Microplastics the real issue

I regularly read the online newspapers Shetland News and Shetland Times to keep me updated on political matters on the islands. I am a bit surprised of the “low” levels of the inter-islands ferry economy debate and also the “one time plastic bottles dumped along the road” debate.

The problem with wasted plastic along the roads and coastline, is visibly bad, but can be fixed by cleaning it up.

The real problem is something that is out of sight, and often regarded as small and invisible: How to clean up these small fragments? Is it even possible? How to establish a sustainable way of living before it is too late?

A strong debate about these questions is welcome and most necessary, if we want to teach people to accept that our welfare and health will not survive if we continue to gorge in easy solutions and throw them out of the window once used.

I hope to see this subject high up on the political agenda in our country Norway, as well as in Shetland: we are all ‘in the same boat’ and it concerns all people everywhere.

I leave to the politicians and to the scientists to explain what happens when the plastic is getting into our food chain. For Norway’s and Shetland’s seafood industries this will surely be catastrophic.

Øystein Kjerpeseth