Here is the end result of the problem - polluted water, polluted beaches.
This is a symptom of a much larger disease.
From generation unto generation,
we have had an out-of-sight, out-of-mind attitude to waste.
We sink it in the water, tumble it into landfill.
But it comes back, doesn't it, to bite us in the bum.
and we don't take account of everything.
Our streets are turned into rubbish receptacles,
resulting in polluted stormwater rushing, gushing into waterways and oceans.
Aren't we clever?
We have proved that a thrown away icecream tub, a cigarette stub, don't disappear
except from our careless minds.
It is possible for it to end thousands of kilometres away from human 'civilisation'.
It doesn't go away.
It accumulates with the relentless speed of a national debt.
We need to change our minds as well as our habits.
We need new, fresh, clean thinking.
We need to recognise old ways and turn to new ones.
Clean water and sanitation introduced through public authorities
- just under two hundred years ago -
changed things for our health and our environment.
This required leadership - thanks Lord Shaftesbury.
We need similar leadership on waste to-day
and we need intelligent people willingly led
to make such an extensive clean-up a reality.