Green Cllr Kevin Pressland: Plastics are destroying nature -it doesn’t have to be like this

Plastic pollution is killing our environment

Green Councillor Kevin Pressland is a passionate campaigner for nature and the natural environment.  His understanding of the threats faced by the natural world is based on expertise gained from a 40-year career in horticulture, garden design and sustainable land management.

Thanet is gifted with a wonderful coastline and prime agriculture land but do we really value it?

Do national and international governments throughout the world care as they continue to resist legislation to thwart the production of single use plastics?

As quoted by the United Nations world society has, ‘only recycled about 10% of the 7 billion tons of plastic we have created since its invention and things are likely to only get worse’. Simon Reeves  Plastic in the Med | Mediterranean with Simon Reeve | The Mediterranean has a serious plastic problem. | By BBC Two | Facebook shows implications.

Society claims to be concerned about the generation to come yet it is willing to sacrifice this for supposed convenient packaging that has damaging consequences for soils, seas, food systems, biodiversity and yes, our health. We are quick to fly the flag of the NHS and rightly so, but do we not have the responsibility to prevent illness in the first place as government, local authorities and as individuals and businesses?

This is another example of lack of full systems thinking. Nature does not produce waste like we do. It has effective recycling systems keyed into its very functioning. If we are to live on a healthy diverse planet and by the way, diversity is now diminishing and this is why the new geological age is here – the Anthropocene 7th mass extinction caused by us humans. The diversity of the planet is being diminished and single use plastics are playing a massive part in this decline.

We need governments to completely ban single use plastics and enable local authorities to have the financial resources to set up commercial composting facilities that would adequately compost truly biodegradable compostable packaging. The government needs to enable the creation of networks from product manufacture to product sale to consumer waste and then commercial composting a merry go round of efficient use, a cyclical system. As a bonus these systems could produce energy to houses and council facilities etc. Our current systems of production to waste are inadequate to create these cyclical approaches.

Young inspirational people like Ella and Amy Meek @kidsagainstplastic, Myra Rose Craig, Vanessa Nakate, Daniel Koto Dagnon @DanielKotoDAGNON, Greta Thunberg, Nyombi Morris, Lesein Mutunkei, Luisa Neubauer, Autumn Peltier and Malala Yousafzai are leading thinkers who see the harm our present systems are wreaking. Don’t the young, other creatures, the biodiverse habitats we share the world with that supply us with water, food, air etc, deserve better? It is in all our interest to address this issue, not keep kicking the can down the road.

If we look at just a monetary perspective, it will cost more if we do not act, money will not protect what is being lost and will be lost. We need to act now.


Alternatives to Single-Use Plastic – Plastic Free Schools – Surfers Against Sewage

Ensuring-the-Success-of-Compostable-Packaging.pdf (

Compostable Plastics Research Update (April 2022) – Big Compost Experiment


  1. I fully concur with the Councillors views but Thanet Council is partly to blame for the pollution.Just visited 9 seaside towns in Norfolk.Most as busy as Thanet with tourists.All spotlessly clean,kerbs free of turf and weeds and grafitti clear.The cleanliness of the Norfolk coast is an example to respect your enviroment.Then when returning to Ramsgate the whole area has industrial levels of weeds and litter strewn everywhere. The roads are never swept and look unkempt.Every roadsign,lampost,post box etc is covered in graffiti. This only encourages idiots to throw polluting litter.Its embarrassing.

      • M.M.Rees

        Dave’s view is 100% correct.

        I holiday only in the uk and everywhere is clearer than thanet. The nearer the thanets way the worst it gets. Weeds almost 3ft tall, every road sign has graffiti on it and the litter on the road increases. The smell of dope increases to ! Plus the drinking in the streets.

        Thanet is a dirty uncare ford area. Councillors and some people need to visit other towns how bad thanet is.

        I find it depressing coming back of holiday, we are already making plans to retire somewhere else. With more and more house being built thanet is only going to become more dirty and gridlocked.

          • I’m on my way home to Ramsgate after a couple of days away.
            It’ll be great to see our Royal Harbour, the golden sands of the main beach, the elegant Georgian and Regency architecture.
            I dare say that, in common with just about everywhere else, there will be some litter. But this will be eclipsed by the great people who live here.

