"You think you're special. You're Plastic! Made to be thrown away!" Lotso, to plastic toys about to be incinerated, "Toy Story 3"
The Problem with Plastics Every day, disposable plastics (bottles, bags, packaging, utensils, etc.) are thrown away in huge quantities after one use, but they will last virtually forever. Globally we make 300 million tons of plastic waste each year. Disposable plastics are the largest component of ocean pollution. While Fresh Kills Landfill in New York was once known as the planet's largest man-made structure, with a volume greater than the Great Wall of China and a height exceeding the Statue of Liberty, our oceans are now known to contain the world's largest dumps. These unintended landfills in our seas may cover millions of square miles and are composed of plastic waste fragments, circling the natural vortexes of the oceans like plastic confetti being flushed in giant toilets.
Plastics are made from petroleum; there is less and less available, and we are going to tragic lengths to get at it as evidenced in oil spills around the globe with loss of life and habitat. Should we be risking life and limb for single use-bags and plastic bottles that can easily be replaced with sustainable alternatives? Should we be risking our food chain as plastic fragments become more plentiful than plankton in our oceans? Should we be exposing our fetuses, babies and children to the endocrine disrupting chemicals that leach out of plastic food containers into our food and drink? These questions and their answers are exactly what the plastics lobby wants you to avoid.