Red Bulls outnumber Reindeer

Submitted by jono on 21 Sep 2019.

Finland is beautiful and the people too, and it feels like a betrayal to post this, but having highlighted trash elsewhere, I can't ignore it here. The count was two days back.


Results in of Arctic Red Bull count. Over 20km of highway (two hour period) 17 of them were photographed. These are the confirmed sightings. Their population density is certainly higher, as many probable sightings could not be confirmed due to proximity of dangerous Northern HGV (Arctic artic). Other well hidden Red Bull will have been missed altogether. Observations were made northbound. The southbound population is likely buoyant too.

Assuming half of Red Bulls passed were detected, and considering both carriageways, the estimated roadside population density is 3.4 per kilometre. For Finland's 78,000km of highway this suggests a roadside Red Bull population in excess of 260,000. To put this figure in context there are an estimated 200,000 reindeer in Lapland.

The easy-to-identify livery of the Red Bull makes it a useful marker for junk in general. Again, assuming that half of Red Bulls passed were registered and considering both carriageways, and this time also estimating that Red Bulls constitute 0.5% of the easily-observable roadside packaging ecosystem, the arctic highway rubbish count stands at 680 items per km.

The assumptions are obviously open to question, but the basic point that what we discard will accumulate is not. Packaging that escapes recycling will endure many human generations. Unless the flow is stemmed it will come to outnumber/outweigh living organisms: already more Red Bulls than reindeer, and soon more plastic in the sea than fish.

Corporations know that much of their packaging will end up as pollution, yet insist responsibility for this lies solely with the consumer. They sponsor events and have huge marketing and PR budgets with the objective of increased sales and profits, whilst we look the other way and prefer not to see how they avoid what should be shared responsibilities.

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  • 5 - note proxmity of Northern HGV Arctic artic
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  • 12 - light rain/snow shower hindered visibility for a while
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Tagged with: redbull Finland