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Blowin’ in the wind …

Thickets are often the final resting spot for plastic bags

Plastics that escape containment are a significant environmental blight. The material won’t degrade, has no place in the natural order and does cause irreparable damage when wildlife mistake bits of plastic as bits of food. (Recent photos of our ocean clogged with floating plastic are evidence enough of non-degradables run amok.)


But further inland is an all-too-frequent and saddening sight to behold.

It’s the sight of plastic bags and sheets of plastic snagged on tree limbs that are literally blowin’ in the wind. I find the visual carnage seriously distressing.

Although my photos lack visual drama, you get the picture – because you’ve witnessed these same scenes over and over and over.

A couple of years ago while motoring through Wyoming on I-80, I couldn’t help but notice – time and again – plastic impaled on strands of barbed wire. You can tell when wind-whipped plastic has been there for awhile; it shreds and oftentimes wraps itself around the wire in stranglehold fashion. In the wind-blown cowboy state it’s a routine sight that repeats itself mile after grisly mile.

Worse still, there’s no one there to collect the plastic, rein it it, recycle it. No driver will stop as a matter of course, put on their vehicle flashers and unfasten their seatbelt to retrieve the man-made escapees. So there the plastic stays until it shreds itself into oblivion, the small torn and tattered pieces forever having escaped containment into the roadside environment.

There’s not a whole lot a walker can do about plastic hanging from tree limbs and fences and bushes except to hope that the plastic shouldn’t be there in the first place. The same goes for drivers, too. It’s enough to make you keep your eyes on the road, all the better to avoid the ghastly eyesores.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I'm the one behind two totally unrelated blogs; one on 15 years of writing a weekly letter to my kids (plus other recipients), the other on my localized environmental responsibility. I'm a writer by trade and both endeavors are accepted practice for me. As for the letters, my adult children Ellen and Reid may have seen letters as corny at one point, but it's accepted practice for them, too, to find something in their mailbox other than bills and junk mail. Email and texting don't do a lot for me for a lot of different reasons. Snail mail has its place in the communicative world so as long as they keep selling stamps, I'm buying. As for 'Pick Up Your Path' and the environment, I advocate what citizens can do themselves to take a direct hand in their neighborhood environment. But Pick Up Your Path is also a general environmental blog. It may be largely about litter and trash, but both of those are just one element of the total environmental picture.

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