  2. We will never in a million years satisfy those who like to call themselves “Green” if everyone in the world today had no plastic / no fossil fuels / no animals in the fields. / no log burners. / no flatulence. It would not make one iota difference to our environment. They just don’t stop moaning about everything so call themselves holier than thou green.

    • Om my goodness! Yes it would.
      All the things you mentioned are causing huge disruption to the Earth’s ecosystems.

  3. It is not my generation who has caused the problem with plastic. We used to go to the grocery shops and the food was packed in PAPER bags, not PLASTIC. Meat was not packaged in PLASTIC containers. Drinks were in GLASS bottles, with paper straws, not PLASTIC, and we used to get a refund on the bottle when we returned them. Oh and Macdonalds was just a song not a shop selling unhealthy food in PLASTIC containers which are thrown on the pavements, or in bins with PLASTIC liners, supplied by the council. So in all fairness, please dont preach to me councillor about plastic contamination the environment. LOOK AT

  4. I see a lot of flatulence being spouted here.
    So all in Norfolk is wonderful,but is that true? Cromer is very nice,but Sheringham less so.Parts of Norwich are not wonderful,as is Great Yarmouth,but st against that are places like Fakenham and Wells next the sea.
    This is true in Kent and yes even in Thanet.
    Given that Central Govt has cut funding by 60% in Thanet and Kent,is it any wonder that things are beginning to show the frayed end of quality.
    The talk and objectives of every Govt since 2010 is tax cutting and this is the result.
    It is not even fair and equitable taxation as the better off pay far less in % terms.
    As for plastic we are all guilty, unless of course you all enter a supermarket and strip off the packaging you are decrying and leave it with the retailer.No of course you don’t,so please less of the ‘fings ain’t with they used to be’trope.
    The Cllr is dead right we are all guilty as charged and miserable sinners in terms of the environment.
    We need to pressure this dead beat Govt into doing something,so yes more of the green stuff please, because it makes sense.

  5. I think you should say, we need to pressure every dead beat government. I cant recall either Labour or Conservatives doing anything about this problem.

  6. When I was young people kept the pavement in front of their house clean. It’s all well to blame the council for everything but it takes nothing to pick up litter that is outside your house or to treat weeds. I’ve seen houses the owner has spent thousands on but don’t see the pavement in front of it as their problem.

    • Steve

      My dad use to do that cut the grass outside his house. He even levelled up the grass area with top soil and reseeded the area. It looked really nice, level and fresh grass. TDC wrote to him telling him he was fly tipping soil and treated to take him to court.
      From that day on my dad never helped TDC or cut the grass outside his house again.

  7. When a Government of a different polity is in power for 13 years with the baleful outcome experienced by many of this one I will willingly call it out for being deadbeat,but until that time,the current incumbents are characterized by their lack of direction,drive,and ability,and therefore justly termed deadbeat.
    Personally,I would prefer something other than the binary choice we normally have to make,but that is an unlikely prospect.
    I know that the desperate Dan’s and Diana’s who seek to excuse the hapless,hopeless,Sunak administration,but dragging up the alleged failures of Blair and Brown,or the supposed future failings of Starmer,is well, desperate.
    Unless,there is some miracle,and sometimes,these do occur,we are in limbo,with an increasingly distraught country drumming it’s finger’s waiting for Rishi to spend more time with his money.

  8. Remember when Blair and Brown lost the election and their comments were ‘ there’s nothing left ‘ I think ALL the electorate wondered where it all went. Oh, and I have never in my life voted for the conservative party, in case you ask.

  9. Very informative article, thanks Kevin. Great to think you got elected to TDC in May, sign of changes I hope.
    Such a shame so many people post so negatively on here.
    We have massive challenges as local residents, national citizens and as a species causing mass extinctions globally.
    We can all do something, no matter how small it may seem. We can work together on some things no matter our different politics.
    Thanet is full if lovely people who use their time to improve life, litter picking, restoring heritage sites, organising/participating in local groups, working as a Councillor, etc, etc.
    If those who troll on IoTN used their time in more positive things they’d feel better and we’d all benefit!

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