I haven’t seen Blue Planet II. I may be the only person in the country who hasn’t. But I’ve heard about it. Of course I have. Because now we are at war with plastic. We will fight plastic on our streets, we will fight plastic in our supermarkets and we will fight plastic on our beaches.
As someone who has dabbled for a number of years both professionally and personally in sustainability, I’m intrigued by this instantaneous swell of activity and activism. I wonder, why now? Why are people all of a sudden questioning unnecessary use of plastics? What made people move from seemingly not giving a fig about the environment to overnight launching a full blown assault against plastics? And the answer I have is, ‘you know, because of the turtles’.
In the war on plastics, it takes almost no effort to be crowned a hero and the cynic in me would say it’s merely an easy route for virtue signalling. Buy a reusable water bottle, stick it in the side of your backpack and show the world how totally woke you are! It’s also dawned on people that getting a coffee every day in a single-use cup might not be completely OK. I saw someone on a train being reprimanded by their friend for having a single-use cup who accused them of “destroying the planet”. Fortunately, they need not feel too bad because they can buy a KeepCup and everything will be all right, the planet will be saved!