This could be Centre Common Road, Chislehurst, or a tropical island beach.
By collecting bottles, bottle tops, Ball-point pens, single-use cups and cigarette-ends chucked from cars along Centre Common Road, yes: I am saving wildlife on Pacific islands thousands of miles away.
Members of the arse-end of humanity dump their rubbish anywhere and everywhere. Much of it is washed into the road drainage gullies, into the main sewer and on to the Sewage Treatment Plant at Crossness. A lot of it gets through the filtering screens and may reach the Thames Estuary. From there it flows into the North Sea and could finish up in any of the world’s oceans. This is augmented by trash dropped on beaches and thrown from boats. The filters on cigarette-ends contain non-biodegradable plastic. Smokers are the muckiest individuals on earth, chucking billions of cigarette-ends wherever they please.
The great Pacific gyre between southern California and Hawaii has an island of floating plastic three times the area of France and growing bigger by the day. Plastic items, including polythene bags and plasticised crisp packets, are ingested by fish and other animals, leading to their premature death.
The litter-bugs are ignorant of all this, as of much else and would not give a damn until some great fish tips a load of plastic rubbish into their bath water.
The recent programme by Liz Bonnin, on BBC 1, Drowning in Plastic, should be compulsory viewing for the entire nation.
The government should impose an immediate ban on the manufacture of plastic bottles and single-use cups. Such a move would not inflict the slightest damage on the economy.
A bottle of water has become a fashion accessory. What’s the problem?
Is there a threat of imminent drought? Has some crazy doctor recommended constant flushing of the kidneys?
Why not go to a tap, when necessary?
Why not have a cup of tea and save the planet?