Monday, September 10, 2007

Plastic Ocean...

Best Life Magazine: Plastic Ocean
"This news is depressing enough to make a person reach for the bottle. Glass, at least, is easily recyclable. You can take one tequila bottle, melt it down, and make another tequila bottle. With plastic, recycling is more complicated. Unfortunately, that promising-looking triangle of arrows that appears on products doesn’t always signify endless reuse; it merely identifies which type of plastic the item is made from. And of the seven different plastics in common use, only two of them—PET (labeled with #1 inside the triangle and used in soda bottles) and HDPE (labeled with #2 inside the triangle and used in milk jugs)—have much of an aftermarket. So no matter how virtuously you toss your chip bags and shampoo bottles into your blue bin, few of them will escape the landfill—only 3 to 5 percent of plastics are recycled in any way".

Marine Debris: How can the Plastic Problem be solved?
We all live on planet Earth, our home in the cosmos. Ocean currents do not distinguish from which wharf or ship marine plastic originates. Cigarette lighters and other plastic wastes that are not properly disposed of have greater consequences than we might initially perceive. A cigarette lighter tossed overboard anywhere in the North Pacific can wind up in an albatross' stomach on Midway Atoll.

Here are some ideas on how to solve the problem:

*Dispose of plastic materials properly.
*Reduce, reuse, recycle! Find out about recycling plastics in your area.
*Be a wise consumer---pay attention to your use and need of disposable products and their fate.
*Show your support, financial and otherwise, for organizations and companies that address pollution issues.
*Educate your friends and family about plastic pollution.
*Write your congressmen about proper plastic disposal, enforcement of illegal ocean dumping, and the need to recycle.
*Recognize our individual kuleana (responsibility), as human beings and as conscientious global citizens, to our Earth, ourselves, our fellow animals, and our future generations.

Just scratching the surface really. A simple web search of "Floating Plastic" can reveal plastic issues many of us are not aware of. Quite scary if you ask me. We know that reducing is ultimately the most important of the three "R"s. We can take it another step further in the reusing part also...great example is gooseflesh.

Photos and info found on web and sited through links.


Shannon said...

Oh my, excellent post. We've been so diligent about trying to recycle EVERYTHING that our community takes. By the same token, we've just been trying to use less overall. The pics speak volumes.

Shannon said...

Um, yep. Have to comment again. I actually just read the article in it's entirety and am completely freaked out. Oh my God, I had no idea. I also had no idea that what we work hard to recycle isn't really being recycled.

We've already been working harder, but I'm going to actually get on board and try to ban plastic as much as humanly possible. Stupid questions, but how did we buy shampoo before? What about toothpaste? What were sippy cups made out of. I've been pondering some of these questions........Shannon