We have a love obsession with plastic. And the sad truth is that we cannot live without it. It serves many great purposes like in the medical industry. Seemingly everything is wrapped in plastic or made of plastic. We have become reliant on plastic in our everyday lives, becoming a society of convenience.
I recently attended the Lands End Exhibition in the old San Francisco Cliff House (https://www.for-site.org/project/landsend/). I highly encourage all to attend to learn about the planet’s health and how we are interconnected. Be prepared for a brilliant exhibit that could be unsettling to some.
While all pieces of the art installation were impactful, “One Beach Plastic, for here or to go” created by a husband and wife team, Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang continues to sit in my mind. This team collected and cataloged pieces of plastic for decades from Point Reyes beaches. This installation was placed in the old kitchen of the Cliff House buffet style, on plates and in to go containers of all the plastic collected on our near by shores.
“For Here or To Go” spoke to me in so many ways. Plastic, once produced, is here to stay and takes years, even hundreds of years to breakdown. It is not going anywhere. For here or to go also speaks to the convenience and throw away society that has been created by consumerism. What can companies sell us in the smallest disposable package possible that will be discarded within minutes of use? Finally, the plastic pollution problem is a human health problem as micro plastics have been found in our air, our water, and our food.
Think about how much plastic you use in your life
We grab to go coffee or boba drinks in plastic to go containers
We grab our lunch in to go containers
We use plastic utensils
We use plastic straws
We use plastic bags
Our toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss all in plastic along with our deodorant
Sadly, only 9% of plastic gets recycled. And 8 billion tons of plastic ends up in our oceans every year as evidence what has washed up on our shores and collected by the Langs.
We all can seek to find reusable items to carry with us like a beverage container, reusable bags, a spork and be mindful when we shop to purchase items in more sustainable packaging. Replenish Grocers has so many options.
So how long does plastic last? Here are a couple stats to ponder
Coffee cups- 30 years
Water bottles- 450 years
Straws- 200 years
Plastic bags – 20 years
Toothbrush- 500 years
It’s time to break up with single use plastic!