Right now, I’m reading this book.
It’s wonderful, an excellent resource.
But the more I learn about plastic, the more confused I become. How in the world did we ever decide that this would be our go-to material for disposable items?
The great majority of us each create a little hill of plastic waste every single day. Plastic is the ultimate in single- and limited-use: bottles, bags, lighters, pens, wrappers, packets, utensils, electronics, credit and debit cards, lids and oh-so-much more. It’s relentless.
But why? Why is everything made of plastic? Plastic never dies. These items we think of as the most disposable are in fact the most persistent. They’ll remain long after we’re gone.
It’s not sensible and it’s not sustainable, yet we’re entirely reliant.
But the truth is that we don’t have to remain here, helplessly choking in plastic’s stranglehold. Changing habits is always difficult, but resources and support abound (start with that little book linked above).
Need some motivation to start phasing out plastic? These images of swirling masses of plastic trash in the Pacific Gyre (known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch) may help:
This video is set in California, but the issue is by no means limited to just one area; use this world map to determine the state of plastic bags laws in your area, then use these resources to begin breaking free from the plastic addiction.
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Editor: Catherine Monkman