A friend on Facebook just said, regarding plastic waste, “We have to figure out how, though – and guidance and help at big picture levels would be nice.” I responded thusly:
The first synthetic plastic, Bakelite, was patented in 1909 and the rest as they say is history. The good news is that synthetic plastics are now being manufactured using organic products like cotton and corn, the downside of which is, we’re already looking for more land to raise crops for people to eat (http://www.phildu.be/?p=350).
We have to start small because the big companies will only get on board when they realize that their market is dwindling. What can we do? It’s stainless steel straws instead of plastic ones. It’s washable, reusable mesh bags for the produce in the grocery store instead of the plastic ones hanging ever so tantalizingly over the carrots. It’s the reusable grocery bags that you bring back and forth to the grocery store. It’s using a cardboard box, it’s wrapping your Christmas present using raw newsprint and drawing some pictures on it. The little things all add up.
A terrific friend of mine in Australia, Emily Ehlers, is an amazing source for the little things. Her Facebook page Eco with Em and her website https://www.ecowithem.com abound with ideas. The movement is growing and manufacturers are taking note. Under environmental pressure Nestle’s has sold off their bottled water division (https://www.reuters.com/…/us-nestle-water-m-a…). although that’s wonderful news, another company will still be doing the same thing. Up until now wind turbine blades have not been recyclable and have been going to landfill. That does not seem to be much of a problem with the life expectancy of a blade somewhere around 25 years but turbines are already reaching the end of life. New materials have come on board that are recyclable (https://www.scientificamerican.com/…/new-wind-turbine…/). We must still determine how we are going to recycle these materials.
If many of us contributed in a small way, before you know it we will solve the problem.