It’s Not Too Late To Stop Lolling In Litter

indonesia-rubbish-Kuta Beach Bali

There has been so much shocking news this week I feel like screaming or crying – not writing.

I’m impotent about yet another mass shooting in the USA when so many people in that country still defend the NRA’s position on gun ownership.

I’m devastated and impotent too about the continued tragedy that is Syria and other international war zones – declared and undeclared.

And the refugee and asylum seeker cause remains heart-breaking and seemingly unsolvable.

However, the story and shocking pictures of the plastic pollution washing ashore in Indonesia and other countries – even my lovely Mordialloc beach after a storm – is something I am qualified to speak and write about – and perhaps make a difference.



There Is no Planet B

I’m not alone worrying about the environment especially our waterways,  and increasingly people living near and/or operating seaside small businesses are motivating others to combat the litter problem by inviting visitors to collect a bucket of rubbish in return for a free coffee.

The initiative started in England after a cafe owner watched the BBC’s Blue Planet programme and was so appalled he knew he had to do something.

Social media has done the rest with the latest reports coming from a small town in New Zealand  encouraging people to clean up.

It’s ugly, dirty – and costing us tens of thousands of dollars a year across the Western Bay. In a special series on illegal rubbish dumping, we examine how our councils are trying to fight illegal tipping – and meet good people aiming to help clean up our region.

Mount Maunganui businesses are offering people free coffee for a bucket of rubbish.


Change Habits To Save Habitats
Mairi Neil

Bali’s beaches are drowning in litter
Debris piles so no butterflies flitter
Everything dead
Apocalypse fed –
But the solution’s not storming Twitter.

The main culprit named as plastic
A product we embrace as fantastic
But it resists decay
And won’t go away
The destruction of marine life is tragic!

Fast food a convenience we craved
Marketing gurus constantly raved
Junk created ignored
As rubbish was poured
Into the environment, we should’ve saved.

Who profits from accumulated trash?
Is life on Earth worth less than cash?
Greenies demonised
Consumers fed lies
While pollution spreads like a rash.

What species destroys its own nest
Where standards should be the best?
‘Away’ doesn’t exist
Rubbish isn’t a mist
We create it so must produce less!

‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ a catch cry
This must be reality before we all die
The coral withers
Our PM dithers
Climate change deniers watch Earth fry.

To the tourists who boast loving Bali –
Has your behaviour increased the tally?
Of beach debris
Polluting the sea
Leave only footprints when you dally!!

Bali’s problem is really worldwide
From culpability, no one can hide
It starts with a ‘me’
I hope becomes ‘we’
From today let’s take the Earth’s side.


Take Only Photographs, Leave Only Footprints

We are fortunate in Australia.

We live in a country where there are regular rubbish collections and slogans like Keep Australia Beautiful and Clean Up Australia translate into education programs and public campaigns and there are fines for littering.

Yet we still have people who are too lazy to find a bin or take their rubbish home!

But we often export our rubbish and China’s refusal to accept the West’s trash emphasises how we need to recycle and repurpose our own rubbish, especially plastics, but more importantly we have to reduce and PRODUCE LESS rubbish!

images-2recycled plastic seat

It takes a long time for rubbish to decompose – and some never does.  The damage to wildlife and sea life horrendous.

Take Your Rubbish Home Or bin It

This needs to be the mantra for all of us – whether visiting a local park or a foreign country!

And we could tackle it with humour as this sign in Orkney outside a club did

humour in recycling.jpg

It is easy to forget how big our environmental footprint becomes when we travel and already many tourist destinations are groaning under the cost of cleaning up after visitors, festivals, special events and the expectations of certain tourists.

Marundi Beach Jakarta – photograph from Destination Blog

Some cruise ships hold thousands of passengers. Can you imagine the rubbish to be disposed of – serviettes, straws, plus bottle and cans…?

Not surprisingly, some communities now regard those huge ships with dread!

I live some distance from the foreshore but close to the railway station and Main Street shops – every day I find discarded rubbish in my garden!

Multiply that problem in places where hundreds and thousands of people live or pass through and we definitely need to remind people of the message I remember from the 70s – POLLUTE AND PERISH…little boy and ducks Mordialloc Creek.jpg

We don’t have to wait for governments to legislate –

  • demand less packaging,
  • take your own bags when shopping
  • take a reusable mug if you buy a cuppa on the way to work
  • use your own refillable water bottle
  • be a conscientious consumer



4 thoughts on “It’s Not Too Late To Stop Lolling In Litter

  1. Push for container recycling in Victoria and any other states left that aren’t;
    Look for every available recycling program you can find and use it (even if a little inconvenient);
    Get councils, government departments and US to buy more stuff made of recyclable materials (if there is not enough of a market for these things there is no point making them!);
    Use less of everything;
    Encourage more repair shops for all articles – electrical items, tools, furniture, clothes, etc;
    Be more prepared to stick with an item of it still works and not look for
    Go back to the way we were (and no! it’s not that hard) using less plastic in all facets of our lives; Encourage retail businesses to give up plastic bags, drinking straws, excessive wraps – (especially greengrocers who wrap fruit and veg un-necessarily);
    Encourage all the schools you are involved with to teach recycling with their accompanying grim pictires of animal and bird bellies full of plastic;
    Challenge people who you see drop litter (run up to them with their discarded rubbbish and say ”hey, I think you dropped this!”);
    Offer a smoker you see dropping butts on the ground a cheap and easy butt container to take home, empty and re-use;
    Talk to people about the problem;
    Write to or ring your politicians asking them to take on these issues through their work in parliament;
    Etc. etc.- how long can I go on???

    Yes maybe all small things but we SIMPLY MUST turn this dirty world around.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All really good actions Kaye – I seem to have been talking about this and doing those things forever! I think schools are the key but remember when we produced the Bradshaw Park Kit – unless the teachers get more resources and time it becomes a 10day wonder. Changing behaviour is a must and that starts in the home and with individuals finding their voices and yes, demanding less packaging, not buying throwaway bottles etc. I remember when Anne was in primary school there was a huge public campaign to ban those plastic rings that held cans together – whoever collected the most won a prize. Boy did that galvanize her team – they scoured beaches, John got his workmates involved etc in the process people learned how dangerous those were to sea life and some people actually stopped buying cans packaged that way. I don’t think they are produced now. Change is slow but it happens – I’m just gutted that our behaviour affects so many innocent children in poorer countries.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Mairi you are so right with your heartfelt protest at the ever mounting pile of plastic rubbish that is clogging our seas and riverways, where on earth do people think it is all going to go, are we all so selfish and stupid. Yes we are and it is frightening. It has to be screamed from the roof tops and governments MUST take action…
    BAN PLASTIC BOTTLES to start with and what is wrong with using a brown paper bag instead of a plastic one. Is it so hard???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed Trish! Thanks for reading it. I’ve just replied to a friend in Canada who had the same sentiments as you. It really is something that starts on a personal level. I have a travel mug now and if I buy coffee out and it is not going to be served in crockery I ask them to use my mug. At the arts centre the other night they were happy to do that. (I don’t get out much😆) one of my daughters has her mug and a glass water bottle and we all use shopping bags not plastic. Small steps…


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