Skye beaches littered with tonnes of plastic waste are a call to arms – Scotsman comment

Plastic is too useful to be banned but we must find better ways to stop the build-up of waste in the natural world and our own bodies

Plastic is an extraordinarily useful material. It is inexpensive, highly durable and can be moulded, or 3D-printed, into almost any shape. For those reasons, its use has taken off dramatically in modern times.

However, that same prized durability is causing a problem that is only set to get worse. Plastic pollution can now be found in the deepest parts of the ocean and from the Arctic to Antarctica. So it’s really no surprise that beaches on Skye are also littered with tonnes of the stuff, as researchers recently found. Some of it had travelled from as far away as the US, Canada and China.

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The tiniest particles have been discovered in the blood vessels of marine life and inside humans too. Plastic is far too useful to be banned, but we need to urgently find better ways to ensure that the most beautiful parts of our countryside – and perhaps our own bodies too – are not blighted by the pieces we discard.

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