Tuesday, July 15, 2014

It Never Goes Away

I've gotten to the point where I almost feel guilty dealing with anything that's plastic. It is so ubiquitous. From where you're sitting right now, how many things can you see that are plastic or contains plastic components? Thank goodness I can salve my conscience some by recycling all the plastic waste this one little household with only two people in it generates. But I know it's just the smallest atom of help for a problem that staggers the imagination.

Plastic, Plastic Everywhere: Plastic, that handy, lightweight, nearly indestructible stuff is... well, indestructible. We throw a lot of it away, but for plastic there is no 'away'. Most of it ends up in landfills, where it will sit for a few thousand years. A tiny bit, about 9% of the US share, gets recycled. A lot of it ends up in the ocean, about a million tons so far. Of that vast amount, about 35,000 t ons has ended up in those swirling garbage patches – every ocean has at least one of them. But the 965,000 plus other tons of seaborne plastic has just 'disappeared'. But plastic doesn't simply disappear. It'll be back. Shut up and eat your fish.
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