|Found at: http://www.cleanup-sa.co.za/home.htm|
Let's look at that handy plastic life-cycle chart again:
|Which steps involve you, the consumer?|
So, let's see what you've done.
- Did you identify, clean, sort, & put out your recyclable plastics? Did the bin get blown over, scavenged, hit by a plow, poorly emptied by a recycling truck that's doing its best? Your fault.
- Did you take your family to the park? Did your snack packages have tear-off tops? (Most likely.) Did a torn-off top blow out of your hand, or baggie, despite your good intentions? Your fault.
- Did you try to reduce plastic use but realized that even green companies like Tom's of Maine has switched to a plastic toothpaste tube that will persist for centuries if lost? Your fault.
- Did you try to point out that single-use plastic bags put an undue burden on our world? You may find yourself sued (Hilex Poly and others currently suing ChicoBag). And when that bag you tried not to use gets blown out of the recycling bin you put it into, it's your fault.
- Have you ever been victim of a flood, a hurricane, worse? All that plastic material in your car, your office, your home -- it washed into the environment, and will stay there. By the millions of tons around the globe. Your fault.
- Do you live in a developing nation like Indonesia? Coca-Cola ramped up capacity to deliver single-use plastic bottles to Indonesians by 30% just this past year. Never mind the country's waste management infrastructure can't handle
withwhat it already has. Coke was top-tier sponsor of the 5th International Marine Debris Conference. Tons of waste, no means to manage it, your fault.
But they do get one thing right: you can take responsibility. You can make a difference. As a very wise 17-year-old high schooler standing amid the plastic waste of Midway Atoll wrote last week: "There is always a choice."