Disposable Plastics

Anguilla beach Recently, while vacationing on the island of Anguilla in the West Indies, we wandered along a beach strewn with plastic garbage…

… garbage that had come in with the tide.

Bottle Graveyard It looked like a bottle graveyard; disturbing.
The ocean breeze, turquoise water, and remote shoreline seemed far removed from the bustling world.

As the garbage man rumbles down the road in his grimy truck away from our homes, we are relieved, right? The detritus of our busy, complicated lives disappears, and we instantly forget it.

Our profligate way of life reaches out, sometimes in the most unexpected places, to remind us, some things just don’t disappear.

Bag in Tree Leaving the grocery store yesterday, I admired the pristine blue sky, yet flapping in a tree above the parking lot, was a plastic bag.

DVD1Today, I saw a documentary called “Bag It” by Jeb Berrier… about disposable single use plastics. He has a wonderful sense of humor, lightening the tone of a film that could have been too fact filled and preachy to watch.

His wife gets pregnant with their first child in the beginning of the film, which drives Jeb to wonder beyond the ubiquitous plastic bags, (in use since 1977, now at a rate of a million new ones a minute), how the pervasive use of plastics might be impacting the world, our oceans, and more immediately for him, his unborn child.
He leads us through his quest for answers, making the film very personal and compelling.
At its heart, ‘Bag It’ is a love story. Jeb is looking for answers to inform his choices for his growing family.

We have become a society seeking to simplify by reaching for what is convenient, fast and disposable – diapers, take-out food, or bottled water, we do a lot of things without considering the cost down stream.

‘Bag It’, helps us to think about the cost. Like an overdrawn bank account, we can’t ignore the evidence forever.

Ton upon ton of our single use plastics end up in the ocean; we need to grasp the impact we’re having on our marine animals.

At the end of the film, a woman from Ocena.org asks, “How do we end this age of disposable plastics?”

Jeb suggested several ways we can lessen our contribution to the plastic ocean of waste:
1. Reduce use
2. Don’t buy bottled water
3. Buy products with less packaging
4. Bring your own containers to the store, including reusable bags
5. Buy less
6. Volunteer to clean up litter
7. Simplify your life
8. Use your common sense

I love this planet; I have to start living like I mean it.

“With knowing, come caring.” Sylvia Earle


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