by Marcus Antebi
Article at a Glance:
Eight million metric tons of plastic make their way into the oceans every year and inevitably come back into our shared pristine fresh water supplies around the planet. It’s ironic, and it’s tragic.
We are willing to pay a lot for clean, delicious-tasting water free from added chlorine, added fluoride, rust, sediment, pharmaceuticals, harmful microbes, and microscopic plastic residue and particles. Yet eight million metric tons of plastic make their way into the oceans every year and inevitably come back into our shared pristine fresh water supplies around the planet. It’s ironic, and it’s tragic.
No one is suggesting that we eliminate all plastic from the world, at least not as a first course of action. The first course of action would be for you and I to eliminate single use plastic packages. If all items made from plastic were used at least several times—and many plastic items can be used for decades—our global problems would be more manageable. Certainly, we can choose to reuse certain items, or reject buying plastics that could easily be replaced with non-toxic materials that easily bio-degrade.
The reason plastics are so ubiquitous in packaging is because they are cheap, strong, lightweight, transparent, and moldable into an infinite number of shapes. In the food industry, plastics resist disintegration from moisture and they keep food fresher than paper can. If foods were not altered to have extended shelf lives, single use plastic would eventually become obsolete in the food industry.
If we as consumers voted with our dollars and disciplined ourselves to avoid unnecessary single use plastic, in one generation we would have 200 million fewer metric tons of plastic waste in our most critical resource: the ocean.
Recycling is not enough! We must see single use plastic as a blight on the health of our planet and all of the life on it. It would only take a small community of cool people in New York City to start a trend to move away from single use plastics. Others would follow in Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, D.C., and other cities and towns all across the country. If we do it, people in Paris, London, Italy, Madrid, Moscow, and other cities worldwide will demand new, environmentally-friendly packaging on the products we all consume.
Many nations are far ahead of the USA regarding cutting down and eliminating single use plastic. Let’s change this. Starting right now, right here at goodsugar in the East Village of New York City. I was once a captain in the single use plastic industry, but I changed. SINGLE USE PLASTIC SUCKS.