Article in The News 48 years ago warns of plastic waste danger to Portsmouth - foreshadowing our Final Straw anti-plastic campaign

IN the past couple of years, the fight against single-use plastics has well and truly ramped up.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 4:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th December 2019, 4:29 pm
The article was found by Hannah Cockerill, under her bath

Organisations like The Final Straw Solent, Plastic Free Portsmouth and more have fought to reduce the amount of waste being sent to our landfill and our oceans.

The efforts made have been monumental – but the writing has been on the wall for quite some time.

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The full column from 1971. Picture: Hannah Cockerill

A comment piece printed in The News, dated Wednesday, July 14, 1971, warns of a ‘future danger’ with plastic waste.

The column says: ‘Vast quantities of plastic containers, cups and plates have become as much a feature of excursions on the sea as on land, and if we live near the shore we know well enough the destination of most of these indestructible products of modern chemistry.

‘If present deposits of once-used cups and containers in our creeks and harbours are any guide, there seems a distinct possibility that beaches will be inundated by a froth of plastic if much stricter control is not exercised over its disposal.’

The article was found by Hannah Cockerill, who says she found the scrap of paper under the bath during renovation work.

‘We are renovating our bathroom and found the paper under the bath,’ she said.

To this day, The News publishes a similar comment column on a daily basis.

Bianca Carr from The Final Straw Solent says whoever penned the article was ahead of their time.

She said: ‘It shows that we knew this was happening but nothing was done about it.

‘Sadly we weren’t around back then to take action – those before us failed to do so and that is what put us in this situation.’

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