We are choking the planet in plastic. Everything from wasteful water bottles to grocery shopping bags are polluting our waterways, and endangering marine life and the natural environment. It’s fair to say that even the most casual news consumer has probably encountered a Facebook post, TV report, or radio segment about the garbage patches in the Pacific Ocean.
Basic economics. Supply and demand.
As long as consumers continue to purchase cheap, disposable products manufactured from these plastics, there will be companies that profit from the supply of the materials.
And these petroleum based materials are everywhere. It’s not easy to avoid them (I try, but with limited success.)
From the article:
“On February 8, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection allowed construction of the pipeline to resume, after issuing a $12.6 million civil penalty against Sunoco.”
That’s a lot of money to you and me, but chump change to a multinational oil conglomerate. Adding insult to injury, the US tax code generally allows such “penalties” to be deductable as “ordinary and necessary business expenses.”
What good is a penalty that causes no pain?
So true, much like the fines on the TBTF banks and big pharma, just part of doing business to these giants.
Capitalism runs on profits from any opportunity regardless the consequences or any other concern. No thought to sustainability, to pollution of priceless water, none to the myriad critical side-effects…only profits and wealth-accumulation to obscene proportions - worship of Mammon, exemplified by the criminal, pathological, and actually evil, trump regime. That vulture capitalism is the system/mechanism that control,s and dominates America’s past, present, and future, and its corrupting, subversive, destructive, killing/exterminating, and polluting effects have metastasized to most all our planet - a crime of vast proportions against all living things including Gaia.
The destruction of Mother Earth and wholesale killing/extermination of Her creatures including humans, for profit, has reached extinction levels, and all, including humans, will be lucky to survive - but still, those who’s only concern in life is wealth and profits, use their wealth to dominate and subvert the future - too many humans, too much greed and self-interest - too little wisdom, stewardship, love, respect and integrity.
“We are the most dangerous species of life on the planet, and every other species, even the earth itself, has cause to fear our power to exterminate. But we are also the only species which, when it chooses to do so, will go to great effort to save what it might destroy”.- Wallace Stegner
"What is clear is that we are the only species with the power to destroy the earth. Birds and insects have no such power, nor does any other mammal. And yet if we have the capacity to destroy the earth, we also have the capacity to protect it. I believe we have an urgent responsibility to do so.” – His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, Fourteenth Dalai Lama…
The Human Race behaves as a virus. Responsibility is not in our nature.
There was a time that I can remember when plastics were not so commonplace. Most of what you bought in the stores came in metal cans or cardboard containers or were not packaged at all. As example take something as simple as a can opener. They used to be in a bin with a price tag on them and no packaging at all. Today that same can opener is inside that hard plastic that next to impossible to open without a cutting utensil. That plastic serves no other purpose than to be thrown away when the consumer opens the item he bought.
We did not HAVE to go there. Regulations can reverse this but then the Capitalists and those worshipers of the fiction that is called “The Free market” would claim it adds to the cost of doing business and leads to lost jobs. All the “free market” is really about is so that the entities that embrace its gospel can FREELY plunder and wreck the environment for the sake of profits and not be held responsible for any harm that they do to the same.
I have in the past and should start again, I would remove all the packaging and leave the store to recycle or??? It sent a message that this consumer did not want so much packaging, of course, I stated that also.
In a responsible nation hemp plastic would be immediately demanded to replace oil-based plastic! The power of vulture capitalism to destroy our planet must be ended.
Not mentioned are the health effects of packaging food and drink in plastic. The plastic lining in all food and drink cans leaches endocrine disruptors into the contents. The clear hard plastic (PET) used to make the bottles for soft drinks, fruit juices, alcoholic beverages and drinking water also leach endocrine disruptors into their contents.
Endocrine disruptors cause obesity, diabetes, low sperm count, and some forms of cancer. The global spike in obesity and diabetes began immediately after PET clear plastic bottles were introduced in 1973.
The soft drinks industry wants us to believe that sugar causes obesity and diabetes - justifying substituting high fructose corn syrup (another dubious invention) and continuing using PET clear plastic bottles - but Americans were eating lots of sugar before 1973.
Search “PET endocrine disruptor” for references …
The only reason plastics are cheaper is that the external costs of pollution, extinctions and disease are not factored in. Political bribes from plastics industries prevent it.
What is the solution to this problem?
Hemp is not a god material. There are explicit applications in which hemp would serve as a substitute. There are many explicit applications, but especially for industrial heavy plastics hemp is not a proper substitute.
Deceptive packaging practices also proliferate, using often twice as much material as necessary to inflate the apparent size of a product. It seems these things might be easy to regulate with either a carrot or a stick. Did you read that California is making it harder for people to get plastic straws?
A statement of such definite claims without any facts to back it up is either opinion or intentional misrepresentation - often termed shilling - so definite an opinion ought to include at least one link to facts -
the claim here is “especially for industrial heavy plastics hemp is not a proper substitute” Perhaps you would define your terms and provide evidence - otherwise you might be seen as a cheerleader for the fossil fuel/fracking industry casting doubt on a possible alternative to oil industry pollution - as may well be the case…
It is increasingly evident that we are slaves to capitalist corporate rule. Politicians are not accountable to us and will do whatever their true masters, corporate power of all kinds, desire. The underlying mentality for the elites is simply that they can ride this out and the rest of us will do what we can to survive. This system is not sustainable, civilization is a heat engine and the changes required to turn this around are simply too fundamental to even be considered by those in a position to act. The ultimate irony is that even the elites will probably not survive the die off.
I had not heard that on California but I have seen a wide variety of solutions to these problems that can in fact work to help address it. I am going to suggest there is a demand from the Public for these measures but that the Corporate State will always claim they will “add to costs” and fight against the same. They will “package” this message up in the deception that such laws are an erosion of “freedom and liberty”.
Yes and thanks for adding this. i wish Hauter and FWW would regularly include endocrine disruptors in their analysis and reports.
The sure mark of a shill or troll pushing propaganda or extreme slanted point of view on usually only a few subjects, is not responding to arguments or info that challenge their obviously slanted posts - to not answering questions or providing linked evidence for their assertions when challenged!