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Did you watch it; Blue Planet 2; We told you so!

Did you watch it; Blue Planet 2; We told you so!

To anyone who watched part two of the BBC’s “hatchet job” on plastic packaging, bear in mind that only two weeks ago Blue Planet showed a grieving mother whale, still nurturing her dead offspring. Meanwhile David Attenborough informed us in sepulchral tones that her baby had probably died from plastic poisoning. No evidence was produced then or since to substantiate that conclusion. This totally spurious suggestion was nevertheless simply offered as a fact in support of the BBC’s promotion of their anti-plastic agenda. This week they linked industrial pollution, i.e. chemical discharges, oil spills etc… with plastic waste describing this as a toxic sludge fatal to marine life. Once again no evidence was produced, no photographs, but any “fact” offered by Mr Attenborough becomes a “fact” forever.

  • It is a fact that lightweight, low cost, inert plastic packaging is in fact inert and does not break down chemically in the manner alleged
  • It is also a fact that it saves billions of gallons of water being polluted, all over the world, every year. This water would need to be used to manufacture millions of tonnes of cardboard packaging which is 5 times heavier than plastic, if in fact plastic did not exist
  • It is a fact that plastic packaging also saves literally immeasurable amounts of energy, which would otherwise be used to produce aluminium cans 10 times heavier than plastic and glass bottles 8 times heavier (the energy required to mine smelt, manufacture and process 1 tonne of aluminium foil, is equal to the energy required to manufacture all the plastic bags given out in a year by UK supermarkets). 
  • It is a fact that one lorry load of pet food in plastic containers, would need to be replaced by 10 lorry loads of the same volume of pet foods, if those foods which were packed in aluminium cans. This weight difference alone saves millions of extra lorry movements which would be required every year, without plastic packaging

Finally as a nation the UK allegedly throw away around 9 million tonnes of food every year, around 3% of the total.

In the third world, due to the lack of plastic food packaging, this waste figure is circa 40%. Thus the fastest growing demand for plastic packaging to reduce this waste and preserve food is in the third world. There is no doubt discarded plastic waste creates many problems but if plastic was invented today it would be hailed as a wonder material that could help save the earths precious resources and improve our environment. No one would give much thought to its disposal which is simply to recover the inherent energy in combined heat and power by incineration. These are in common use in Scandinavia and Japan.

What the BBC didn’t tell us is that disposal of waste, plastic, tin, glass and board across China and much of the worlds southern hemisphere is simply done by dumping it in the worlds seas. Surely we should be entitled by the BBC to provide balance in its presentation and target the polluters and not the material.

Should you have any views on any of the items raised please feel free to comment either here or join me on LinkedIn


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