“Plastics” – from that word of advice in the movie ‘The Graduate’ to a reality where almost all products are wrapped in plastic throwaway packages or made with plastics, the question of what happens to all of that plastic needs to be addressed.
Naked Binder has asked the question as to where vinyl goes, and brought up the plastics issue before but much like climate change science it seems that we are, as a nation and a planet, willing to ignore reality and hope for the best. The New York Times editorial yesterday stated:
Plastics are now one of the most common pollutants of ocean waters worldwide. Pushed by winds, tides and currents, plastic particles form with other debris into large swirling glutinous accumulation zones, known to oceanographers as gyres, which comprise as much as 40 percent of the planet’s ocean surface — roughly 25 percent of the entire earth.
Gyres – large circulations and islands of plastic – comprise as much as 40% of our oceans or a quarter of our planet.
One can only say,”Yikes”.
What can you do? It seems almost impossible to eliminate all plastic from your life, especially in the US, but it is possible. You can start by cutting back – no more plastic wrap, plastic bags from grocery stores, finding products not made of plastics or wrapped in them.
Some steps I have taken – eliminate or at least heavily cut back on plastic bags, over time (almost there!) convert all my food storage to glass containers (no sense in throwing away what is in place, use it until it is broken, then recycle what you can), trying to avoid buying new plastic toys for my kid (we do a lot of garage sales and the like – reuse vs. new), we recycle like crazy and use compostable bags for our dog walks.
And of course, Read the whole article in the New York Times