The Plague of Plastic

From National Geographic comes an award-winning series Strange Days On Planet Earth. This documentary focuses on raising public understanding about how each of us are interconnected to our planet’s life systems. The inaugural 4-part PBS series, hosted by Academy-award nominated actor Edward Norton, earned 14 major film festival honors—including Best Series at Wildscreen, the environmental equivalent of the OSCARS®. The summary of this episode states:

Far out at sea and deep in the nation’s heartland, experts are discovering the disturbing consequences of a hitchhiker in our waters—plastic. On the remote islands in the Pacific, a team of researchers is trying to solve the mystery of why albatross chicks with full bellies are starving. Many miles away another team is finding more plastic than plankton in giant garbage patch of ocean called the North Pacific Gyre. Could these two events be related?

What’s equally worrisome is the menacing wake plastic pollution leaves on fresh water and consequently, our health. Scientists in Missouri are finding a gender-bending chemical called bisphenol A in local streams whose source may be plastics. They are also finding this nasty compound leaching out of commonly used plastic products (including baby bottles).

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1glVFMej_3g]

*Thanks to my sister Laurie for sending this my way*

Head over to Plastic Pollution Coalition website, and take the REFUSE disposable plastic pledge:

Disposable plastics are the greatest source of plastic pollution. Designed to be discarded, straws, plastic bottles, plastic utensils, lids, plastic bottles and so many others offer a small convenience but remain forever.  REFUSE disposable plastics! Follow the “4 Rs” of sustainable living: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

I’m looking for a practical alternative to disposable straws that is available in Canada.  Does anybody have any suggestions? 

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0 thoughts on “The Plague of Plastic

  1. alternatives to straws?

    how about your lips?.. no one but really old and sick people need straws…

    this is a small, maybe insignificant example, but often i feel that people look for too many alternatives to uphold their lifestyles in the name of the environment, when all we really need is to change our habits and do less.. my motto, “be less than you can be”, stay home, buy less, play with your kids, make love to your spouse,.. avoid using straws and other unnecessary consumables. Economic growth is the biggest threat to the environment.

  2. Bisphenol A is a base component in epoxy. Now, it is true that there are hundreds of different epoxies available today, but they all share Bis-A in their foundation.

    From personal experience I can tell you that epoxy, and therefore by extrapolation, Bis-A, is not a nice thing to breathe. Without even knowing it, I became extremely sick – over a period of time – and it was not until it was nearly too late that the sickness was associated with the use of epoxy.

    It may be true that once this chemical compound has cured, it is less damaging. Nonetheless, even something as simple as water can actually cause leaching from plastics.

    And as for using straws…who needs ’em? What’s wrong with drinking out of a cup?

  3. Okay, Francis and Keith, I feel convicted about my straw-using ways – I guess I can drink my morning smoothie without a straw – although it sure makes it easier to have one!

  4. Christine, if you absolutely must inhale your smoothies, an environmental alternative would be a stainless steel extrusion.. probably found at a craft or decor shop, or medical supply store, washable and durable while adding multiple uses to products already processed.

    but i maintain, if you wanna save the planet, ” be less than you can be”.. cheers!

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