If you are of a certain age, you most likely will remember that famous line in the movie Mrs. Robinson, “one word Benjamin . . . plastics!” We took it to heart, because since the 60’s our use of plastics has gone exponentially through the roof.
This is true world wide. This fact, in and of itself, would not be worrisome if were not for the fact that most of the people on the planet use plastic in all its forms in an indiscriminate manner. It doesn’t matter what corner of the world we are talking about, we all do.
I will include myself in that observation or I did until recently. Until I saw a program that made the following point. Every piece of plastic that has ever been manufactured will continue to exist in our landfills and oceans for hundreds to thousands of years to come. Every piece! We use plastic bags, a material that has been manufactured to last into infinity, for a miniscule amount of time and then toss them away.
We live in a throw away society and we have created a massive ecological nightmare that has to be faced. We are trashing the oceans using them like toilet bowls. Our thoughtless use and disposal of plastic is helping us kill every form of life that needs the oceans to survive and this is happening in shocking numbers. Fish, sharks, whales, dolphins, porpoise, pelicans, seagulls, etc.; the reefs that support so many forms of life . . . all are negatively impacted by our (unintentional) thoughtlessness.
By refusing to use plastic bags, you can make a huge difference to the pollution problem. Remember that each person uses about 83 bags a year. Some people use many more. If there are four people in your family using 83 bags, that’s 332 plastic bags less every year.
That’s 332 bags less that will:
- Release toxins into the ground water from landfill sites
- Stay in the environment for hundreds of years while they break down
- Get into the food chain through animals that ingest small particles of plastic
- Waste energy during the manufacturing process
- Kill any of the estimated 100,000 marine animals that die each year of plastic pollution
Most of us never give plastic a thought.We talk about keeping the planet green while we throw away the plastic bag we carried the literature home in that urged us to be good citizens. Let’s face it, we are encouraged to use plastic . . . and it is everywhere! It is so pervasive that taking on this challenge may seem impossible, but take it on we will . . . take it on we must!
The next time you go shopping . . . remember to take a reusable bag!