Here is a photo by Rob Bruce. It was taken at the end of the summer when a group of people from our community and some holidaymakers spent the day clearing a beautiful remote beach in Wester Ross of plastic waste, which of course is a by-product of the fossil fuel economy.
They filled a boat with 15 bags of plastic waste. By weight, 90% of the waste was from the area’s salmon farms, which regularly discard long black snakes of feeding tubes into the sea. I guess that is because the innards of the thin tubes are gradually worn out by feed pellets firing down them, which also must add microplastic to the fishes’ diet of soy protein and chemicals.
But 90% by number of the waste items were endless wee dods of rope. For thousands of years, I imagine, fishermen have cut off the ends of ropes instead of untying them – that was fine when the rope was made of natural fibres. The plastic ones are very long-lasting – but they are not priced in a way that reflects the cost of disposal. As a writer in the FT recently put it, truly we live in the Garb-Age.
Image by Rob Bruce