Caution. Bryntin intended for the rambles posts to be erring on the side of good humour and mostly swear-free.
a/. when have you ever found good humour here?
b/. this one isn’t swear-free.
Also, it might well have come under the heading of Reheated Sunday Leftovers as it has been published here previously, but he settled on on a Ramble heading as he actually was on a ramble when the initial incident setting off these thoughts occurred.
For foreign readers, ramble = a walk in the countryside = what Americans call a ‘hike’, even though it’s just a walk in the countryside. Here in the UK, a ‘hike’ is when you go for a walk in the countryside that may last a few days, carrying enough supplies on your back to survive a few weeks, even if nuclear armageddon or the zombie apocalypse takes place while you are out, not for a walk that takes an hour or two and doesn’t even need a map or compass.
This is one of Bryntin’s 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 following, or during, 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 himself and his dog in all conditions.
Also, it’s very green and relatively quiet, a favourite in his 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 he’s talking about, obviously.
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, he assumes, 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 Bryntin thinks they mean sugar but it might also mean nutritional value or any point. So he’s annoyed that we live in an age where there are enough stupid people to be stupid enough to be tempted by this sort of product, just by loud marketing departments shouting about it.
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 round, 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 in their own body – unless they took a piss for Bryntin’s dog 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 actual words he used when he saw it there.
This is another one of the incomprehensible parts, 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.
Perhaps, in their head, they are thinking “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 create a rudimentary boat, 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.
Bryntin can’t know, of course, what they think is going to happen to this plastic bottle. But this is a working forest. There are no street cleaners driving a 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 and then being gradually broken down into smaller animal killing pieces, or eventually into microplastic fish food, or lying there until the summer, refracting sunlight into a beam of light that starts a forest fire, or becoming 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 him 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. All I understand is that I will no longer be in any way inconvenienced by the presence of a bottle around my person.‘
So anyway, Bryntin started 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 he basically think it comes down to the manufacturers of ‘disposable’ products. And us for buying into it in the first place.
Humans are animals that don’t need any of this artificial ‘soft drinks’ rubbish.
You may have convinced yourself that you like it.
You may convince yourself that you somehow deserve it or you are entitled to consume it because you work hard, you can afford it and it’s available, it exists.
You may be convinced by the images of people who appear to like it and imagine that you can be like them because you also choose to drink it.
You may even (turns off disbelief) ‘enjoy the taste’.
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 a hit of ‘I am now temporarily happy‘ signs painted on them by a chemical approximation of sweet, sweet sugar in a massively convenient way. Namely going to a shop, buying and then consuming a rewarding sweet tasting fluid whenever all of the commercial psi-ops psychological prompts have completed their work.
You have been convinced that a human cannot now move around during a day without having available, and consuming while moving, some sweet fluid that is not ‘as boring’ as water, ready ‘to go’ in a convenient plastic bottle.
Or, if you are even thicker but mindful of your need to ‘hydrate’ and forget that water comes out of a tap (faucet) and can be carried around in a flask for the purpose, choosing to buy water (branded, each type better, more natural with a better taste than any other 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, transport 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.
Which is very important because have you ever seen the huge pile of dust a really dehydrated human makes?
And there is money enough for this all to be worthwhile to them in profit. For them.
Meanwhile, you pay for the sports star, the transport and the manufacturing and packaging costs as well as for the lifestyle of various Product Managers, Sales and marketing Managers and eventually 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 their 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. Evidently.
And then you pay by having to live in and wade through the plastic litter all over the Earth.
The UK Government, in response to this tide of plastic waste, have tried to appear to do the right thing in talking about taxing it, trialling a few bottle deposit schemes and in the meantime are sending shipping containers full of your plastic soda bottle waste to other countries to deal with (or not).
They publicise that they are consulting on bottle deposit schemes, consulting on taxing, with food producers and packaging manufacturers who in turn are employing lobbyists to try to get governments not to introduce taxes and deposit schemes.
Meanwhile, the companies have their profit, are spending some of it on keeping as much of it as possible and insist that they are using recyclable packaging, so they’re doing their bit already. And have made a few million more completely new bottles while you’ve been reading this.
And Bryntin thinks that everyone likes to point a finger at someone else and say ‘It’s X’s 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 most important point by focusing any effort at all on doing that.
All of the bottles, the Pepsi Max’s and billions of Coke products etc. and endless etc., exist because you keep buying it. You keep buying the bottles of hyper-marketed gloop and loads of other ‘stuff’, packaged for your convenience. To eat or drink ‘on the go’. Or have 2 litre bottles of at home ‘for the kids, because I like to contribute wholesomely to their future sugar addiction too.’
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.
No sales, no profit, no more making, no more rubbish.
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 Bryntin 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 Bryntin pays for to rinse them, and put into the recycling bins that he pays council taxes to have collected, to hopefully be recycled in a recycling plant his taxes are paying for operating. He does not drink plastic bottled water or sodas.
Note: If you like what I wrote up there and, lets face it, it is quite unlikely but still possible, then why not press one of the buttons that shares it to other people you know?
Or of course, if you don’t want them to know you’ve enjoyed this, or just feel ashamed now and want to keep it to yourself, don’t.