SOME housekeeping ahead of the University of the Third Age (U3A) kicking off for another year of learning, creativity and comradeship.
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At the end of their last semester, members of the U3A tackled the ever growing problem of plastics pollution.
“The presentation was called “What can a group of ‘Old Bags’ do about plastic pollution?” Ronnie Nichols said.
“The two hour presentation began with an artwork created by local resident Sharon Taylor showing how the amount of plastic collected from our own beach can be strikingly represented, photographed and disposed of”, Ronnie said.
“Concepts for discussion included the amount of time that has needlessly elapsed since the first ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ catchcry was introduced in the 1980’s.”
The late Ian Kiernan’s Clean Up campaigns instigated by his marine experiences with plastic rubbish in the oceans of the world, culminated in’ Clean up the World’.
“Before his untimely death Ian played an important role in lobbying for container collections in NSW,” she said.
Ronnie added, “Take 3 for the Sea’ is a more recent campaign instigated by Australian Environmentalist Tim Silverwood, but sadly this campaign has gone unnoticed by many.”
“It was acknowledged that materials such as marine plastic rope, drinking straws, balloons, lids and rings, plastic drink bottles, polystyrene packaging as well as plastic bags and many more can be seen in various states of degradation in gutters, drains, parks, rivers, creeks, oceans and the roadside.”
“This becomes a much bigger problem in Third World countries at the same time as understanding that many depend on recovery of plastic for their income.”
To reduce the amount of plastic in Western countries, littering was seen as a problem needing to be addressed as was the need to find alternatives to plastic use, such as non plastic shopping bags.
“Did we find a solution,” Ronnie said. “No, but refusing plastic and adopting alternatives did become more convincing in the light of the world wide dilemma.”
By: Margie TIERNEY