Those who follow my personal site on Facebook (Miss-Elaineous.com) will have seen that I enjoyed my own personal Springwatch this afternoon with a visit from a green woodpecker and that I religiously watch BBC’s Springwatch (and Autumnwatch and Winterwatch) every year. Tonight’s episode specifically brought up the problem that marine plastic is causing to our seabirds, showing images of birds killed after getting caught in fishing nets or having ingested plastic waste.
I’m hoping that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Springwatch’s handling of this topic of plastic waste (it is only Day 2 after all!). There is a need to showcase not only what we can do to help (getting involved in citizen science projects is a great first step, as is taking part in a #2minutebeachclean), but also to highlight that 80% of marine plastic starts on land. This isn’t just about fishermen being lazy with their nets or drifting lobster pots: it’s the ribbons from balloon releases, it’s the rubbish chucked over an inland bridge that works its way down a river to the sea, and it’s the litter deliberately left on the beach after a day (or night) out.
And something else that I hope is discussed is the fact that litter on land has just as much an impact on wildlife. One of the teenagers we spoke with at John Coles specifically mentioned that plastic kills fish … but without any thought about the impact it had in his own community. Ultimately, the viewers of Springwatch are, of course, part of the choir–those who are unlikely to litter in the first place–but perhaps this will encourage them to sing a bit louder and bring more people into the fold.
If you’re interested in more non-rubbish related photos, check out the MissElaineous Blog for a bit of travel and nature and history and tea.