Krystal’s Gems: Plastic Nightmares

A recent trip to the Yorkshire Museum got me thinking about how I’m treating the world I live in. Spoiler alert: If the world and I were mates, I would be a bad mate.

We’ve all been fascinated and horrified by BBC’s Blue Planet II, while learning more about the amazing creatures that live in our oceans was awe-inspiring, the footage of turtles in plastic bags was a horrible reality to face. I’m sure I’m not the only one when I say it’s been something that’s played on my mind a lot.

The man who brought us Blue Panet, Sir David Attenborough, recently opened Yorkshire’s Jurassic World at the Yorkshire Museum. The major new exhibition is a show stopper: virtual dinosaurs, massive sea dragons, a virtual reality headset where you can feed a sauropod, yeah it’s pretty cool.

I expected to come out of there with a new sense of wonder at the world and, of course, bragging rights to my colleagues and friends about getting to be in the same god damn room as the man, the legend, the national treasure himself.

And I did, at least at first anyway. But as with most things, I eventually got into my own head: Put us in the place of dinosaurs, what are we leaving behind for people to find? All I could imagine was gross pictures of plastic piling up on shorelines.

Going to the supermarket has since become a real trauma. Imagine one of those horror movie reels where the victim’s eye sight goes in and out of focus. FOCUS: Individually wrapped mini chunks of cheese in a plastic net, blurry lights, FOCUS: Multipacks of drinks in plastic bottles in plastic packaging to keep it all together. I blindly stare down the aisle as I put a multipack into my trolley, cringe and push it to the back of my mind.

The veg aisle provides some sanctuary – I go straight to the loose potatoes and happily pile them in. Next up is bananas – and a test sent from the dinosaur gods above: None of the loose bananas are anywhere near ripe, we’re talking like two days minimum until the right shade of yellow. FFS. I grab an ‘organic’ pack in plastic – they’re ready now, I scowl at how accustomed to convenience I’ve become.

I’m a guilty person, I spend a lot of time feeling bad about stuff I can’t really change. The amount of plastic I use though, is definitely something I can change.

The worst thing about it is that I know what I’ve been doing wrong. Lazy oversights and looking the other way. Washing out a manky milk carton is where i’ll start, I’m going to push through the gagging at the kitchen sink and put it in the recycling. Next up I’m going to put all those plastic bags I’ve accumulated in the car so that I can start reusing them instead of constantly buying new ones.

We’re certainly leaving behind a mountain of none degradable rubbish for future generations to find, but if you want to see some truly fantastic remains of the Jurassic world – head to the Yorkshire Museum, it’s incredible and well worth the visit.


PIC CREDIT: Sir David Attenborough at the Yorkshire Museum by Anthony Chappel Ross.


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