Only humans make the thing that mother Earth can’t digest – PLASTIC
I am not saying we should stop using all plastic period, plastic is a very useful material. It has important use in medical industry, space and science and research tools etc. But what I am suggesting is that we should realize that plastic is NOT BIO DEGRADABLE and use it responsibly.
See this video by Captain Charles Moore:
- The worst and irresponsible use of plastic is done by the bottled water and soda companies. These companies have created a market and brain washed people into a terrible habit of drinking bottled water IN PLASTIC. Every time I go grocery shopping, I see someone or the other carrying a 24 pack of bottled water to their car. This is having a horrific impact on the environment.
- Plastic DOES NOT bio degrade. It will remain in the form of plastic long after humanity has perished or left the Earth because it had become inhabitable. However, plastic does photo degrade – which means that in presence of sunlight, it breaks down into smaller pieces of plastic. It just breaks into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic to the smallest particle. Which is even more devastating to the bio diversity on Earth coz then we will have a fine mixture of plastic in the soil and our water system. This is already happening. Plastic particles are found in far off places like the waters of Amazon river to the Islands of Hawaii. It enters the food chain from birds and fishes that consume these fine particles of plastic, moving up in the food chain to humans. “What goes around, comes around”.
Here is what we can do:
- STOP drinking bottled water. If your tap water is not drinkable and you rely on potable water, get a large bottle delivered to you place instead of buying 24 packs.
- STOP using plastic shopping bags. Do your grocery in few large reusable bags instead of using a dozen plastic bags each time. Most stores sell you reusable bags for under a $.
- Recycle the extra bags/ bottles etc. that somehow cling to you form somewhere.
- STOP getting your coffee/ soda in plastic disposable cups. Keep your coffee mug in your car, work, etc.
- STOP getting your lunch in disposable boxes, especially at work where you can keep a lunch box/ container and ask the restaurant to pack your food in it.
There are bio degradable plastic utensils available now. So why is the fast food industry not switching to those bio degradable plastic spoons, plates and cups? why is the airline industry not switching to serving water and beverage in those bio degradable cups?
Well, because we the people are not complaining. We have to voice our concern and let our law makers know what we want. In a democracy and capitalist market system, the consumer casts a vote each time they make a purchase. So purchase responsibly and reward those companies and products that are moving in the right direction and making effort to be environment conscious. The Earth does not depend on us, we depend on it. It is the home of not just humans but millions of other species that have lived on it long before we learned to walk upright. We have a responsibility to keep it habitable not just for our future generations of humans, but also all those other species that didn’t ask for any of this.
Please drink responsibly
An article about the direct effects of our uncontrolled addiction to plastic and its effects was covered by National Public Radio (NPR). The article shows the photographs and the story as told by photographer Chris Jordan. The article can be seen here and more of Chris Jordan’s work at Midway Atoll, as posted by Prix Pictet can be seen here.
Chris is also making a film called Midway, that deftly covers the horrid effects of plastic infiltration into our waterways and finally the ocean. You can also watch it’s trailer here.