Attack of Ubiquiplastic

After I wrote my last blog, I became aware of how much plastic we use in our daily lives –  painfully, maddeningly so. Plastic is EVERYWHERE. Did you notice too, just how much of the food, clothing and furniture we buy are wrapped in that lightweight crap? And have you considered, how, after the unwrapping, we wrap the wrapping in a big plastic bag to dispose of it? Then it’s off to the landfill, out of sight and out of mind for the majority of North Americans.The coup de grace in the Attack of Ubiquiplastic was delivered the other day along with a set of patio furniture. EVERY single piece of the set came wrapped in clear, lightweight plastic. There were a lot of pieces requiring assembly and the result was a LOT of plastic. As we unpacked six arms, then three seats, lots o’ legs and ten cushions, each neatly wrapped up in plastic, I kept picturing the large swaths of clear plastic flying through the air, landing in the ocean and ultimately suffocating a sea turtle or other hapless creature.
What did we do before all this plastic came into existence?
According to the USEPA, the amount of plastic in municipal solid waste in America has increased from less than 1% of the total in 1960 to about 12% in 2006. In 2007 (most recent data found), US production of plastic reached 116 billion tons, up from a measly 26 million tons in 2003. And less than 12% of all these plastics are recycled annually.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.We’ve become too accustomed to things being clean and neat. We expect all our fruits and vegetables to be wrapped in plastic bags so we can get them home without soiling our hands or the inside of our reusable grocery bags. As consumers and voters we can change our habits and we can demand that the companies whose products we buy change along with us. Express yourself by choosing companies that minimize their use of non-recyclable plastics, actively recycle plastics and make significant contributions to environmental causes that encourage pollution awareness. There is no need to wrap a patio set in layers and layers of plastic so that it can be delivered to the consumer. There are alternatives to plastic and where absolutely necessary, biodegradable plastics are increasingly available.But despite all the technological know-how and facts readily at our disposal to help us reduce our contribution to the stream of garbage in the environment, people, it seems will continue to say “Fuck the Planet” for their own selfish reasons. Case in point:  Public reaction to the new Sun Chips biodegradable bags. The people at Sun Chips didn’t like that their bags contributed to the waste stream.

So they reduced the amount of material in each bag by 10%, eliminating five billion square inches of packaging from their production stream. Then, this year, they introduced the first fully compostable chip bag. Watch it disappear in this time lapse video! In response, some consumers are complaining the new material is too noisy. Some were so annoyed that they stopped buying Sun Chips. WTF?! It’s hard to believe that these are the actions of a rational, planet-loving person. Please…don’t be THAT person. And if you are THAT person, GET OVER IT. This is change we can live with.

Tell me what you think. Seriously. I can take it.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.