to wildlife, our oceans and of course people’s health who lived nearby. Turkey banned waste imports from Britain but lobbying interests have forced a U-turn. Greenpeace says that exploiting poorer countries to get rid of our waste because the government is not investing in ways of doing it in this country, is not acceptable.
At the beginning of July, countries across the European Union (EU) implemented a collective ban on single use plastic items including cutlery, plates and polystyrene, often seen left on the beaches. This is great news and Boris Johnson signed up for it before Brexit. Now it seems unimportant as nothing yet has come out of No10 concerning this. Of course much is excused because of the pandemic but climate change and mountains of plastic waste are not going away but will get worse as time passes.
Britain is falling well behind when it comes to plastic pollution and City to Sea have set up a petition, calling on the environment minister Rebecca Pow to match the EU ban. Petitions do work when enough people get behind them, as has been proven by U-turns of the government in the past.
Greenpeace reports that, while many spend time carefully sorting their house waste, only 10% is actually recycled in the UK and the rest is incinerated and sent to landfill or overseas. It is up to each of us to take note, do what we can and lobby government, manufacturers, shops and each other to reduce the plastic pollution.
To know more go to the Greenpeace website. To watch a video: youtube.com City to Sea – Turning the Tide on Plastic Pollution
Image Credits: Rye Harbour Nature Reserve .