Clean Water, in our Rivers, Lakes, Canals and Oceans.May 05 2020 | Creative Approach
70% of the planet we call Earth is Water be that Fresh or Salty it’s all good old H2O and we need it to live. so whatever the pollution is, plastic or run off it needs to to be sorted and quickly. Many reports have emerged over the last few weeks on the quality of water in our systems, canals in Venice clearing up and Dolphins returning (sadly the Dolphin part isn’t accurate), the levels of pollution dropping and ocean acidifcation falling. Some of it is not correct, however some of it is, the canals in the UK have been clearing – mostly through lack of boat movements, the pollution levels have fallen slightly and in lakes and rivers people out walking have been seeing the fish and marine life normally hidden. In Cheshire I’ve seen for the first time freshwater mussels in the local canals – amazing and great to see. Yet there is a warning in all of this, Plastic and especailly plastic bags have been used to help us combat corona virus, gloves and face masks used in huge numbers and no clear direction on disposal and recycling – so are we about to see an easing of lockdown and huge spike, not in Covid-19, but in plastic pollution. It is possible however not certain. When our shopping is delivered we take care to clean it all and practice good hand hygiene before and after, with the bags we take one of the bags and as we empty the shopping we put the other bags into this one, tie is secrely and store it outside in a closed box. The virus is not believed to survive for more then 72 hours, so after that time we take the bags to recycling – sure we had a lot to begin with as the recycling centres were closed, but not now. If you feel really concerned about the virus you can even submerge the bags in a bucket of dilute bleach for an hour or so before bagging them up and storing them – Sure plastic use has been increased and for good reasons, yet that doesnt give us excuse to abandon our efforts to control and prevent it getting into the environment. What about gloves and facemasks – well gloves are similar, after using them we wash our hands still wearing them in bleach / hand wash / soap & water for at least 20 seconds – then we take them off and bundle them into a designated plastic bag (washing hands again…) – this is then stored outside for 72 hours – then recycled.
Facemasks are a different story – apart from medical staff we can wear facecoverings – normally cotton or fabric with or without valves and filters – these can be washed in the same way as you wash clothes – so to enable that we have a couple of facecoverings each – once we go out these are kept in a plastic bag and put in laundry as normal ( remember to remove any carbon filters or simlar before washing ). If you have to use medial facemasks then it’s likely you are in that, or a related profession, and your employer will have provided guidelines for you, follow them.
With the clearing of our waters and the benefits we have seen from lockdown, let us not waste that by returning to old habits, or even worse, stepping up those old habits in an attempt to recover losses. SkyNews presented a good documentary on the plastic clogging the Nile river, the Nile is not unique, Plastic is a problem, pollution is a problem that we have begun to tackle. Nature has shown how quickly it can recover if we give it a chance. We need to continue to do our part, maybe redoubling our efforts as we emerge from lockdown, to keep our water, Fresh and Salt – clean and sustainable.