1B: Our Relationship With Plastics in the Ocean. Maddy, Edmonton, Alberta

Environment   Nov 7, 2018 by Maddy

Plastic is so ingrained in everyone's lives that the thought of living without it may scare some people. We know what it does to the oceans but nobody seems to care.  Major Corporations aren’t the only ones who depend on plastics,though. The material makes up the majority of the products regular people use every day. But with all the things we use it for, is there any way plastic can be used for good instead of evil?

The obvious ideas come to mind first. Paper instead of plastic, compostable bags, etc. Those are good ideas but nobody seems to talk about how the plastic business is one of the most economically efficient businesses in the world. If the world was to completely full stop the production of plastic goods, it is likely that we would be thrown into an immense recession. So maybe we don’t cut off plastics. Maybe, we change the way the business operates.

Everybody has heard of reusable shopping bags. They’re cheap, environmentally friendly, made of biodegradable plastics, and are usually larger than regular shopping bags. Why then, are they never used? I think that the main reason is the cost. If each bag costs a dollar, the price starts to add up. So here’s an idea that keeps corporations happy, and the oceans clean. Mass produce them, and make them free. If these better bags are easier to access, we may be able to phase out harmful plastics entirely. Biodegradable plastics are designed to break down quicker, which means that if someone throws a bag out, it can easily be made into something else. The alternative to biodegradable bags are bio-plastic bags, which are made out of organic materials such as corn starch.

I know this idea isn’t going to appeal to a lot of people, but with only twelve years left until environmental damage starts affecting us, I think we need to look at the bigger picture and ask ourselves which is more important: money or the planet we live on?

ADDITIONALLY: Here's an article that goes into greater detail on different types of environmentally friendly plastics.  This was a really interesting read, and opened my eyes to the plastic business in general: Click here for the article

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