Friday, March 18, 2011

836 The Plasticarians

836 The Plasticarians

Say, someone tells you steak is nothing more than the recycling of cows. Even the biggest meat eaters would say that’s nuts, and it is. Cows, after all, are alive. They breathe, they (occasionally) move. They go “mooooo.”

So, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust” doesn’t apply to cattle ranches. But what about plastic. Plastic is made from carbon and oil and such. Oil comes from... plankton? Dinosaurs? Aunt Martha?

So when Alexander Parkes made the first plastic in 1855, was he fooling around with what we now call celluloid, or was he creating life in a test tube?

The Plasticarians think the latter. When your grocery bags no longer are useful, do you recycle them like cows? Or do you give them a proper burial, either in a landfill or your back yard.

It may take them millions of years to come back in an equally useful form, but they WILL come back.

Do plastic objects have souls? Ask any practitioner of Voodoo and you’ll get a “yes.” And they’ll tell you the same about logs, little stuffed dolls, statues and drums.

So when you’re finished with the Glad Wrap or the grocery bag or the water bottle and you just casually throw it into a recycle bin somewhere, do you know what happens to it? Maybe it goes to the landfill. But maybe it’ll be cruelly tortured by being melted down and made into something else. There’s no way you can be sure unless you bury it yourself. While burying a human corpse in your backyard is illegal in many places, burying a zip-lock bag is not.

Would you tear a six ounce soda bottle from its one liter mom? Not if you think like a Plasticarian. Are you sure the bottle of liquid detergent and the bottle of liquid fabric softener that sit on your shelf have not fallen in love?

It’s a good thing Guinness and Newcastle Ale don’t come in plastic, else there might be a mini-war between the Irish and the British at the bottle melting factory! These too deserve proper burials. And not in the same place.

Time to organize! Prevent the abuse and torture of plastic. Eliminate the death penalty. Keep families together.

And while you’re doing that, please pass the recycled cow.

Shrapnel:

--Happy returns: Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe return for season ten of Law & Order Criminal Intent. Too bad it’s the last season.

--Unhappy returns: At the end of the month, the New York Times will return to charging for use of its on line edition for most users. Wouldn’t pay for Newsday; will do it for the NYT, which is a buck or so a week cheaper and remains worth reading.

--Mixed returns: The feds were pretty good about this year’s taxes. Getting back about enough to cover the real estate taxes.


I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com.
© 2011 WJR

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