The 400 year old shark, micro beads & other stories…

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health and wellbeing / what's getting my attention

Did you hear the one about the 400 year old shark? Argh why is there no punchline, it’s crying out to be a one-liner.

We were blown away by the news story last week about the discovery of the shark off the coast of Greenland. 400 years old. Now that’s an age. So, born in the reign of James I, it basically lived through the death of Shakespeare, the Great Fire of London, the French Revolution, the American Civil War,  2 world wars, … and The Beatles.

So it got us thinking.  How now we (the husband and I) are older, we find ourselves sniggering when the Smalls are slack-jawed that as we tell them when were kids, we couldn’t “fast backwards” nor pause live telly….that they look at us blankly when we say “change the record” or how the tarmac melted in ’76, or how we took back the empty Corona bottles to the corner shop to reclaim our 2 pence (possibly the best bit of ahead-of-its -time recycling – see Surfers Against Sewage for their modern take)…how there was no internet (WHAT?!) How our own grandparents (and parents) often bemoaned “back in our day…”

Does the shark think to herself “blimey I remember when that rock was twice the size” or “not so many fish in the sea these days eh?” ….or “what the hell is all this plastic microbeads shizzle?”

100,000 microbeads are washed down the sink with a single use of some products, ending up in the sea and the food chain.  You know the ones, those tiny innocuous looking beads that are in loads of products to exfoliate or polish.  How has this amazing creature managed to live so long is a bit of a mystery. But what we do now know is that those tiny plastic microbeads are filling up our seas and are being ingested by the fish we go on to throw on the barbie.  Can’t really be a good thing, can it? Originally intended for medical use (they help blood products to separate and are used in some cancer treatments) – of course nobody is calling for that to stop – but cosmetics?…

Greenpeace is calling for a ban on their use in cosmetics here in the UK. The Netherlands banned them in cosmetic use in 2014.  The US has already followed suit, along with Canada and several other countries have also done so already;  I’ve made sure our bathroom is bead-free too – you’d be amazed what they’re in, including those innocent looking bath products aimed at little kids (quite why you need to exfoliate the most perfect young skin is beyond me). If you’re interested in doing the same, check your labels and look for natural alternatives such as salt and oatmeal. And give a big swerve to those products containing Polyethylene / Polythene (PE), Polypropylene (PP, Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and Nylon.

So, back to the 400 year old shark.  Kind of mind-blowing isn’t she? for more information and to sign their online petition to Theresa May. 




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