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I started Being PALL – Plastic A Lot Less – in November 2008. Before that I was pretty normal in the plastic side of things. I bought a lot of plastics. Water in plastic, lazy soups, filled pasta, microwave meals for work, bags upon bags under the sink, bathroom full of plastics, drinking straws. I used plastic cups and plates when ever they were given to me. You know, the usual story.
I recycled, before it was as common as it is now.
Well, actually what I did was separate my plastics, and put them out side the front door in a separate box. Never thinking what happened to them. Assuming, it was the best thing to do with plastic…
One day a few of us went to a deserted beach, close to where I was living on the West Coast of Portugal.
It was after the season, my first one having been there just a few months. The idea was to collect toilet roll campers had left. We went for the old man, who had lived on that beach all his life. The rain had beat us to it and washed the toilet paper away. Instead, we found plastic. Sacks of it. We took it to the recycling bins, most I didn´t even know was plastic. That evening in The Surfers Path I found a small article that simply said:
“Every piece of plastic that has ever been made still exists and much of it is in our oceans.”
There was a you tube link to; A Tale of Entanglement. Which is a pretty graphic film of animals entangled in plastic. I was upset and looked around the camper… at all our plastics. The next day I started refusing and researching.
I´m a photographer and I surf (when the conditions are small enough). I started shooting surfschools. This meant I was spending a lot of time on the beaches.
With the Atlantic swell, it´s hard not to notice the ever-changing plastic washing up on the beaches. Especially when I was shooting, over the many years that followed, even in Summer swells, while I was working plastic washed up around my feet every day. I was constantly reminded of the presence of plastic pollution, so I couldn´t help but do something positive about it.
Firstly be reducing my own plastic drastically, and then helping others reduce theirs.
Although I´m still coming up upon obstacles all the time, I try my best to over come the challenges as refusing plastics is a way of life for me now. I don´t claim to be perfect, there´s always more anyone can do, but PALL-ing´s a good place to start.
I´ve recently moved to Bristol in England, so am starting a new plastic challenge, Being-PALL in a new city! Though this isn´t any city… this is European Green Capital 2015…
I hope this blog can help you to PALL – Plastic A Lot Less – your lifestyle. Please get in touch, especially if I´ve helped you out, I´d love to hear from you!
Wondering why it took Six years Being PALL before blogging? Read my first post here.