Going Drastic on Plastic

A local grassroots eco organization in my area has launched a massive campaign to reduce use of single-use plastics, and to clean up the plastics that are already out there littering the land and floating in our waterways.

I’m at their event “Go Drastic on Plastic,” where various experts are reporting grim statistics and showing photos of injured marine animals.

Just a few things I’ve learned today:

Some huge volume, x hundred billion tons, of plastics have been produced since the invention of plastics in 1907. Only 9% of the total has been recycled.

Single-use plastics account for 50% of the total volume we consume.

500 million plastic straws are used in the USA each day (that is more than our population!)

In the past 10 years, we’ve used more plastics than in the previous 100 years.

Those are just a few of the figures that stood out.

It’s good that people are getting more aware and are working on various fronts to address the problem.

The eco organization I mentioned is called Dream Green Volusia, in case you are located in my geographic region and/or want to see what they are up to, to get ideas for what you can do in your area. You can find Dream Green Volusia on Facebook.

On an individual level, you can make more of a difference than you might think. I’ve been continually surprised at the number of friends/neighbors who told me they were influenced by seeing me bring reusable bags, reusable water bottle, and so on.

The plastic trash problem, along with other grave problems such as climate change and the loss of biodiversity, are actually symptoms of a much larger overall problem: humankind’s disconnect from nature. As we address the root issue, we’ll be addressing the symptoms too. Still, the symptoms are sufficiently severe at this point that we need to treat them as problems in their own right.

Don’t give in to discouragement though. Do what you can on a personal level, and join forces with any likeminded people you can find.