The Edge of Africa, Trashed
Is that your Evian I see, blow into this lee?
Today I went for a run around Ngor and ran out to Pointe des Almadies, the western-most point in Africa. I don’t know what I was expecting, maybe a Key West scene or maybe a dull marker like the equator in Kenya. It was a whole different story in Senegal.
The western-most point has a Club Med on one side, a private house on the other, and a little group of bars and trinket and food stalls in between. Behind that is what looks like a fish hatchery or maybe a hold for the catch, though the coast is way too rocky for ships to come in. Rocky and trashy.
As Pointe des Almadies sticks out into the Atlantic and the cold Canary Current coming down from the north, it catches all manner of trash and debris on its shores. Ever wonder where a plastic bottle tossed into the Parisian Seine River goes? Wonder no more, I’ve seen them, all of them.
Its views like this that amaze me, how we humans can produce and discard so much indestructible trash. I can only imagine the head shaking archeologists a thousand years from now will do when they hit this layer in the world’s sediments. Out they will pull plastic bottles, flip-flops, and probably a perfectly edible Twinkie. Great.
Lord help them if they stumble on an American land fill. They’ll be able to figure out the minutiae of our lifestyles from all the trash we discard. Everything we do comes in multiple layers of shrink-wrap and extra packaging. Packaging that’s plastic-based and will last a thousand years in a landfill and then another thousand in some future museum.
This is the record of our daily activities we are leaving on the planet – plastic bottles.