29 June 2009

Ban the plastic bag

Well done for the Welsh Assembly on starting the consultation process to get rid of the one-use plastic shopping bag. Jane Davidson, Welsh minister for the Environment, Sustainability and Housing has launched a consultation on proposals to introduce a charge on single use carrier bags. On launching the consultation, Jane Davison said “An estimated 480 million plastic bags are used in Wales each year. It takes between 500 and 1,000 years for these bags to degrade and this cannot continue. By reusing bags, not only will we reduce litter, but also help cut our global footprint.”

If these proposals are successful Wales will join Ireland and China in levying a charge on their use.

The United Nations Environmental Programme has joined the clammer for a worldwide ban on the use of thin film single use bags and said "there is simply zero justification for manufacturing them anymore, anywhere". UNEP consider plastic bags to be second only to discarded fishing lines in causing marine wildlife entanglements.

The Carrier Bag Consortium has responded to the UNEP criticisms. Peter Woodall, head of communications at CBC, said: "Plastic bags are very useful containers and can be recycled. Government statistics show that 80 per cent of all households reuse plastic bags to ensure their waste is hygienically tied up and plastics reprocessing is a very good use of resources as it is endlessly recyclable."

If all the plastic bags were recycled it wouldn't be a problem, but there are examples everywhere of wildlife being harmed by the bags. In the oceans, many animals mistake floating plastic bags as a jellyfish and swallow them, while others become entangled in them. To see more of the images that we have available to illustrate this topic follow this link to a lightbox: http://www.ecoscene2.captureweb.co.uk/lbshow.php?lightboxid=1261168667590

15 June 2009

South Pacific

I have loved watching the BBC South Pacific documentary but last night's final programme was truly depressing. It showed the precarious state of the ocean's fish stocks and the overfishing that was taking place. I have long known about the complete waste of an animal's life for its fins, and we have photos of fished sharks - but seeing those amazing sharks being killed (sometimes), finned and then chucked back into the ocean, made me sick - I can't believe the trade continues and in such quantities. Lets hope that programmes like these, raise awareness and this stops - soon and the South Pacific is designated a protected area.
Ecoscene has a selection of images showing shark fishing such as this dead shark (copyright Luc Hosten) washed up on a beach with a fishing line in its mouth.

5 June 2009

WED - World Environment Day 5 June

This year's theme is 'Your Planet Needs You! UNite to Combat Climate Change.' There are many ways that individuals can all do their bit, however small to help combat climate change - the United Nations lists many on the WED website but one of the key things is plant a tree to mop up all that carbon dioxide. Some of the photos below are just a few of those that are available through Ecoscene.