Jack probably thinks I talk a lot of it apart from words like “walk,” “tea,” and “brekkie.” Some people are of the same view. I can picture myself as a comic book character with rubbish instead of words coming out of my mouth, enclosed by a speech bubble in the form of a garbage bag.

But I refuse to talk about refuse as just rubbish. If you take the ‘f’ off refuse (hey, no dirty language!) it becomes re-use and that’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout.

Jack and I walk past the local footy ground which he is fond of because, number one: he loves footy and number two: there is a chance that he can furtively partake of someone else’s discards in the form of licking and possibly ingesting a wrapper with encrusted meat pie residue, or salty chip box, or coffee dregs from a polystyrene cup, or pooling beer besides a thrown out can, or soft drink from a bottle in a gutter. These things are all freely available, scattered at the southern end of the junior ground. This is a form of recycling litter, by offering it to your litter of pups. But dogs shouldn’t be dogged by junk junk-food or their receptacles.

When I demand that he “DROP IT!” he looks at me with his droopy, downcast dog eyes and says under his breath – as we know dogs do – “You’re talking rubbish again.”

I am talking rubbish, I freely admit it; rubbish needs to be put into actual bins, not left to adorn the lawns or be mowed into noxious nanoparticles in the outer, or torment cute fluffy animals or their sometimes eccentric owners.  We Australians are pretty generous with the way we throw rubbish around; per head of population we produce more of it than almost any other nation. It doesn’t help either, that Victoria doesn’t have a container deposit scheme, especially for cash strapped marauding youngsters (or oldsters.)  This scheme has worked a treat in South Australia with the reduction of bottles and cans.  I wonder why we haven’t adopted it; you may like to ask Coca Colaaaa?

Another problem is the fly-in fly out-fly flotsam that finds its way into Westernport Bay and Port Phillip Bay, exits, turns left, sails casually past the tropics and then journeys onwards to the northern hemisphere where it joins its wasted associates at the GREAT PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCH!!

Yes, this floating wasteland even has its own name, like Great Britain or Great Keppel Island. I imagined it to be a kaleidoscopic plastic floating island with a central synthetic Tower of Babel, housing a happy host of Pacific Gulls. Or where bouncing, polymer beaches are home to an exotic PET (that is Polyethylene Terephthalate) with glinting lemonade bottle eyes, two-can beak and wearing real fish-net stockings.

But this floating dump ain’t no Daydream Island. Poor little Nemos, Dorys and Crushes are subjected to the contaminating rot and florets of strangling waste.

Sad empty plastic things need to be tenderly gathered and taken on a spiritual journey of reincarnation. Recyclable waste needs to be kept away from Jack, unless it lives on in the form of an attractive food bowl featuring dog paws.

And as for me talking rubbish – well that’s not going to stop.  But you can re-use my words.

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