Look, I’m no fan of plastic bags and like other sane people I seek a tidy environment for us all. But some of the hyperbole in the British media this past week or so has really taken the biscuit – as Margaret Hodge might say. So I welcome the news that the widely stated accusation that the bags kill 100,000 animals and a million seabirds every year is false.They pose only a minimal threat to most marine species, including seals, whales, dolphins and seabirds. Gordon Brown announced last month that he would force supermarkets to charge for the bags, saying that they were “one of the most visible symbols of environmental waste”. Retailers and some pressure groups, including the Campaign to Protect Rural England, threw their support behind him. But scientists, politicians and marine experts attacked the Government for joining a “bandwagon” based on poor science. So, no change there then.
One of the things that does bother me is how some people show no concern whatsoever for the environment by dumping all KINDS of rubbish at their heels. I’m at my seaside retreat this weekend and when you walk along the beach and see some of the debris that visitors leave, it is profoundly sickening. I think that these are the sorts of things that need address – it must be about encouraging citizenry and that DOES mean thinking before littering. I think people who litter are a menace and perhaps it is the people, not the bags etc, that we must focus on?