So, how about that petroleum based molecular structure that’s currently holding civil society together while killing every ecosystem on the planet? Weird, huh?
Plastic. We hate it. We use it anyway. Let’s face it: there’s nothing better.
Except maybe aluminum, but I’ll get into that later. I’m actually going to do some research for that one.
I don’t think k I really need to tell you that plastic is literally everywhere and we rely on it for just about every part of our lives. The phone I’m typing this on has plastic in it, on it, around it… Likewise I probably don’t have to bore you with all the statistics and stories about how plastics are ruining Earth.
The truth about plastic is that it will never go away. Literally. Plastics takes 100s of years or more to break down. And even then, they don’t become one with the Earth… they BECOME the earth. And it’s like this because businesses want cheap, light materials to package their goods in. Milk, soda, juice, and water are packaged in plastic bottles, and some times even wrapped in plastic. Some bottles, and even the hero we need but don’t deserve aluminum cans are held together with plastic rings. Foods come in plastic tubs, or on Styrofoam plates wrapped in plastic. We carry groceries out of the store in plastic bags. The worst thing about all this: these are one-time, single-use plastics that will be thrown away in plastic trash bags and dumped into a landfill where they will be buried amongst other plastics in a giant plastic mountain from which nothing will return because we can’t recycle any of it!
I can see the viability of some plastic products. Until we discover the holy grail that is transparent aluminum, plastic and glass are the only two transparent materials we have. So, if you need to see through it those are your only options. And there are some plastic products which are meant to be used for many years; such as gas cans, reusable water bottles and dinnerware. And others are used within a device, toy, or machine which is meant to last for the life of the object of the owner (although that number SEEMS to be shrinking). Think about plastics in computers which act as structure and buffers between electrical components. There’s plastic film on car windshields to keep them intact in a crash. Most toys are plastic. Lots of devices are plastic. Even the frames of eye glasses and sun glasses are mostly plastic (and sometimes even the lens, especially on sun glasses and goggles). Any plastic meant to last for the life of the owner, I can get behind… assuming it is recyclable.
Recyclable plastics have similar issues to paper, as I understand it. For example: all those Gatorade bottles your child emptied over the course of their sports career before deciding they want to join theatre… those didn’t become new Gatorade bottles. They became polyester which was used to make those Old Navy vests I got made fun of for wearing in high school. They could have also been turned into carpets and rugs. And that’s if you recycled them at all… you did recycle them, right? Right?! WHAT HAVE WE BEEN TALKING ABOUT FOR THE LAST TWO WEEKS!
And let’s not forget how important plastics are for science applications, sanitary applications, and healthcare applications. No, not the HealthCare.gov applications you keep seeing ads for ok I got it save money I will leave me alone!
But we have got to stop using them unless absolutely necessary.
P.S. – I’m sorry I yelled at you, it’s just… just that… I’m bad at reducing waste and I feel like this whole project has been one big sham and I’ve worked so hard to really think it through and plan blog/video ideas and I just keep creating more and more waste and my website http://www.nowastenovember.com looks awful because I made it on my phone and #NoWasteNovember isn’t trending on Twitter and I’m just so sad and lonely why oh why…