Avoiding death by plastic
April 22, 2008 8:15 AM Subscribe
posted by TheyCallItPeace (36 comments total)
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Talk about plastic accumulating in the North Pacific gyre has popped up on
for quite a while now. Vice is running a series on the state of the gyre
, as part of their "Toxic Series"
Given the fact that most plastics are not biodegradable, we need to start looking more carefully at how much damage we are doing to ourselves through our use of plastic, and what we can do about it
Not surprisingly, some plastics may also pose more direct health risks to us. Just a few months ago, Mountain Equipment Co-op
, a popular retailer of outdoor gear in Canada, pulled polycarbonate Nalgene bottles from its shelves
. Now the Canadian government has banned baby bottles
made from this clear plastic because there are indication that Bisphenol A (BPA)
, a chemical used in its production and which leaches out of the plastic, may be potentially quite harmful.
It seems unavoidable that we need to find viable replacements for plastics. San Francisco has banned plastic shopping bags, and even China, a country with pretty spotty environmental record, will ban plastic shopping bags nationwide starting in June
Given the current prevalence of plastics today, we also need to consider how we can recycle or reuse the vast mountains of plastic waste we have already produced. One of the links above mentioned Plastic Lumber
, which apparently does not require plastic to be sorted before recycling.
As today is Earth Day, I though this would be a good topic for people to think about.