• Morgan Fagg

Lockdown Voices Number 42 ALAN

Updated: Jun 3, 2020

Turning the page on plastic and our thoughts about recycling.

I shared a video on Facebook of a river of plastic waste flowing down the drain and my neighbour Alan commented that it was just like Thailand every day.

I commented that I thought he was stranded in paradise and he responded, "Every page has a front and a back" and it is such a beautiful description that I am surprised that I have never heard it before.

I always like to see beyond the presented view and believe in critical thinking and take some very random photos rather than the heavily edited Instagram pictures that selectively show the beautiful side and rarely the bad side.

Here is a picture of a beautiful building and I want you to guess which building it is.

Some of my teenage students have stated that they hate Greta Thunberg or don't believe in Climate Change etc and I have wanted to demonstrate to them just how serious the situation is by asking the students to recycle a piece of paper.

Print out some pages that say, "Recycle Me" and print out one that says, "Recycling Bin" and put it on a paper bin in the corner of the classroom.

How many of them would put the paper in the bin?

I am guessing most students would put the paper in the bin as you would assume but the next stage and this is the part that gets you fired or sets the classroom on fire is to throw that paper basket out the window or set it on fire (Don't) or you mix it with the regular bin and see how they react.

I recycle half of my household waste but I wonder how much of it is landfilled, unrecyclable, or set on fire after being exported halfway around the world, maybe to Thailand.

Recycling is not happening as it should be and the idea of my example is to ask the kids to take a different look at recycling and to see how many of them would turn the page and write on that blank piece of paper.

We need to reduce, re-use and recycle but kids can't be lead to believe that recycling ends when you put something in a bin marked recycling.

That paper would have to be collected, free of non-recyclable waste, respected, transported, pulped, and bleached before ever being fully recycled into another blank piece of paper.

There is a lot of work to be done and as Alan said,

"Every page has a front and a back"

If we want to see the back of Coronavirus as nurses and doctors die on the frontlines then we will have to turn the page and start a whole new chapter.

BACKSIDE: How many of you guessed the picture I posted was Buckingham Palace?

DaFENCE: Anna poses by the well-photographed front fence of Buckingham Palace.

Let's take a look at how Alan and Carlos are getting on in Thailand as they do their part to help keep those beaches clean while stranded in Asia waiting to return home when restrictions are lifted.


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