My back yard.

My back yard.

I popped down for a quick swim at lunch today and the ocean invited me to lend her a hand by giving me a little (I mean tiny) plastic bag while I was in the water so I said thanks by filling it up with little bits and bringing it home.

The task took less than 10 minutes. It was the least I could offer to her as an easy exchange for a wonderful, much-needed, long-overdue, refreshing break.

The entire time, I kept thinking about 1 turtle or 1 sea bird or 1 little fish or 1 giant whale I could serve with each little piece I collected, recalling the tears streaming down my cheeks as I watched the images in A Plastic Ocean, last night — not fear, but love.

Fishing for trash

Fishing for trash

Since my arrival here in 90’s, I have never taken a bag with me and I have been quietly cleaning Hong Kong beaches on my own. Every time I took a beach break, I would pick up a plastic bag and fill it as I walked along the shore. People would join me. Others would offer me fresh fruit from their picnic baskets.

A few years ago I had stopped when the plastic bag levy meant no more plastic bags on the sand. The volume washing up on shore after spring rains hurt my heart so much I all but stopped going to the beach.

Today, as I fished for these tiny bits of plastic, I realized I had reached a point where my big picture thinking had me dismissing these small acts of kindness as rather pointless.

I feel so much better, now.

Sad, but definitely better.

Be the change.

A Plastic Ocean

When the director of the award-winning film, A Plastic Ocean, reaches out and offers you his seat at a fully booked screening because you left it to the last minute, the correct answer is, “yes”.

Thank you, Craig.

I was expecting to see a horror film, but instead I was moved to tears by a most beautiful love story about the wonder that is our little blue planet.

Please do yourself a favor and watch A Plastic Ocean. It’s available on Netflix.

Consider organizing a community screening for your crew or your school.

“From knowing comes caring. From caring comes change.” Craig Leeson

Read up on a few of the solutions introduced in the film, including The Plastic Bank, Fair Trade Plastic, Plastic Recycling Micro Economies, Social Plastic, Organic Plastic Infrastructure and Pyrolysis.

Update: 20 May 2018

Plastic fishing

Plastic fishing

Today’s catch – I had help from my new friend, Craig. He’s 9. Same name, different Craig. We had fun fishing together. And I got some good fresh air and exercise. Imagine the wildlife that won’t mistake these bits for food. As long as the sea continues to offer me plastic bags, I will accept her invitation to fill them.

UPDATE: 21 May 2018

Plastic fishing bpx and a

Plastic fishing box and a “Clean Bag”

Just when I thought there would be no bags today, I looked out and saw a polystyrene box floating in on the horizon. I waited patiently while it drifted in on the waves until it was close enough to grab and fill … and that’s when the bags showed up. I snagged a lovely, durable blue bag and a couple of big shopping bags and stashed them in my secret, shady spot for future use. I’m not exactly sure what is meant by a “Clean Bag” or how it relates to “Clean Heart & Nature” but it was printed on one of the bags I fished it from the sea today.

The HK Marine Department makes a contribution.

The HK Marine Department makes a contribution.

Australia’s beautiful bag