I wonder if the volunteers who filled more than 40 bin bags of plastic rubbish from Tynemouth Longsands (News Guardian, April 11) have been to Morrison’s in Hillheads Road recently?
Inside the store, they would see notices virtuously explaining how the company is reducing the amount of plastic it uses for bags.
Yet outside it is offering rolls of ‘plastic grass’ for sale.
But it is not just this store doing this – rarely a week goes by without an advert in the post for the same substance.
At a time when concern about plastic pollution of the environment is both widespread and deeply felt due to David Attenborough’s Blue Planet films, such a development is sheer madness.
The adverts claim ‘no mud, no mess, no mowing’.
But they should add, ‘and no wildlife’, since it is terrible news in that regard.
Suburban gardens are immensely important havens for all sorts of creatures pushed out of the countryside by intensive farming.
Our own scruffy lawn, for example, seems to be a favourite feeding ground for blackbirds.
It’s bound to add greatly to landfill eventually.
Even worse, it can also only exacerbate the global crisis caused by this material if, as I fear, it degrades in time due to the action of ultraviolet light, with microscopic particles entering the ground water and then the sea.
This is an excellent opportunity for Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn and North Tyneside Council to show whether their profession of environmental responsibility amounts to more than words.
They should make our borough a national front-runner by banning this pernicious stuff forthwith.
Individuals can add their own voice to the campaign at https://www.change.org/p/government-ban-artificial-grass
Dr David Golding CBE
Whitley Bay & Newcastle University