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Why would I purchase plastic food containers when I already have some?  I wouldn’t.

 

The amount of plastic waste generated by a single family American home, by a single person home for that matter, is staggering.  We, as a culture, generate an amazing amount of non-composted trash, and much of this will not be  making it into the post-consumer recycle process or breaking down in our landfills.

I heard someone say once “when they dig us up in 2000 years they’ll call us the “plastic civilization”.  That is ironic on several levels, but I also found it rather embarrassing, and admit I thought it true. Considering the treasures we ourselves have dug up from past civilizations, things we place in museums and see auctioned off for millions of dollars, golden artifacts, once beautiful pottery and the like, our buried treasures are going to pale in comparison.

It may seem like a small contribution to re-use the plastics we all end up with once the foods they came in are gone, but multiply your plastic encased or covered purchases by the number of houses on your street or number of houses attached to your school district or town, and I hope you’ll realize too, that plastics are all of our problem.

We see much more recycling of plastics than we’ve seen in the past, but recycling plastics is an expensive business and there aren’t nearly enough companies doing it.  Much of the plastic you see with the recyclable sign do not get recycled.  It’ll be a good day when there’s enough companies to recycle the majority of plastics people throw away each day, but that day has not arrived.  As it is, there’s an active association of plastics recycling companies and that is good, but until I am assured the majority of plastics are being recycled I’m going to keep using the ones my foods come in and otherwise lessening my purchases of items encased in plastic.

Granted some of the post-consumer containers I use are not see-through, and I suppose that’s part of the attraction to people’s need to purchase “glad ware” and the like.   I use a sharpie pen and/or tape to easily mark and identify what’s in a particular re-used container in my freg, freezer or pantry.

Have you heard of Garbage Island?  Garbage Island is a floating mass of trash twice the size of Texas, floating out in the Pacific Ocean. Journalist Thomas Morton did a documentary on Garbage Island.  When I saw that documentary, I was once again shocked and embarrassed.  NOAA – the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Assoc., calls these floating phenomenons “garbage patches” and has some very interesting information about them on their site.    I don’t want to be part of a culture that creates such things.  But, since I am, I’m going to do what I can to decrease my contributions.   Click on the NOAA map, below, for more information on our garbage patches.

All of us, or at least most of us, remember the campaign to cut the plastic six pack rings that hold a six pack together so they would not harm our natural wild-life.  I do not see that campaign publicized anymore.  Surely those who invented this plastic six-pack holder did not imagine that their invention, something that made them wealthy and helped an industry keep their cans together, would harm wild-life and otherwise start a national campaign to cut each of the circles on the thing to save wildlife from certain death getting caught in them.  But, those little plastic six pack things have been very harmful to wildlife, resulting in deformation, starvation and death to animals who unwittingly get stuck in them. The picture, at the end of this post, of a turtle who sadly became deformed by a six-pack net is linked to a blog post by eco-logical on the harms of these, and other, plastics to our environment.  That post also includes a lot of pictures of six-pack plastic trapped animals.There’s been a lot of information published, filmed and covered on all of this plastic trash we create, what happens to it and what doesn’t, and as an environmentally minded person I’ve read or seen a lot of it, but this week I’m adding my voice to the reminder, we still need to work against our trash making it into our oceans, our landfills and our homes.

Xtra trash is not necessary and while cleaning out the cupboards is a labor of necessity, this week it is also a seed for a new blog post, and acknowledgement that I’m interested in working on lessening my plastic consumption.  When they did us up I hope they’ll see our art, our science and many of our efforts to better ourselves and how we leave our planet.

Hope you’ll, consider your own purchases as a way to lessen our plastic foot print, and even save money, cut all of your six-pack nets, pick up plastic trash you find on our beaches and otherwise do your best to lessen the amount of harmful plastics in our environment.

– Best wishes – Gwen

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PS:  My lack of posts in the last year is attached to other commitments and issues that have monopolized my time.   I am glad to report that I am seeing the other side of both and look forward to being motivated to more blogging more often.

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