Recent photographs of the
beaches of an uninhabited island in the South Pacific strewn with
plastic junk have caused great concern. Recent photographs of the
roadside verges in South Northamptonshire strewn with plastic junk
have caused similar concern.
The roadside verges round
Abthorpe have now been cut. Very quickly a great deal of junk has
been lobbed from passing vehicles onto the newly mown verges.
There are cardboard food and drink containers, paper sweet and
cigarette packets, aluminium and steel drinks cans and a profusion
of plastic containers and drinks bottles. Unless it is removed, as
the grass grows much of the junk will be enveloped. Despite the
councilís efforts to clear it the next time the verges are mown
the junk will be desiccated. The biodegradable paper and cardboard
will quickly rot away but the small fragments of steel, aluminium
and plastic are likely to take centuries before they are no longer
a threat to nature and mankind.
We should be concerned that we
are storing up problems for future generations. As most of the
rubbish seems to come from local fast food outlets surely they
have a responsibility to ensure that especially the steel,
aluminium and plastic is recycled or replaced with biodegradable
materials? Unless we all do something, future generations will
find the verges of our beautiful country lanes carpeted with thick
layers of metal and plastic fragments.