Assorted, Rant

The Bryntin Rant: No. 1 – Bottled Up

When you want a rant, having a space to do it in that lets you really get it off your chest is a great thing, if only it can be put into polite words that can be spelled correctly. I might make ‘having a rant on the blog’ a regular thing as it’s quite therapeutic just trying to get the words and thoughts manifesting at the time rearranged into a collection of more refined vocabulary with some understandable structure.

The following is the publishable version of today’s rant.

This is one of my regular dog walk locations, one of your standard-issue Forestry Commission plantations with a vehicle access track. It’s not surfaced but is a hard-packed gravel, so that it is not a gooey and muddy bog, or suddenly a tumbling stream, during or immediately following a run of horribly inclement weather. The track runs around for 5km around the forest in a loop, handily making a lap with a satisfying amount of exercise for both myself and my dog.

Also, it’s very green and quiet, a favourite in my book compared to ‘concrete’ and ‘nose to tail traffic jam belching fumes’, and contains lots of interesting things to smell, like patches of recently passed urine or lumps of fantastically shaped forest animal shit.

This is for the dog’s enjoyment, obviously.

Presently, it’s dogs, plural, as I am looking after my parents Yorkie terrier while they’re away on a cruise as well as my own dog, Gwynnik. He apparently doesn’t like the wet but, despite starting today’s walk in a deluge, one sight of an orange ball being thrown about erased the current weather from his simple and tiny little mind.

He’s a friendly little character.

This dog is in no way disturbed or mistreated but I might not have photographed his best side.

This is ‘countryside’.

But can you see a foreign object in this not-very-exciting scene of functional and working countryside?

Pepsi fucking Max.

Or, more accurately, an empty, discarded, plastic bottle which formerly contained, I assume, Pepsi fucking Max. That some unpleasant individual has just chucked into the verge.

This is upsetting for a number of reasons.

Firstly, Pepsi Max is an unnatural concoction with the main selling feature being it’s a drinkable fluid with nothing too harmful in it and doesn’t taste too much of any toxic chemicals, despite having no actual sugar but being full of artificial sweeteners. Just for good measure, this was the Cherry version. Which means it had more ‘flavourings’ in it than the standard one.

The adverts major on it having nothing in it, by which I think they mean sugar but it might also mean nutritional value or any point. So I am annoyed that we live in an age where people are stupid enough to be tempted by this sort of product, just by loud marketing departments shouting about it. Let’s face it, if anyone needs to spend millions persuading you to buy a product, chances are you don’t really need it at all and they’re the only winner if they manage it often enough.

Secondly, this person has carried the fluid weight of 330 ml of this not-radioactive liquid – but glowing like it is – for around a kilometre (or, if going the other way, 4km) gradually transferring it’s 330 grams of weight from the bottle in their hand and into themselves. Then, when the bottle is at it’s lightest, believing it then too unwieldy to carry – and while actually still effectively carrying its former contents, unless they took a piss for my dogs to enjoy somewhere on the way of course – they have just discarded it in a manner that can only be described as ‘thoughtless’ but does not accurately reflect the words I used when I saw it there.

This is probably the most anger-inducing, trying to understand the discarding of the bottle in to a grassy verge in an otherwise unspoiled forest, instead of carrying it back to the parked vehicle they carried it out from. I cannot fathom what a person who does this is thinking.

Perhaps, “I do not want to carry this empty bottle so I will throw it into a verge, whereupon it will be carried away by the forest’s empty-plastic-bottle fairies, who will laugh and cavort, playing their musical instruments fashioned from fallen leaves, spiders webs and acorn shells, singing a happy song while they carry it away to use it to fashion a rudimentary canoe, which they will then use to float away down the river into the sea and adventurously explore foreign lands and it will never be seen again”?

Or perhaps not that, exactly.

I don’t know, of course, what they think is going to happen to this plastic bottle. But this is a working forest. There’s no street cleaners driving some litter-sucking ride-on vacuum cleaner up here.

The only thing saving this plastic bottle from being washed in to a stream and gradually working it’s way down rivers and in to the sea, or lying there until the summer, refracting sunlight into a beam of light that starts a forest fire, or becomes a coffin for a small mammal squeezing in for the residues of the sweet (not sugar though!) liquid and becoming trapped and dying, or a bigger mammal managing to get its head in the bottle and then suffocating because it can’t get it off again, is a simple annoyed person like me picking it up and taking it home to put it in the recycling bag properly.

This tosser has already demonstrated their complete lack of critical thinking faculties by buying the pigging stuff in the first place and then compounded it by a complete disregard for the environment they are in when deciding the best procedure to follow when they are done with it is throw it ‘away’.

‘Away’ being ‘no longer in my hand and I haven’t given a moments thought to any form of ‘away’ from me other than that because I am a tosser.’

So anyway, I start thinking about who is mainly to blame in this whole saga and why our environment is besieged by this blight in countryside, hedgerows, streams and fields and beaches all over the world and I basically think it comes down to the manufacturers of ‘disposable’ products. And us for buying into it.

Humans are animals that don’t need any of this artificial ‘soft drinks’ rubbish. You may have convinced yourself that you like it, and you may be convinced by the images of people who appear to like it, but what has actually happened is that , for a few pennies or cents you can make the reward centres of your brain light up and have ‘I am now happy’ signs painted on them in a struggle and free of survival-threatening way.

Namely going to a shop, buying and then consuming a rewarding sweet tasting fluid whenever you want.

