I spent last Sunday in London with my colleague from Public Affairs, Catherine Blaxhall. We were guests of Thames Water directly as a result of Catherine contacting them on the subject of microfibres entering the food chain (See one of the two Resolutions mandated at NFWI Annual meeting June 2017). They were running “TideFest”. An informative and fun day for all the family at various spots the length of the Thames. Girls, there is so much more to this plastics horror story. Labour saving, useful in every walk of life, a material which we would be hard pressed to do without.
But….it’s the end of life treatment of plastic that is the great headache. It’s a matter of worldwide concern. There is no real end of life for plastic, it endures, seemingly for ever. Floats on our ocean surfaces, eventually sinks to the bottom and sits there for centuries to come. Unfortunately, sitting there is not strictly the end of the story even then. It gets everywhere, the stomachs of marine animals, birds, choking them to death and preventing them from feeding.
Dare I say, some of you may think, who does she think she is, Mrs.David Attenborough? There are far worse problems going on worldwide. But, this is where it concerns all of us, minute pieces of this time bomb material find their way into our food chain and joining the plastic soup of the microfibres mentioned above. Never mind from where it has come. It’s a problem for every nation. We were shown photographs of a fat ball sitting in the sewers glued together with plastics (all sorts, just use your imagination) and causing a hiatus in the system.
Thames Water had to take a pneumatic drill to it to break it down and, blow me, if the news hasn’t recently been filled with stories of another of these monsters, the length of Tower Bridge apparently and causing more mayhem. Oh, you can tell, it really made an impact on me. The message is clear, don’t throw it down the sink or loo, it will resurface somewhere else and impact on someone’s life.
I’d better get cheerful now otherwise you will zone out. Lovely lots of ideas for 2019. We are planning to hold some events all around the County to celebrate our Centenary big time. We are trying to include all our more outlying WIs so they don’t have so far to travel. As a guest at a recent WI celebrating a special anniversary I really appreciated how far they are from Oxford city for example and just how big geographically is this Federation. We managed to break down the county into groups for the Baton for the National Centenary so we will plan to give all of you an equal opportunity to attend something special for our own special year. Just a taster…… a special wall hanging –plans in infancy at the moment– for all WIs to be represented. An archivist’s record of just what has been achieved in these 100 years. An exhibition showcasing all your special talents. Must end now as I’m off to ‘phone Macca to book him for a concert. O.K. Not the real Paul McCartney but a great tribute band where you can let down your hair and dance in the aisles. We love you, yeah, yeah, yeah.
As this letter is destined for the November/December edition, Merry Christmas to you all.
Page updated 5th November 2017