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plastic trash photo
Photo by Jason Karn

“Ay, of a snail, for though he comes slowly, he carries his house on his head—a better jointure, I think, than you make a woman. Besides, he brings his destiny with him.” — lines from Act IV, Scene 1 of As You Like It, which remind the author of what all shelled gastropods have to offer us, and what our fate seems to be at the moment

Theresa May has announced that she will commit the UK to eliminating all “avoidable” plastic waste by 2042, but her pledge to abolish waste such as carrier bags, food packaging, disposable plastic straws and the like is aimed to score political points, not to reduce litter or prevent further pollution of the seas.

How do I know? Her promises lack urgency, detail and bite. How transparent, her citing more than two decades down the road as her closest possible goalpost. Theresa, obviously, does not understand the game that’s being played, the field on which we’re all being splayed. Not only is it possible to have the endgame designated as taking place in 2018 or 2019, it’s necessary to do so.

The frosty reception her proposal received on the part of environmental groups underscored what I’m saying here, but no one should need their activist imprimatur to recoil in horror at the Prime Minister’s environmental viewpoint. She clearly does not see that our collective situation demands that she declare an EMERGENCY, and act accordingly… as one would do if an appendix had burst.

This is true of all world leaders, of course, including Trump… who too many people are complimenting at the moment over his decision to (possibly) reverse one or two environmental positions he’s previously held. No influential world leaders are doing anything remotely relevant environmentally respecting our dire emergency situation.

The thing is, Theresa May is likely to do way more damage than good in making her announcement. Her words definitely tend to confirm the misconception that we have another two decades plus to play with; we do not.

Furthermore, a Sky News commentator noted that she would be including schools in her game plan for helping the public to self-educate about our plastics production and use… starting with disadvantaged schools. Why is that? Why wouldn’t she put ALL students, teachers, staff, parents et alia on emergency alert on equal footing?

I can’t even try to answer that, but I do know that it wouldn’t cost a pound to get the word around the entire realm of UK educational institutions, encouraging all students to change their lifestyles radically, and motivate them to push the envelope with their loved ones to do the same immediately. And yet… nothing close to that is being considered.

Everything is proceeding disingenuously, in dangerous ignorance and at an arthritic snail’s pace.

Theresa May doesn’t really seem to understand that there may no longer be snails on earth long before 2042 arrives… even if all plastic production and use were to end tomorrow. One cannot keep having Arrival and Departure gates be a routine part of one’s life (and not be screaming “Emergency!” with regard to airline travel for the general public) — isolating the plastics issue from other environmental crises — without dooming us.

And I definitely believe that she doesn’t appreciate why snails matter.

Valleria Ruselli is a member of the Oxman Collective. She can be reached at aptosnews@gmail.comSpecial note from the authorThis article is dedicated to 17-year-old Marcel who is having his appendix out as I submit this, with the hope that all the world’s youth will be able to have such procedures performed when needed in the future.

One Comment

  1. K SHESHU BAB says:

    Politicians have politics as their top priority. Hence, Teresa May gestures are not surprising ! Even if some environment is protected by this opportunism, that may have some respite from pollution …!