Driving behind a vehicle recently, I observed someone in the passenger seat throw out garbage—it looked like crumpled paper, probably napkins and wrappers—through the window onto the side of the road. I got so upset and my anger grew all the more when sailing through the window came a plastic water bottle which rolled into the drain at the side of the road.
This we will admit is a common practice in our society, even in the face of all the education and information about the ills of littering and the results of indiscriminate dumping of garbage.
Citizens in communities across the nation, where suffering and hardship were experienced as a result of the catastrophic flooding last year can testify to this, since it was determined that one of the contributing factors to the situation was the number of plastic bottles and other garbage that clogged our drains and other watercourses.
As I viewed an advertisement on the television about the recycling of plastics into bracelets as a cause to fund the clean-up of the oceans campaign, an effort by a group known as 4 Oceans, I decided to find out a little more about them.
Their motto is ‘One Ocean One Mission’ and it all began after two young men, Andrew Cooper and Alex Shulze went to Indonesia after they finished college to surf.
They were appalled by the amount of plastic debris on the shore and were informed after enquiring from the lifeguards that even though the shores are cleaned each morning, by afternoon more debris from the ocean is deposited by the waves on the shore.
Chatting with the fishermen, the young men also found out that fishing was very difficult, catching little or no fish and so the idea was born to create a sustainable business model where the men would fish for plastics. The aim was to create jobs and hire people to do this and pay them per pound for the haul. They found a practical way of combatting the plastic pollution.
Their efforts have so positively impacted people that they operate in 27 countries, educating and inspiring people to be more cognisant of the fact that the indiscriminate discarding of the garbage, especially the plastics, results in negative and devastating effects.
They recycle the plastics and create these beautiful bracelets, the sale of which funds the project.
Inspiration, vision, determination and the desire to make a positive impact on the environment spurred these two young men on in their quest.
Here in our little neck of the woods, the rainy season is upon us and fears are already being expressed about the rains and the possibility of flooding. Have those of us who live in flood-prone areas, done all that could be done to dispose of our garbage and debris in the proper way?
Our attitude is sometimes so selfish, inconsiderate and careless that we fail to realise just how much harm we are doing to the environment, others and ourselves, when we persist in our negative actions where discarding of our garbage is concerned.
We need to understand that it is not just about the government, the Ministry or those in authority to see about, but we too have a responsibility for our environment.