You see them dotted all over the country.
Little piles in corners, big piles in streets, whole dumps on major roads. Smouldering away, fuming away, suddenly spouting little scraps that waft into the air. You smile fondly as the scraps are chased down by children and dogs, marvelling at the simple pleasures of the innocent.
And then you step closer, and you realise it’s one giant mound of plastic.
Plastic carrier bags, plastic pouches, plastic wrapping, plastic covers, plastic packaging, plastic mugs and plastic buckets. Plastic plastic plastic. All grudgingly giving themselves up to the bonfire of our convenience. Revenging their contemptous discardation by permeating their now-tinytiny selves into our air, our lungs, our bodies. Filling us up with their toxicity as we emptied them of their purpose.
All over the country. Burning plastic. Because nobody bothers to tell people that burnt plastic contains carcinogens. Because even those who know, have no choice. Because we don’t have adequate recycling facilities. Because in the cities and town, the landfills are all full. Because in the villages, the concept of garbage disposal means whatever empty space you can find amongst the rapidly dwindling farms.
And because who wants to go back to the days of bottles and jars and tins and oiling grains so they don’t spoil? And who wants to open their larders and really notice just how much plastic and chemically-treated packaging they are using? And who wants to take the effort to care?
You know that opening scene from Wall-E?