YEARS back when the ‘Barbie’ song came out with her singing how fantastic it is to be wrapped in plastic, the rest of the world seemed to agree.
Today we know better and just the word brings up negative connotations.
This is why it was so particularly eye opening when travelling to Almeria last month. When reaching El Ejido I suddenly found myself driving through plastic. At first I couldn’t make out what I was actually looking at, but on closer examination I could just make out crops beneath this spectacle that continued as far as the eye could see.
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When turning off the motorway to drive down towards the tourist complexes in Roquetas de Mar I found myself on an almost dirt road flanked by what turned out to be enormous plastic covered greenhouses for over six kilometres; weird and creepy to say the least! Then, once at the sea it was equally surreal to see that this man-made monster actually stops at the perimeter of the protected natural park.
Many of us have heard of Almeria thanks to the many Spaghetti Westerns filmed there, but it also boasts kilometres of beautiful beaches, the Cabo de Gata natural park, the Tabernas Desert and some 30,000 hectares of this plastic ocean known as ‘The Orchard of Europe.’
It’s so expansive that it is equally as visible from space as the Great Wall of China and accounts for almost 5 per cent of the gross domestic production of Almeria, which is 2.5 per cent of the national figure; most significant if you compare this to other aspects of the Spanish economy.
So, obviously plastic can be helpful, in the right place; which is not floating around in the ocean or clogging up our streets. It’s also obviously up to each one of us to do something to turn the situation around. We can stop purchasing things wrapped in plastic, refill water bottles and take part in events to actively contribute to a solution.
Coming up on September 15 from 9am to noon there is a cool kayak pick up plastic event organised by our Foreigners Department at the Marbella Marina and on September 21 at 9.45am in Laguna Village another organised by Plastic Free Seas with the collaboration of The Litter Pickers. All you need to do is show up suitably prepared with protective gloves and a rubbish bag, something you can do alone or with a group to make it more fun!
It’s important for us resident locals to help make sure that at least our streets and our beaches and our oceans reflect the love we have for all life living here. If everyone in every city did likewise we could make a big difference in very little time. Now wouldn’t that be fantastic?
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