Out of Sight, Out of Mind

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Keskiviikko 24.2.2021 klo 16:55 - Mikko Nikinmaa

People throw all kinds of thrash all around the place. As a school boy I did a little survey of  trash in roadsides and swimming strands in South Wales. Already at that time the cigarette ends  were very common. And they are a major source of microplastics. With the tide they are washed to the ocean, and start their long-lasting voyage in the sea.

Similarly, people throw all the wrappings, bags and everything else out of the car windows after they have eaten in the car. The car needs to be tidy, but the roadside doesn't since it is soon out of sight. Similarly, bikes, refridgerators etc are just dumped into rivers and lakes, as they sink to the bottom and are out of sight. All kinds of trash are flowing via short pipes to the ocen as long as they are not visible. When the trash is seen, the length of pipes is increased. Different poison barrels are just sunk from boats to the bottom of lakes and seas - out of sight, out of mind.

Environmental crimes, dumping of toxic material, plastic etc, are hardly ever investigated. It is  commonly considered that environmental contamination is not a crime. This attitude has now resulted in the massive plastic waste gyres in the ocans. What has earlier been out of sight has now become visible. Further, the toxins that have been dumped all around the place, start causing effects on organisms. So, it is not out of sight, out of mind any more, since harmful effects are visible.

What should be done is to start collecting all the trash, and make environmental crimes punishable. If both of those things were done the out of sight, out of mind attitude would soon disappear. That would be important for the sake of the environment. 

Avainsanat: trash, plastic pollution, environmental contamination

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