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Particolare del carro di Roberto Vannucci intitolato: “Alta Marea” al Carnevale di Viareggio


The alien invasion is already here: the plastic one

This story begins and ends in Viareggio. In the Pearl of Versilia, in February, there’s the traditional allegorical floats parade. This year one of the most beautiful, created by Roberto Vannucci and entitled: “Alta Marea” (high tide ed), represented a whale with the mouth full of plastic and the body imprisoned in the same plastic. Its “song” was jarring, suffering.

The reference to the pollution of the oceans where tons of plastic not easily degradable end up was obvious, with not need Greta to explain it to us.

Since the big alarm was raised, the maximum the EU “experts” came out with was banning the straws. For heaven’s sake, you have to start somewhere, but it would be enough to stop reading these wicked lines and having a walk around the house, to understand how this “start” seems (at least a little) a joke.

We cannot mention all the plastic objects that surround us, because the list would be endless. It’s not just big or small bottles, but every kind of packaging, wrapping, structure, game or appliance… Everything is plastic. The problem, therefore, is serious, other than straws.

The worldwide production of plastic has raised from 15 million in 1964 to over 310 million today … All straws?

Every year at least 8 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans and, to date, it is estimated that there are over 150 million tons of plastic in the oceans. Since the Fifties of the last century, with the spread of its use, we have produced 8.3 billion tons of plastic, throwing about 6.3 billion in nature.

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In the age of fake news and conflicting opinions about everything (really about everything), these data released by the WWF are certainly realistic. However, they are just numbers, so difficult to read, but at least they can be used to clear our ideas. Let’s try to give an example.

Imagine the Titanic (which weighed 52,310 tons). Now imagine 10 Titanics in the Genoa port, then 100 and then 1000 … They don’t fit, do they? No, but we are still far away, because you have to make an effort to imagine 120.436 … This mass of boats is 6.3 billion tons of plastic that have become garbage. Among these, only 9% was recycled and 12% incinerated. 79% were placed in landfills or (in unspecified quantities) spread in the environment. The amount of plastic thrown into the sea (every year) is 9 million tons. Every year…

The problem is really serious and the fine words or the Friday strikes are not enough to solve it.

It is true that the greatest damage to the environment is produced by those Countries (China, India and Indonesia above all) that overlook the Pacific which is, in facts, the most polluted Ocean. However, even the Mediterranean, despite the greater sensitivity and ecological attention that exists in Europe, is becoming a litterbin.

We don’t want to defend the production of straws, rather, we show here another data. The 81% of the waste on the Italian beaches is made of plastic, mostly bottles and containers, caps, cutlery and plates, pieces of polystyrene and cotton buds … and of course, straws.

Since none of us is able to renounce plastic (nor does it entirely depend on us) the only solution is, therefore, better education in recycling and targeted disposal. Without demagogy and with a focus on Creation that is not just propaganda.

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So, we return to Viareggio, to the two “Jova Beach Party” (huge concerts by Jovanotti which took place on the beaches). The organizers and the artist himself boasted the praiseworthy behavior of the participants regarding the disposal of plastic bottles (thousands of them were actually collected from a special organization). Too bad that the photos after the concert showed an almost completely covered with cigarette butts beach …

Then, it is not just a matter of plastic or straws, even cigarettes generate pollution: both in the sea and in our lungs. But Greta hasn’t said anything about it yet, so maybe it’s a fake news.

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