What’s the best solution to our Plastic Problem?
Stop using it.
Naive? Impossible? Unrealistic? Maybe, but you have to contrast any such ‘reasonable’ objections with the certain damage we’ll cause by not doing anything.
Plastic has become so embedded in our lives over the past 60 years, it’s hard to imagine life without it.
The 1967 movie The Graduate is now better known for this one scene, in which the eponymous graduate Dustin Hoffman is taken aside by a successful businessman for a bit of advice about his future: ‘One word. Plastics – there’s a great future in plastics. Think about it…’
Every new report on environmental plastic adds more evidence that we need to put Plastic’s bright future in the past. We’re only beginning to discover the disastrous environmental consequences of the Plastics Revolution.
Politicians and scientists are desperately hoping to come up with some magic bullet solution that will enable us to either stop making plastics from fossil fuels, recycle existing plastic in a closed loop, or clean up the mess we’ve already made.
No such technology exists, none is proven at scale, and we don’t have time.
Which leaves the only definite solution we know will work – stop using plastics today.
The good news is that the Plastics Revolution is so recent, there are still plenty of people alive to tell us how to do it.
For all the convenience, and low costs of plastics, almost none of of the old people we interview reflect on their Pre-Plasticene era with anything other than warmth and positivity.
So what are we so scared of?
This means that the most effective individual activism we can take, is not to change our own behaviour, but to do our utmost to persuade our leaders than they should regulate all of us to do so.