Why the #$!* is everything I eat wrapped in plastic??

Everything.

EVERYTHING.

Even the salad greens and sprouts I buy at the farmer’s market down the street.

Every.

Single.

Thing.*

That I eat.

Is wrapped in plastic.

I’m so depressed.

“Scientists are unclear as to how long it could take plastic to finally degrade, but they do know that all the plastic that has ever been created, except for that which has been incinerated, is still with us today.” (source)

That means EVERY last zip lock bag, straw, water bottle, zip tie, floss container, shampoo bottle, lighter, McDonald’s toy, Pez dispenser, action figure, ice cube tray, storage bin, PIECE OF GLITTER**, bag of tortilla chips, bag of Doritos, Hostess donut wrapper, package of Sour Patch kids, baby diaper, package of pacifiers, pacifier, laundry detergent bottle, soap bottle, Gatorade bottle, toothbrush, toothpaste container, ball point pen, school lunch tray, disposable plate, big red party cup, keg tap, pepper spray sprayer-thing, sippy cup, American cheese wrapper, 3D movie glasses, flash light, string of Christmas lights, balloon, coffee lid, IV bag, phonograph cartridge, yogurt container, salsa container, other to go containers, guitar pick, cassette tape, CD case, car bumper, fridge shelf, microwave case, newer tv case, Wii case, Nintendo game cartridge, baby wipes package, watering can, garbage bag, piece of bubble wrap, car dashboard, cell phone case, pencil sharpener, soda machine, EZ Bake Oven, Lightbright, Teddy Ruxpin, Polly Pocket, Barbie, Jem doll, My Little Pony, Boggle set, barrette, bottle brush, mustard squeezer, teething ring, zipper…

EVERY single piece of plastic in the world that isn’t recycled will be here when we die. Most likely it will be here when our kids die.

All of it.

Inside the stomaches of whales, seagulls, eventually making its way to the zooplankton, the very bottom of the food chain, poisoning our food with toxins (source).

Including, it turns out, most of our clothes.

…Synthetic fabrics, from which 60% of all clothing on earth is made, have a big hidden problem: when they’re washed, they release tiny plastic bits — called microfibers — that flow down our drains, through water treatment plants, and out into our rivers, lakes and oceans by the billions. (source)

Think about how much plastic you use. Multiple that times that by the over 7 billion people in this world. Can you even fathom how much trash that is??

I know I can’t.

Are you depressed yet?

Help me help the world. Please. Check out these 12 Little and Big Things You Can Do to help.

* I’m being dramatic, but only slightly. The only food that we’ve bought in the last week that did not require plastic was two cartons of milk (we managed to get the ones without those plastic spouts), a twelve pack of bottled beer, and the other associated produce from the farmer’s market.
** I learned this week that glitter is plastic. As if I weren’t depressed enough. 🙁

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2 thoughts on “Why the #$!* is everything I eat wrapped in plastic??

  1. Amen.

    • It bothers me when I see wrapped packaged of vegetables next to bins of the same produce, loose.
    • It bothers me when I see people bagging their groceries and cashiers sometimes double or triple bagging items because it weights more than a pound (Nevada, unlike California, still allows plastic bags at stores).
    • It bothers me that, when I bring all of my purchase to the checkout stand in my reusable bag, the bagger tries to put half of the items in a plastic bag because he doesn’t have the spacial recognition skills to know how to fit everything back in. Oh, and he often thinks the reusable can’t take the weight. Did I mention I brought everything to the checkout stand IN that bag?
    • It bothers me that when letting my server know I’ll be taking the rest of my meal home and that I have my own container, I’m still brought a styrofoam container, plastic utensils, 20 paper napkins, all wrapped in thin plastic. The server usually thinks he’s being kind and doing me a favor by bringing these items just in case. At the same time, I know many restaurants have a rule that once it hits the table, you’re not allowed to reuse it. So even when I don’t take those items, they still go in the trash.
    • It bothers me when I see people grabbing bottles of water rather than using their own containers, especially since it’s such a small change to one’s habit.
    • It bothers me that packaging design relies so heavily on plastic, and that even non-perishable items still get strapped, wrapped, and affixed, using some form of plastic.

    Many things bother me about the overabundance of this material. It’s an important one, and there are applications which absolutely rely on its inert properties to work. But when used to this extent, and when knowledge of the impact still doesn’t deter consumer action, it makes me question just how reliably we can depend on society to break its addiction to plastic, and indirectly, oil.

  2. ALL of these things bother me as well Marek!! Especially, ESPECIALLY, the take out one. Because you know that it will all be thrown away.

    I also recently learned (and this might be a blog in the future), that compostable items in an anaerobic landfill turn into (super toxic) methane gas. Which means that even though it seems like an improvement that a lot of restaurants around here offer compostable packaging, it’s only an improvement if the people compost that packaging.

    The layers and complexity of all of this boggles my mind.

    I am sorry and grateful that you are bothered by all this as well!!

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