It's time for this week's editon of "Artifacts Of Modern Man - Today's Big Bag Of Crap", what otherwise might become known as the Rock Creek Rant.
Now, you can call it trash, garbage, refuse, or anything you like, but I call it crap - a whole bunch of crap! Yes, I took a collection bag with me today and filled it with the crap from the creek and banks. It didn't take long to fill, which makes me realize I'm going to need some bigger bags.
|Oh, I get it. Save money, live better, and toss the damn bag in the wild.|
It is estimated that four to five trillion plastic shopping bags are produced each year, and in the United States alone, we discard 100 billion annually.
The proliferation of plastic is slowly choking our environment to death. Plastic, whether it is HDPE, LDPE, or any other kind of PE can take hundreds of years to breakdown. With plastic, it's a matter of more than meets the eye. Of course plastic bags are unsightly hanging on tree limbs and floating down our rivers, but there are some other environmental impacts we probably never think about.
Some estimates have that the manufacturing of plastic shopping bags accounting for four percent (4%) of the world's total oil production. That's a lot of oil folks. Producing two plastic shopping bags produces 1/10th of a gallon of waste water and where does waste waster go? It goes into our struggling streams, rivers, and oceans.
The impact on wildlife is devastating. Worldwide, 100 million birds and mammals loose their life due to the ingestion of plastics each year. To compound things, once the animal dies and decomposes, the ethylene is released back into the environment.
Getting people to give up the convenience of plastic shopping bags is going to be one tall order of business. It will take a combined effort by all of us. However, organized efforts to promote reusable cloth bags can begin with just one person who carries a fiery torch of the well-being of our earth.