WHAT a pity that we can’t see it, smell it or taste it. Unfortunately it means that we need a science background to understand CO2’s role in our atmosphere and that doesn’t seem to grab much attention. It certainly hasn’t made the same impact, or received the same coverage as the world wide litter problem, or the plastic in the oceans.

Both non plastic litter, basically paper, and plastic waste have received a very compelling exposure on television recently and rightly so. The litter tells us a great deal about the way we humans value materials that we can’t be bothered to recycle or reuse as we are too often idle, irresponsible and expect others to clear up after us. We call them waste, or rubbish because we have no further need for them, when they actually still belong to us as we bought them in the first place.

It’s now realised that plastic waste is much more serious because it lasts so long and can do serious harm to life forms, particularly ocean fish and larger maritime life forms and sea-birds.

However the amount of both plastic and paper could be reduced enormously with the right pricing systems encouraging them to be recycled, while single use plastic such as cups, cutlery, plastic wrapping, labels and the like should be banned outright. £1 for a plastic bag would soon have an impact.

Such a serious reduction in the amount of paper and plastic waste would certainly help to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide from the trees and oil they are made from but it might lead us to think that we are doing enough.

And we aren’t, particularly as we are increasing our numbers by over 83 million each year (another Germany !) We still want more cars, and larger ones, and we are determined to keep on flying with over 100,000 scheduled flights each day world wide !

It’s time to take CO2 as seriously as we do paper and plastic.