Also, people now move around a lot during a day and are convinced that they cannot get from one place to another without having available, and consuming while moving, some fluid that is not ‘as boring’ as water.

Or, if they are even thicker, choosing to buy water in a plastic bottle. Which is even more of a fucking travesty.

The ‘drinks’ only cost a few pennies or cents because manufacturers make billions of litres of the pigging stuff, package it in as cheap a way as they can find, transported it to places for you to buy it in as an ‘efficiently’ (low in cost) way as they can manage to find and then spent money in marketing it to you. Probably with an athletics based commercial of some sort and perhaps a big name star of sport paid to help them.

To hydrate.

Which is very important because have you ever seen the huge pile of dust a dehydrated human makes?

And there is money enough for this all to be worthwhile to them in terms of profit but…

You pay the sports star, the transport and the manufacturing and packaging costs as well as for the lifestyle of CEO’s of these companies jetting about playing ‘I’m a super-rich CEO and can burn the planet up with my private jets and yachts because I’ve earned it’ by buying the products.

You pay your taxes which your Government use to get your local authority to invest in procuring recycling plants, or give lucrative contracts (to people effectively also making a profit from your soft drinks purchase) for providing the same. To deal with all the recyclable waste that gets disposed of properly. But most of which waste doesn’t get disposed of properly.

So Governments, in response to this tide of plastic waste, try to appear to do the right thing in possibly taxing it, trialling bottle deposit schemes, consulting on bottle deposit schemes, consulting on taxing, with food producers and packaging manufacturers who employ lobbyists to try to get governments not to introduce taxes and deposit schemes.

So everyone along the way takes profit. Except you, who pays.

And I think everyone likes to point a finger at someone else and say ‘It’s your fault. I’m doing my best by recycling everything properly, by being conscientious about my waste and what I do with it,’ but most are missing the point by doing that.

All of the above only exists because you keep buying into it. You keep buying the bottles of hyper-marketed gloop. And you are the only person that is paying for it all.

What is it that is getting to you? You like the taste?

The taste of this?

You keep buying the plastic wrapped processed shit. The whole thing is a circular system of dependency that, if everyone stopped buying the needless crap tomorrow, would put an end to it all.

And then the earth and sea wouldn’t be chucking up, it’s creatures spewing and sick on plastic, wracked and choking on the waste of the casually purchased and then freely disposed of – no longer required, someone else’s problem now – empty plastic bottles, by any wobbling, sugar and soda addicted, thoughtless morons.

Anyway, that’s mainly what I thought this morning. But it came out as ‘You fucking thoughtless bastard…’

Which was a bit short for a blog post.

Note: The bottles pictured in this post have both now been disposed of using water I pay for to rinse them, and put into the recycling bins that I pay council taxes to have collected, to hopefully be recycled in a recycling plant my taxes are paying for operating. I do not drink plastic bottled water or sodas but I pay anyway.


12 thoughts on “The Bryntin Rant: No. 1 – Bottled Up”

  1. That was a brilliant rant … I loathe and detest litter. It’s perhaps one of my biggest hates. It’s laziness and a lack of education. Education from parents or from schools … just a lack of it. It’s from a sense of entitlement that ‘I don’t have to clean it up, that’s someone else’s job’. Makes me utterly mad.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well said. I work in a Local Authority and remember some years back being in a meeting about recycling. The entire focus was on that, recycling what has already been used, and the campaigns being undertaken to promote it.

    I asked what I thought was a simple question – but why don’t we focus our efforts on just using less in the first place? Apparently the general public don’t respond to that kind of approach, but recycling is something people can feel satisfied about, and that they’re doing their bit for the environment, so it’s easier to motivate people to recycle, than to think more carefully about what they’re buying in the first place. Is what I was told.

    The fees for plastic carrier bags has been a good forward step I think. But when you get some items packaged in fully organic and compostable alternatives to plastic (the RSPB magazine we get comes to mind), why doesn’t the government simply make laws that all packaging (or a vast proportion of it) is similarly degradable? The alternative options exist, why not use them?

    As to Pepsi, Coke, or anything similar, I think it’s simply a marketing thing. People drink it because that’s what other people drink, even though it is bordering on toxic to one’s teeth and digestive system. I don’t get the appeal. Plus there’s the wider issue that most of us are addicted to sugar, and it’s another way to feed our sweet tooths/teeth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, all of those. It’s the sheer quantity of this ‘disposable’ packaging of all sorts that has grown so much faster in the production of new, virgin items than any investment in dealing with it.
      Ask any drinks company for its Return On Investment for, say, a new factory for manufacturing, bottling and marketing and transporting some new drink they’re thinking of, they’ll have a head of department that can find you the answer in about ten minutes. Ask them what’s going to happen to the bottles, it’ll be a shrug and saying, ‘Well, our bottles are recyclable if they’re disposed of properly, so we’ve done our bit’
      But of course, no one wanted anything they made until they decided they were going to be making and selling it.


      1. An item being recyclable is better than it going to landfill. But I don’t quite understand why just because something is recyclable, then that’s the end of the discussion, and the responsibility. There doesn’t seem to be any consideration of the energy, time, money required to recycle that item. That could all be avoided if it wasn’t used in the first place (eg reusing a metal bottle for drinks rather than buying a new plastic one each time).

        In that mantra – reduce, reuse, recycle – the first two seem to have been entirely forgotten.

        Liked by 1 person

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