Let's be clear: Plastic is a wonderful, useful, fantastic resource. However, we don't like the excessive overuse and waste of petroleum-based plastic in our world.
Although we don't (yet) have figures for it, xhile suspects that at least 75% of our current plastic use is un-necessary and wasteful. We really don't like seeing all the plastic garbage in our rivers, seas, beaches, communities, roads and parks. Plastic contributes to a vast amount of landfill waste, and can take many hundreds of years to biodegrade.
Most commerically used plastic is derived from petroleum oil and natural gas, which is running out. We're not concerned here with when it will run out (see lj's http://community.livejournal.com/peak_oil/ to discuss that) but there's no question that one day any finite resource will run out. If we want to be able to keep the benefits of plastic, we must elminate all non-essential uses of plastic to help prolong the use of petroleum oil for essential things.
Plastic packaging is a primary concern. How often do we purchase a takeaway coffee, for example, only to be given a plastic lid for the cup which is immediately thrown away? How often do we buy bottled water, or milk, only to throw away the bottle once used? There are bioplastic alternatives which need more exploration, promotion and use.
Some plastics are recyclable. However, there is a mythology around plastic recycling. Many of the plastics we use every day are either not recyclable, or are so hard to recycle that in practice recycling never happens. Although details may vary in different cities and countries, we suspect that much of the plastic that is placed in recycling bins in good faith by the public never in fact gets recycled. The general public has been misled into thinking they are doing the right thing, when perhaps not using the plastic in the first place is a better alternative.
To summarise, some reasons to change what we are doing with plastic: * Aesthetic reasons - plastic rubbish looks ugly * Environmental reasons - negative impact of plastic on the food chain and other areas of our environment * Pragmatic reasons - Extension of a limited resource, namely petroleum oil to ensure that we can still use plastic for essential items * Health reasons - there may be health risks of plastic, particularly in food
This community was formed to share ideas around:
* the life cycle of plastic * our addiction to plastic * our abuse of plastic * the environmental impact of plastic * good science about plastic * how to recycle plastic * how to reduce plastic use * how to replace plastic use with other resources * how to agitate in our communitites and businesses for less plastic use
Join us, and let's do our small part in making our world better :)
Etiquette Please put large images, and long posts under an lj-cut. Be nice people. Disagreement is allowed and encouraged. Personal insult, flaming or trolling will result in a warning followed by banning if it happens again. We don't know everything. Those who have opposing views are welcome provided they are willing to discuss opinions in a respectful manner.