2 Oct 2013

Trashed Review

The film ‘Trashed’ was shown in Stroud on Sunday the 29th September 2013, thanks to Stroud District Council and as part of a move to tackle plastic use within the town.

The following is a review from Pat Sykes, with observations about the impact of plastic, and of how we dispose of it. Over to Pat…

I would like to share how much I enjoyed (if that's the right word) the film 'Trashed'. Very disturbing but educational. It needs to be shown to school children, though some Heads might need to contact parents about some of the content. The film, produced by Jeremy Irons, and commentated by him, swept round the world showing the most appalling effects of discarded plastics. Seas, becoming a plastic soup, rivers flowing close to impoverished families, clogged up and polluting the waters which are the life-blood of these communities.

Sea mammals are harmed by plastic objects lodging in their bodies and suffer appalling injuries. One of the most distressing films revealed mountains of plastic waste which simply builds up and has nowhere to go except into the sea, in some locations, creating some of the worst polluted eye-sores on one-time magnificent coastlines. I felt quite helpless, as I watched. I'm so careful to recycle all, and have very little landfill waste, each week. But still I use plastic bags, to my shame. I want to give them up totally and think we all need help to identify alternatives to plastic use in our everyday lives. Since the film, I've thought seriously about not re-using water bottles and have today sourced from the Stroud Valleys Project shop, a re-usable plastic bottle which will not leach harmful pollutants, (as do ordinary plastic bottles after re-use). I am going to a meeting on 7th October to volunteer with the STOP (Stroud Opposed to Plastic Bags) 7.30pm at the town council offices in London Road.  It's open to anyone who wants to help raise awareness of this campaign. I suppose this is a start, but it looks as if we will to be very vigilant, especially keeping an eye on politicians who think that incineration will solve all our plastic waste problems.

The film showed that incineration can produce harmful dioxin emissions and this 'solution' is just too big a risk to take in the rush to sort out the globe's waste mountain. The follow-on debate touched on the incinerator campaign and I was horrified to realize that Gloucestershire County Councillors signed up to the Contract before planning permission, which we all know now was not given (and they are appealing). Even if they lose this appeal, we, as tax payers, have to fork out millions to the company involved for 'pulling out' ! We were told of Norfolk's potential bankruptcy because of a similar signing of a contract without planning. I believe we need to dig deep to find out how this can remain a legal option for contractors. How far do we need to cast the net to find this answer, I wonder, and what can we do as citizens of Stroud?

I have a lot more to learn about the science of alternatives to incineration and was cheered to learn that there are 'saner, smaller, cheaper alternatives proposed by the Glosvain campaign (www.glosvain.info).

No comments: