Matthew Henry John Bartlett

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Tuesday 08 May, 02007

by Matthew Bartlett @ 3:49 pm at risk
Plastic doesn’t die, it ends up in the sea and chokes small creatures

3 responses to “”

  1. Matthew Baird says:

    Makes you think. Boy humans are depressing. I’m so glad I’m not God, cause we’d be all toast by now for wrecking the planet somuch if it were up to me.

  2. D says:

    Yeah that plastic article was good. I felt guilty the next time I drunk out of a throwaway plastic bottle and found that the exfoliants in the house do contain polyethylene beads.

    I think it pointed out very forcefully that the strength of plastic may also be its weakness – in that it doesn’t biodegrade in small timeframes. And I really enjoyed the historical information about shellac and bakelite.

    One of Nelson Mandela’s comments when he got out of jail was that between him going in and coming out, plastics had come of age and the amount of littering and mess it created made him wonder whether it was truly a step forward.

    I guess what the article lacked was much of a perspective on whether we should simply stop using plastics (and what alternatives are available e.g. are cardboard cartons a viable replacement?), whether there was a restricted place for them (e.g. not in soft drink bottles and supermarket shopping bags, but maybe in cars, buckets air conditioners and house guttering) and whether we can viably ‘undo’ the plastics we make (by finding special microbes which like polyethylene or a chemical reaction). I imagine there are also types of plastics which are more and less harmful, more and less biodegradable. What happens to the plastic we recycle?

    As I sit here tapping away on plastic keys, I think plastics are a wonderful invention. But it is clear that there has been inadequate attention to disposal and affects on the ecology as a whole.

    Maybe we should do some letter writing to the Coca Cola company and Amatil and give them a copy of the article. Matt should schedule a letter writing evening…

  3. Matthew says:

    MB, you’ve got to turn that smiting-energy into advocacy/action.

    D, Sending the article around is a good idea. There’s a permanently scheduled letter-writing afternoon at our house on the last Sunday of each month. Last time was a bit of a dud but I did write to my MP encouraging her to support that 30c tax on plastic shopping bags. Next one is 27 May.

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