I walked up the creek today, towards Dyson Road, to see what is coming down from the inland suburbs. The linear park continues on the other side of Galloway Road, and at this time of year the banks are choked with soursob so it’s difficult to tell if any rubbish has been left on them. But down in the creek itself there is plenty to find. There’s quite an attractive rock formation and a place where you can cross the creek, which seems quite clean.
However, when I reached the bridge it was a different story.
I filled my two bags just in this area, so that was the end of my collecting mission, but I decided to continue exploring. The modern bridge is built on top of the timbers of what was presumably the original bridge.
In those days, plastic would have been a rare luxury item. Ironically, the first man-made plastic was organic material made from cellulose, created by Alexander Parkes and first publicly demonstrated at the 1862 Great International exhibition in London. Polystyrene was discovered in 1839, but was not used as a commercial product in the U.S. until 1937. Polystyrene foam turns up everywhere around this creek. It is one of the major components of plastic debris in the ocean, and spreads easily because it floats on water and blows in the wind. Polystyrene packaging is forbidden in Antarctica and its use in restaurants has been banned in many states in America. In Germany, polystyrene has to be collected, as the packaging law (Verpackungsverordnung) requires manufacturers to take responsibility for recycling or disposing of any packaging material they sell. There was plenty of polystyrene foam as well as plastic bottles in this pile just below the bridge.
I saw that there was a tributary coming into the creek from a large pond, that was fenced off – but the gate was open.
The pond looks like a possible haven for bird life. I walked along its banks up to Dyson Road, where I found an outlet that obviously fills the pond when there is heavy rain. Below this point the reeds were dotted with plastic debris that I couldn’t reach without a pair of waders. I decided to call it a day, and headed home.