Hi folks- welcome to my blog. It's less bloggy than most, it's more of a tool for looking up information on PLASTICS, especially as related to marine debris. Plastics have become a big problem for the planet because there is SO MUCH of it and it doesn't go away... ever. Over time it gets brittle and breaks apart into smaller and smaller pieces, but the strong synthetic plastic polymers continue to exist. The oceans are particularly vulnerable to this phenomenon because the cold water and lack of bacteria make it even more difficult for breakdown to occur.
Maybe by now you have heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area roughly 2 times the size of Texas in the middle of the N Pacific Subtropical Gyre which is becoming a plastic soup. It's a sad state of affairs, but fixable in that all we have to do, I mean ALLLLLL of us, is be more sensible in our habits and consumer choices. Bring Your Own Bags to the grocery store; Bring Your Own Mug to the cafe; choose less packaged products when possible. It's doable, for a worthwhile cause...
Poke around below to find out more.

Nurdles (pre-production plastic pellets)

Nurdles (pre-production plastic pellets)
Manufacturers need to be responsible for cleaning up their own spills

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Sisyphean Task?

Sisyphus n
In Greek mythology, a cruel king of Corinth who was condemned for eternity to roll a boulder up a hill only to have it roll down again just before it reached the top.

Sis·y·phe·an adj
Involving endless but futile labor

That's how this has felt lately. So much plastic being made every minute of every day of every year in so many cities in so many countries on so much of this sighing planet. How could I possibly think I could put even a chink into this monstrous polymer armor that has consumed nearly everyone of us? One hundred billion shopping bags used annually in the U.S. alone. I bought a thumbdrive, the size of a thumb, the rigid plastic package which required a machete to get into was the size of a large book. And in my tiny corner of the universe I tell a class of students that it would be great if they told their parents to bring their own shopping bags to the market. They nod in wild agreement, after seeing the photo of a sea turtle choking on a plastic bag. They promise, they will do their part. The bell rings, chaos ensues, books and papers fly and they flit out the door, "That was sad! Thanks for the presentation!" A Sisyphean task?

No, my friends tell me, don't underestimate the domino effect. And please, they say, don't stop. Each one who is impacted tells a friend, and so on. That's what grassroots activism is about. One at a time. One less piece of crap in the ocean at a time. Times it by 6.2 billion. Just another couple billion to go... why not.... what's more important, really? Not Sisyphean, just slow, slow and steady as she goes.

CFC levels decreasing because of the Montreal Protocol, because there's no more CFC's in aerosol cans and refrigerators. An example to show... the tide can be turned...

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