Plastic Expanding Inevitable

This is a play on words alluding to Andy Warhol's multimedia vents in the mid 60's. Like Andy's quote about 15 minutes of fame in the future, this dire prediction about the 'exploding' plastic inevitable has also come true. He was a strange oracle, indeed.

Best Life Magazine covers one of the most troubling trends in the world's ocean today- a North Pacific gyre where plastic outnumbers plankton by 6:1. The story chronicles the adventures of Charlie Moore of the Algalita Research Station and his researches in the open ocean toilet bowl for our contemporary society. This is one of the best write-ups I have ever seen on the subject of plastic in the sea.

Apparently the pelagic pollution phenomenon is beyond clogging the stomachs of the marine megavertebrates, and it's making people fat, too. Think about that the next time the cashier double-bags your one gallon jug of milk.

For the sake of the ocean, say "paper please".

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The problem is, the security guards won't let us out without a plastic bag!! There was once when I went shopping for a couple of items, and my boyfriend told the cashier that we didn't need a plastic bag as we could handle the goods ourselves (there were 2 of us!).

Well, the cashier insisted and said that without a plastic bag, the security guard won't let us out.

There. People generally don't care about our oceans. Dang.

Things have changed some since I worked at a local music store. I remember making a concerted effort to ask every person if they needed a bag. The most common answer was an incredulous, "Of course I want a bag!". One customer even told me what a stupid question that was. Now, a lot of stores (e.g. book stores, hardware stores, music stores) are asking that same question. I doubt many, if any, customers tell the cashier that it's a stupid question.

However I think the biggest problem comes from grocery bags. It drives me NUTS when the baggers stick two small, lightweight items in a bag and then proceed to the next bag. The best thing to do, of course, is to bring your own canvas/cloth bags that you can reuse over and over and over. In fact, even Stop & Shop sells them now - something like $1 a bag. I keep six in my car and very rarely need to use all of them. I've even stopped using the silly little produce bags for my fruits and veggies (unless I'm buying something like a pound of green beans). *pat on own back*

I guess I'm saying we can all do something. As cliche as it sounds: if everyone does a little, it can add up to a lot. Don't use a bag if you don't need one. Use paper instead of plastic. Bring your own reusable bags. Reuse the plastic ones you've got.

But they make such great trash bags for that little can in my bathroom! And great for putting kitty litter into, if you can find some without holes in the bottom.

For leafy veggies, plastic is actually bad anyways. You should roll them in a paper towel and store the loose in the fridge. i.e. cilanto, dill etc.

By Kevin Zelnio (not verified) on 15 May 2007 #permalink