Sunday, July 27, 2008

Think Beyond Petro Plastic

There's an article in the Los Angeles Times today that talks about the possibility of Los Angeles banning plastic bags, similar to what happened in San Francisco almost a year ago. What I didn't like was the fact that the L.A. City Council isn't just going cold turkey -- they're saying either impose a 25 cent charge per bag or ban bags altogether but not until 2010. Waffling. Just go for it L.A.

The other troubling note in the article is the fact that so many average people just don't seem to get the fact that petroleum, non-biodegradable bags are an environmental nightmare. Just go to this video (Warning! Graphic video) of a Laysan Albatross' necropsy; you can see just how much plastic is pulled out of this bird who ate from the ocean -- more than half is plastic. Animals eat plastic and die. Marine life eats plastic and dies.

Petroleum-made plastic also doesn't biodegrade. It either sits forever in a landfill or floats forever out in the ocean. In fact, if you go to the research that Algalita is doing, you'll learn the real truth of where so much of our plastic waste goes -- the ocean. In fact, there are giant garbage dumps out in the ocean, largely containing plastic. One such dump is about the size of Africa, and it floats in circular currents above Hawaii. And we want to keep on producing, using, and tossing more plastic bags???

If we must have plastic bags, then let's get completely away from non-biodegradable options and immediately move to biodegradable. Biodegradable already exists -- you can buy biodegradable bags in stores and online.

Be concerned about anyone making the case to keep or make more petro plastic. When there are better alternatives, support a change.

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