Had plastic bags been discarded in the ocean around 1566, they would only now, in 2016 be breaking up.
Four hundred and fifty years, or so, is the time it takes for a plastic bag to break up.
That is four or five generations in a human family.
This is only the average, as plastic bags can take from 20 to 1000 years to break up.
Australia alone uses 6.9 billion plastic bags a year, of which 3.6 billion are plastic shopping bags.
If you tied 6.9 billion plastic bags together end on end they would travel around the world 42.5 times.
It is also important to note the difference between ‘break up’ and ‘break down’.
When the plastic bags break up, they simply break up into smaller pieces therefore spreading the toxins and making it easier for aquatic life to eat the plastic.
Tania Rossiter, of Martinsville, travels weekly to the Bay for scuba diving and to keep an eye on Kelpie the green turtle.
Tania was instrumental in the initial rescue of Kelpie and was given the privilege of releasing Kelpie back into the ocean when he had fully recovered after a stint of two months’ recovery at Taronga Zoo
Tania is also the founder of Kelpie’s Clean Up, and told News Of The Area, “Every bag you decline makes a massive difference, and we can all make a difference by choices we make daily.”
Tania is pro-active when it comes to protecting our environment, which is one reason she created the group.
One aspect of Kelpie’s Clean Up is to encourage the public, especially young people, to be environmentally aware.
By encouraging parents and community members to post an image on Kelpie’s facebook page when a piece of rubbish has been removed from the beach, park or ocean they then enter a monthly competition which is supported by local business, who are also passionate about the environment.
How empowering to know that by saying no to a plastic bag today, in 2016, we are looking out for our future families in around 2466.
You can follow Tania on facebook at Kelpies Clean Up: https://www.facebook.com/Kelpies-Clean-Up-1541732126142029/?fref=ts
By Mandy ELLIS