This week, we were walking on the Aquitaine seashore (France). The tourists are not there yet, so the beaches are not cleaned. But with each storm, quantities of plastic waste are brought back to the beach. And with them, sea-stars...
The first challenge: #1walk1plastic With each walk, a challenge: #1walk1plastic. Sometimes we walk near young people who look at us with a suspicious eye, like "who are those crazy people who pick up the debris on the beach?". But what is best than setting an example (see my article "How to talk to kids about climate change") This time it was worse, with a filthy plastic laying on the beach. Some people were even wondering if there was not a dolphin in there ... So we starting to manipulate the plastic to see what he was going on ...
In doing so, we discovered ... sea stars! Dozens and dozens of starfish stuck in the plastic. At first we naively thought "maybe they found something there to eat"? It was before we found several sea stars who were completely captive of this horrible giant plastic. #Seestars trapped in a huge plastic In fact, the sea stars were truly trapped. So we tried to free them.
It was hard, because the plastic was firmly intertwined. In addition it was filled with sand ... so even heavier. By pulling, we managed to untangle some, and throw them out to the sea (hoping that they will not fall into a new giant detritus). But above all we thought: how to make sure that this infamous detritus does not return to the ocean, to end up suffocating turtles or fish?
New challenge: #Imovegiantdetritus The main difficulty was to move this giant, weighed down by sand and water. We tried to pull. Some elements were torn apart. We put it aside, so that they do not fly away and answer the first challenge #1walk1plastic. We continued: 1-2-3-GO! No, this giant "pollutor" did not want to move at all. By force, a plastic "arm" that was pulled, finally made the giant swing. But the tide was still coming in.
On this occasion, two young people drinking some beer were watching us, intrigued. As they walked towards us, we stopped them to help us. They were willing to do it with us. They too had thought that a dolphin was stuck in it. A couple arrived at that moment, intrigued too. And that's how we deduce that #anyactmatters, and that #collectiveeffortcansave.
We moved together the mega waste, which began to move! Hallelujah! Only two people could not move it at all. But with four or five, it was dragged along the entire beach. But when we arrived at a mound, what to do: if if was left it at the bottom of the mound, there was still a risk that a big tide take it away. So all these efforts for nothing? No, no and no! One of the guys climbed while the others pushed it.
BINGO! The plastic was finally mounted on his throne of sand, while waiting for the mayor's services to come here to clean everything, when the tourists arrive. Successful mission.
Finally... Of course our improvised rescuers friends took their beers with them, and we brought with us some of the plastic we found. And we dropped back into the sea, the last sea stars we found. Hoping that none of them remains in the filthy plastic tentacles ... Now, it's up to you to take up one of the challenges #1walk1plastic or #Imovegiantdetritus :D Carole Author of the OUKA WORLD LET'S SAVE OUR CLIMATE www.ouka.fr