Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Artifacts Of Modern Man - Today's Big Bag Of Crap

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.
 Wal-Mart is the world's largest retailer.  If Wal-Mart would lead the initiative to do away with plastic shopping bags, requiring us to use reusable cloth shopping bags, then the rest of the retail industry will follow suit. 

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.
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Shiloh said...

That is a beautiful area.but is starting to get more and more trashy visitors. I have personally not fished rock creek but am planning on doing so this week end. maybe I can help out by getting some of the trash out of there. I can only make it on the weekends because of work.

Barry said...

Shiloh, if you do get to come this weekend I hope you have a barrel of fun. Parts of upper Rock Creek are becoming choked with leaves so you may have to go downstream from the confluence. I may not be around... thinkng about making the Wildlife Expo. Good luck.