As well as making me annoyed with the consumerist state of the world, it got me thinking about the effects of plastic. And I did some research. I think we generally know that manufacturing plastic is a not-good for the environment. But here are some reasons to try to avoid buying or using plastic that you may not have thought about:
- Plastic is made from fossil fuel, which is rapidly depleting. What we're going to do when we've used it all up seriously scares me. There's more gone than left, in just the short time we've used it extensively, and our consumption of it is growing. We depend on fuel for things we don't really need, but we also depend on it for food and safety. Without power for agricultural machinery we can't feed our massive population. (Tim has been reading up on this a lot as he's interested in doing environmental law, and the reality of it is freaking me out.)
- In 2006 in the US alone, 30 million tonnes of plastic were disposed of, most of which was packaging.
- Degradeable plastics might not actually degrade upon disposal. They require appropriate conditions, like exposure to light for example. And if they do degrade, they release the greenhouse gas methane.
(As a side note, I got the stationery I needed from Tim's mum's unwanteds. Didn't have to buy a thing!)