A Gyre of Human Connectedness…

KontikiIt was about this time last year that in a search for something to read in English, I rummaged through our old collection of paperback Penguins. And up popped this, “The Kontiki Expedition’ by Thor Heyerdahl. I remembered the story from those now lost days when BBC2 used to programme this kind of thing. It’s a great read (even if some of their accounts about encounters with the natural world are a little old fashioned). I remember last summer sharing the enthusiasm for this story with a friend from Argentina who was also equally fascinated with the tale.

And then coincidentally I spotted on the internet something called Plastiki, a similar voyage taken last summer in a boat made from 12000 plastic bottles. I blogged the story back then here. Pretty obviously Plastiki was / is intended to highlight the disastrous plight of our oceans particularly from plastics, most notably plastic bottles..

imagesThen imagine my surprise  the other week when guests arrived at Cortijada Los Gázquez who have a creative / campaigning association with Plastiki. Jay Little is an environmental artist, over here from California with his wife and kids. The subject came up after I noticed him avidly reading my book on Jacques Coustau (obviously). Jay is responsible for The Message Bottle Project. For the last 17 years Jay has been launching a series of glass message bottles from every conceivable vessel and spanning all five major oceans to underscore the importance of preserving the world’s oceans and draw attention to marine pollution (particularly plastic debris). He has released 235 bottles with 22 confirmed discoveries.

david_jo_bottle_thumbOne of Jay’s bottles has been launched from The Plastiki whilst on route across the Pacific (left). This bottle is special as it has been tagged with satellite technology and what is more you can follow it’s progress around the globe by following this link. For more information you can go to our Joya: arte + ecología page on Facebook and look under our list of likes. There you will see Message Bottle Project and from there you can read more.

Needless to say we are delighted that people are coming to us because we share so many of the same values. And we will be tracking Jay Little’s Plastiki bottle.

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If Italy can do it why not…


the rest of us. The whole of the EU. Yes, Italy has banned the use of plastic bags. Read more here.

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Plastic Resolution 2011 #1 The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

So day one, and here is another reason not to consume…

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Plastic Resolution 2011

say-no-to-plastic-bagsSo here you have it. I don’t make resolutions. I don’t know why, possibly because I know I can’t keep them. But this one is different. This one is more of a challenge and in ways we might not consider.

Here at Los Gázquez we are making  a New Year’s resolution to not consume ’single use plastics! There, I’ve said it. It’s now in the public domain and I shall blog this as an item throughout next year to see how successful we have been.

It’s not that I don’t like plastics. On the contrary, I love the the material especially when imbued with two important qualities. Two qualities which are inseparable. Design + longevity.

I have a small collection of Bakelite radios which still work and they have a fantastic sound quality. I have a plastic crate, lime green, for R.Whites lemonade. It’s followed me and my workshop for twenty years now and is an essential tool there. I buy the children plastic toys made by Playmobile. Design + Longevity.

But let’s realign our priorities. All you folks out there who point the finger of blame at the brutal corporate giants like BP, messing up the environment, have essentially only got yourselves to blame. If you want to consume petrochemical products such as fuel and plastics you will drive up the demand and add further risk of environmental disaster.

So where does the majority of this plastic crap go? Landfill and the sea. Since 1950 one billion tons of plastic has been discarded by us. The majority is in packaging.

I remember buying tea from a chai wallah on a train in India in the days when it was sold in a little terracotta cup made on the track side of the rail lines. When finished you threw the cup out of the window and it returned to the earth. Now it comes in plastic cups and when you have finished you throw it out of the window and it blows away to somewhere where we don’t have to think about it.

So where do we start. I suggest the plastic bag. We are going to buy one of those shopping trolleys old ladies take to the market so they don’t have to carry stuff and rather than buy our fruit and veg in a plastic bag we will tip them all into the trolley.

What else? Cling film and cellophane. Polystyrene trays. Plastic bottles, party cups…………

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