Where would we be without it?
How did we ever manage without it?
And will it EVER decompose…?
Mass production of plastic only really got going after the Second World War. It is now pretty hard to imagine life without it. But we must have coped.
And scarily, EVERY SINGLE BIT OF PLASTIC EVER MADE, EVER, IS STILL IN EXISTENCE.
This July is designated Plastic Free July-I didn’t know this until a lovely reader pointed this out to me, and I am a little late to the party (as ever)
The Challenge is to consume no single use plastic during the month of July.
And at first I thought, “oh that’s quite easy”, but it really really isn’t it.
It’s not just a case of using your re-usable shopping bag.
Plastic, and single use plastic, is EVERYWHERE.
-shopping bags, drinks bottles, pretty much ALL food packaging, straws, plastic cutlery, milk bottles….
And you could even interpret ‘single use’ as things like shampoo bottles, cleaning products, even your toothbrush-all things made to be used, and then thrown away.
As I am sure you all know, plastic is made from petrochemicals. Oil.
It takes a huge amount of energy (Oil) to mine the oil, and then to turn it into plastic, and then make it into whatever it is going to be, and then to ship it to where it needs to be.
All for us to use it for minutes, and then throw it ‘away’. To landfill, to blow around the skies, to get into our rivers and our oceans.
Where it will then sit. FOREVER.
It even gets into, and kills, our wildlife.
I saw this on Facebook a while back, and it kind of sums the whole thing up pretty well (I couldn’t find who the original image should be credited to-if anyone can let me know, that would be great)
It’s called “Just Wash the Damn Spoon”
So, as the oil starts to run out, will we start to prioritise it’s use for energy, and will single use plastics start to die out as we are forced to find alternatives?
I really don’t know.
I’m ashamed to say that I am not sure I could even attempt Plastic Free July-just the logistics of trying to get milk in a good old fashioned glass bottle, (I don’t even know if we have a local milkman anymore) and trying to buy pretty much ANY food without all the heaps of plastic packaging, starts to make my brain ache. A lot.
But, I am much more aware of how much mindless plastic consumption goes on, and how I need to do more than say “no” to yet another plastic bag.
Instead of feeling vaguely guilty everytime I use a single use plastic item, I am resolving to use them less, and to start to work towards eliminating them. But crikey, it will be hard.
If you want to know more about Plastic Free Living, then check out My Plastic Free Life for lots more (or less) plastic, and how to do without it.