Over the past few weeks I have found myself thinking about the Pixar film WALL-E when I take the #Litterwatch2017 photos. In it, humans have taken to the stars in a giant spaceship, waiting for the day when life on Earth would again be possible. What made the planet unfit for human habitation? It wasn’t climate change or war, but rather waste and consumerism. The planet was too full of rubbish.
The movie will turn 10 years old next year, and I am amazed at the prescience of what is ostensibly a children’s film.
Right now, the global production of just plastic bottles is 480 billion a year, and it doesn’t take much imagination to see that the possibility of something like this occurring in the not-too-distant future is high … just without the spaceship escape plan.
Just the handful of litter I’m watching as part of this little experiment shows what the problem is: nothing really happens to rubbish. It just hangs about. Admittedly the experiment might be a little different if the items were on the ground, allowing micro-organisms to do their job, but I would prefer to keep the badgers who visit the back garden safe. So the rubbish fades and gets battered by the weather, but refuses to disappear.