The Dirty Planet legacy

A little piece of paradise. Long stretches of white sand running for miles with hardly a soul to be seen.

Coral reefs visible at low tide. Palm trees, topped with coconuts, along the edge of the beach. Bliss!

With such an ideal scene one would want to enjoy bathing in the sea, sun bathing on the beach and exploring the rock pools.

Yet how disappointing it is to find the coral tainted by the action of man.

Every rock pool, small or large, had plastic bags or other forms of plastic detritus in them. Social media is currently filled with examples of this problem but on what used to be the pristine beaches of Brazil’s northeast coast – unheard of. Why should any beach be different nowadays?

The plastic used to carry anything from groceries to building materials is discarded away from the beaches but the constant breeze the keeps the air in this region fresh and clean also serves to blow empty bags towards the coast.

Fishermen in the region have complained that at times their nets contain more rubbish than fish and even, on occasion, only rubbish.

It seems that the problem has grown exponentially in recent years … or perhaps we haven’t been observant enough till now.

Having seen the effect of some efforts to improve matters it may be possible to get things under control within a decade, and to clean up the seas within two decades.

Meanwhile, work has begun to clean up the debris that we have placed in space – in orbit.

We have created a dirty planet. Sad.


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