Environment | Feature | A letter to the Plastic Bag Charge “Tutters”

Dear Sir/Madam,

This is an Olive Ridley sea turtle. He was found in August 2015 with a straw stuck up his nose. This 8 minute video shows the excruciating pain he was forced to endure when researchers made the tough decision to immediately remove the piece of plastic in a very long and painful procedure with only rusty pliers. I urge you to watch as much of this as you can bear before reading on.

With this in mind, the negative slur of current articles and the barrage of “tutting” at the checkouts can only be deemed offensive, insensitive and entirely counter-productive after such a landmark for our nation. Describing it as “Bagocalypse” and using extremely negative superlatives throughout such as “bedlam, fear, chaos and unnecessary” (http://dailym.ai/1Z1ylNB), the Mail Online leaves the reader concentrating on the disadvantages of the new laws, rather than the hugely beneficial effects the ban will have on our global oceans.

I do agree, some of the exemptions in the law may be mildly confusing, but please allow me to kindly put the split second of confusion you may feel when loading your luxury loose nuts into a bag into some context.

The Mail Online used the following image to show their briefly mentioned environmental effects of ocean plastic pollution.

A plastic bag covering coral, preventing photosynthesis and respiration and will lead to inevitable death - http://dailym.ai/1Z1ylNB
A plastic bag covering coral, preventing photosynthesis and respiration and will lead to inevitable death – http://dailym.ai/1Z1ylNB

Personally however, I think the montage below would have been a more accurate, visual representation of the devastation plastic pollution wreaks on our global oceans every day…but maybe that’s just me…

The catastrophic effects of marine plastic pollution – http://www.bethegreenchange.blogspot.com, http://www.onegreenplanet.org , http://www.discardstudies.com , http://www.plasticbeaches.blogspot.com , http://www.ignorethatjellyfishcostume.blogspot.com .

And as for the argument “oh, but I always forget to take bags with me, it’s so inconvenient”…sort it out! Forget to pick up your car keys on your way to work, you don’t get there. Forget to let the dog out, you come home to a half-eaten dinner and the majority of your sofa stuffing distributed around the house. Add taking a bag to your daily routine or suffer the consequences of balancing a toddler, your briefcase and half a dozen bananas with only two hands. Simple.

So, my advice to you, plastic bag tutter is this; next time you tut derisively at the checkout for being charged 5p for a bag…well, just don’t.

Yours oh so faithfully,

An exasperated environmentalist.