War on Crime, War on Drugs, War on Poverty, Star Wars, Price Wars,  –  Why not have a War on Plastic—NOW? We need one more good war!

We splurge in unnecessary plastic all the time. Where does the waste go?

Refuse, reduce, recycle that plastic!

I confess, I use plastic still too much. Most of it is totally avoidable.

Regardless how judicious you may be, you will have committed one of these 10 Plastic Cardinal Sins. Aren’t we lazy! (Or is it short-term memory loss?). So, let’s restart.

The 10 Cardinal Plastic Sins

  1. Single-use water bottle: It should have been legally restricted or taxed by now. Some schools and organizations have banned them. Bring your own refillable water bottle. Water in tin bottles available now.
  2. Plastic shopping bags: Yeah, what’s your problem? Bring your own bags, or a basket. Ask for paper bags. Don’t trust the “recycling” of plastic bags in the stores. Or hopefully the store makes you pay for a plastic bag.
  3. Take out containers: In the US, it’s still a world of plastic and Styrofoam. Avoid restaurants that serve you tubs of plastic that could be aluminum or paper. Plastic take-out containers were banned in some European countries.
  4. Online purchases: Hell, no! Get your items from the store, because the shipping material refuse is insane. Peanuts and bubble wrap galore. Leave that stuff to Santa!
  5. Beverage bottles: Get your drinks in a can, glass bottle, or from the faucet, not plastic! This would be my NEW LAW: Stores must recycle plastic bottles, return them to the manufacturer. Let the Coca Cola deal with the plastic!
  6. Liquid detergent: The utmost insanity of all! Haven’t we always used washing powder? It gives you the same results. Listen up, Tide & Co.: Take your jugs off the shelves right now! We can shake up our own soapy sauce.
  7. Body wash & hair shampoo: Just use bar soap. Even hair shampoo and conditioner are available as solid bars these days.
  8. Body lotion: Easy fix. Use fragrant, essential, natural oils—in glass bottles. Oils have fewer ingredients than lotions and may be more beneficial than lotions overall.
  9. Juice & milk jugs: Tropicana switched to plastic carafes. Why?? Other juices still come in cartons. Buy those! One gallon milk jugs can still be recycled in our town. But you may just as well get milk in 1/2 gallon packs.
  10. Egg “cartons” ???: Why should plastic egg “cartons” even exist?

Our municipal authority, the City of Mesa, has basically given up on recycling. Only about 5 item categories will be accepted, forget about washing out yogurt cups. Since China does not take our American trash any more, the dumps on the Salt River Reservation and the other one by the Florence prison are growing at horrid rates.

ONE MORE EXAMPLE OF ILL-FATED PLASTIC LOGIC: In my college days I met a lady who had a big heart for animals. She cut up the plastic rings from the soda six-packs. Why? So that no sea-life should be caught in it. WHY would our plastic end up in the ocean in the first place? This was some 30 years ago, and ongoing.

At any rate, plastic should carry a Surgeon General’s warning, just like cigarettes:

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Plastic Causes Piles of Trash, Harmful Inertia, Intrusion into the Food Cycle, Death of Sea Life, and various types of Cancer. Plastic Overuse by any Human Has Been Shown to Result in Global Pollution, Toxicity in the Food Chain, and the Increase in Morbidity in Humans on All Continents.


Environmental change: California’s new plastics law could force the rest of the nation to cut down on its polluting materials. The legislation mandates, among other things, a reduction in the single-use plastics sold in the state. It also requires 65 percent of plastics to be recycled within a decade—an ambitious goal. Plastics makers will have to foot the bill for recycling. The law could have ripple effects across the nation, but not all recycling proponents are pleased, Laura Parker reports.

Read the full story. (Pictured above, one million plastic beverage bottles are purchased every minute worldwide.)


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