A passerby chucked a dog poo bag under a hedge, cheerily called out ‘Good morning’ to me, and walked on, his dog trotting along a few yards behind him. I was too much of a wimp to say, ‘Oi! What are you doing throwing that down there?’ or even a more polite, ‘Excuse me, I think you’ve dropped something.’

That plastic poo bag wasn’t the only plastic litter I saw on my early morning walk. Plastic, as we’re all aware, thanks to Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II, is causing huge damage all over the globe yet it’s difficult to live daily life without it. Back in the dark ages sixty or seventy years ago, chocolate bars were wrapped in foil and paper, food at the shops was put into paper bags or straight into a wicker shopping basket, we drank out of china cups or glass glasses and put our rubbish into metal dustbins.

Our efforts to be responsible stewards of Earth can resemble the movement of a plastic bottle that I saw spinning out of control in the eddying water by a sluice gate. Day after day, out of reach, the bottle maintained its futile movement, busy but purposeless, striving but getting nowhere.

We mustn’t give up on the stewardship of Earth! Beach clean-up days and litter-pick days help, especially if you’re working together as a team of responsible citizens. There’s strength and a visible example in numbers. But does that excuse me from being a wimp this morning with the Poo Bag Incident? I don’t think so.

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