David Levy – To solve plastic pollution we need to be more ambitious – Apr 17

I hope you all had a great Easter. Here in Bristol the weather was iffy. We had a lot of cloud, rain threatened but generally it stayed away. The result was a tapestry of queues heading for the coast, which for me is the Dorset coastline from Lyme Bay to Weymouth including Chesil Beach.

What is it about the first rush of Spring that we all head for the coast?

I guess for me it is touching base with my childhood. I remember the hours walking on the cliffs and finding rock pools. Nothing is more evocative of childhood than a bucket and net, head down discovering new worlds in the pools for shrimps, crabs, small fish, seaweed, mussels, lobsters and the array of other life.

How could that memory be ruined?

To answer that, I have to bring you up to date with my catch of the day.

I have to tell you that in my haul were fifteen pieces of plastic various sizes, discarded nylon net/rope and a few pieces of coloured glass. Luckily I found a few shore crabs but I must say that the experience was tainted.

The science actually paints a more appalling picture for micro-plastics are now inside the digestive systems of our marine world. I remember KIMO dissecting a dead seagull at the OSPAROSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic made up of representatives of the Governments of the 15 signatory nations. Ministers Meeting in Bergen, Norway, and it was disgusting and frightening at what they exposed to the meeting’s delegates.

People power is so underrated, and is not used by the NGO Movement as it could be to pressure for change. What is done are beach clean-ups without creating the political movement for the international banning of plastics and nylon discarded into the seas and oceans.

I am glad some change is being encouraged by the MCS Beach Clean-Up, but I have to say it is fighting a losing battle and is not aspirational enough for the problems we have.

If Marinet can do nothing else we can take part with the MCS initiative, but we should also prod them to aim higher.

David Levy

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